Bawaal is the story of Ajay Dixit, a high school teacher who is obsessed with his image, only to learn that appearances don’t matter as much in life. The film is streaming on Prime Video.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Ajay Dixit is a high school history teacher lovingly known as “Ajju bhai” by everyone in his locality because of the many stories of his potential and the work he’s done for the community.
However, Ajay only pretends to be the upstanding citizen that people think he is, simply because he’s got a huge inferiority complex. He doesn’t teach his students anything at school and just passes them regardless of their performance.
His insistence on maintaining a certain image also affects his marriage, as his wife, Nisha, suffers from epilepsy and he doesn’t want her to possibly get an episode while they’re out in public together.
He doesn’t treat her like a wife and doesn’t take her out anywhere or fulfill his husbandly duties. His parents know his true nature and pester him to change but he is stubborn.
After one particular fight with Nisha, Ajay heads to class in a bad mood. When a student asks him a question about World War II, Ajya refuses to answer it because it is irrelevant to him.
When the student makes a joke at his expense, Ajay slaps the child and tells him to sit down. He later finds out that the child he slapped is the son of the local MLA.
The MLA visits the school and demands that Ajay be suspended and that a disciplinary committee is appointed to certify whether he is a capable teacher deserving of his position.
Ajay sets about figuring out a way to restore the public’s perception of him before he loses his job and his true self is revealed. He reminds his friend Bipin how during a local cricket match, Ajay put a lot of effort into the organization that people forget how he didn’t perform during the actual match.
He wants to do something similar, make a big show that distracts people from the truth just enough. He comes up with a plan to travel to different cities in Europe and teach his students about World War II right from where it took place.
The idea came to him after one of his students mentioned that they’d dropped the topic entirely since his suspension. He convinces his father to foot the cost of the trip by saying that Nisha will be going along with him as a vacation of sorts.
Nisha gets excited for the trip but Ajay tells her that he doesn’t really plan on taking her so she should just go back to her house from the airport. She stands up for herself and says that she’s going to go whether he likes it or not.
Their first stop is Paris, and Ajay leaves Nisha to spend time on her own while he visits the World War Museum. Nisha has a fun day visiting the Eiffel Tower while Ajay gets stuck watching an operatic performance instead of the tour.
He sees how much fun Nisha had and asks her if she can travel with him the next day since she is clearly at more ease than him. They go out together and Ajay learns a lot about the city and its connection to the war.
The next stop on their trip is Normandy, where Ajay truly learns how devastating the war was and its effects after visiting Omaha Beach. He continues to live stream his lessons so people back home learn as well.
He and Nisha begin spending more time with each other and one day Nisha asks him why he’s so obsessed with his image. Ajay says that he was a perfectly average kid growing up who didn’t get noticed so he wanted to change that.
He wanted to ensure that he looked the part while sitting across someone like Nisha who always excelled in her life. They go to Amsterdam and check out Anne Frank’s house which is another emotional experience for them.
After that, Nisha and Ajay go for a beer together and end up getting quite drunk as they ask about each other’s hobbies and interests. They join some street dancers and have a good time and Nisha gets a recording of their dance.
Bawaal ending explained in detail:
What happens between Ajay and Nisha?
Nisha is much happier in her relationship and ends up posting the video of her dancing with Ajay. This video travels around back home and Bipin tells Ajay that it’s causing an issue with his plan to clean up his image.
Ajay scolds Nisha for putting up the video and in his anger, makes a harsh comment about her epilepsy. She retorts with the fact that she had got divorce papers before their trip and held off on them because she thought there was still hope for him.
They were in Berlin at the time and Nisha says that she’s heading back home early. Ajay looks at the place Hitler died and also sees other memorials of war which makes him realize how much he cares for her.
He asks her to stay till the end of the trip and leave him if she wishes.
How does Ajay finally win over Nisha?
Nisha agrees to stay till the end of the trip and their last stop is Auschwitz. They go to the concentration camps and the gas chambers and are devastated by what they learn there.
Their host mentions that he’s going to watch a survivor speak about his experiences so Ajay and Nisha agree to attend as well. The survivor talks about his love for his wife and how he wished he had more time with her.
His words hit very close to Ajay’s heart as the relationship he describes is quite similar to that of Ajay and Nisha. They visit the gas chamber and Nisha gets an epileptic episode due to the stress.
Ajay sits right by her side until she recovers and she is won over by the fact that he showed his true colors by thinking about her and how she’s doing rather than how he would look.
Does Ajay keep his job?
The MLA is not happy with the disciplinary committee that the Principal set so he says that he’s going to do something on his own to test Ajay’s teaching capabilities.
They conduct a surprise history test for all the students to see how much they have learned from Ajay’s travels. Ajay returns from his trip and offers his resignation after admitting that he was a fake who only put in an effort in the last two weeks.
However, the Principal begins reading out the scores of his students and the MLA says that he proved how good he is as a teacher because of the brilliant results they have gotten.
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