‘Kaam Chalu Hai’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is It Based On A True Story?

According to the latest government records, over five thousand people have died between 2017 and 2022 due to road accidents caused by potholes. An issue that everyone notices on a day-to-day basis but nobody seems to protest against. Palash Mucchal’s Kaam Chalu Hai portrays the real-life story of Manoj Patil, who dedicated his life to filling potholes after his daughter passed away because of one. 


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

Kaam Chalu Hai‘s story takes place in the small town of Sangli, Maharashtra. Manoj and his daughter Gudiya are best friends, as they are kept in line by Manoj’s wife, Radha. Radha is strict, but only because someone has to be an adult in the house. The family has their fair share of issues, but that doesn’t stop them from loving and caring for each other. Manoj dreams of making Gudiya a cricketer who’ll represent India someday. Gudiya, too, is equally passionate about the game and spends her free time practicing her celebration of a century. Manoj and Gudiya have big plans, and Radha is the one who keeps them grounded, even though she equally supports their ambition. Manoj’s job as a manager in a cafeteria is enough for him to run the family. The cafeteria is owned by Smriti Mandhana, arguably one the best batters in the world. One can imagine working there; Manoj’s wish to see her own daughter in the same jersey as Smriti isn’t unreasonable. 


How does Manoj inspire his daughter?

Unlike Dangal, where a father pushes his daughters to their limits to achieve his own dream of securing a gold medal, Manoj is a different person all in all. He sees his daughter as interested in the sport and contributes to her journey as a pillar of support. He participates in Gudiya’s warm-up routine and does the exercises she’s supposed to do. Manoj teaches Gudiya to be hardworking in order to reach her goal and never turn to dishonest means. The family is a bubble of wholesomeness and also a lesson for people with privilege. Gudiya does well in her studies, too, and even her principal calls Manoj and Radha to applaud her talents in both academics and sports. Gudiya is always happy under the protection of her parents, and her striving in life is a testament to the fact that parents’ actions decide how the child is going to turn out. 

How does Gudiya die?

Gudiya keeps improving on her technique, and her coach tells Manoj that she’ll be unstoppable once she perfects her straight drive. Both of them are as happy as can be, and the relationship between them would make people with Daddy issues envious. Forgive me. Manoj is an exemplary father who puts his own wants and needs aside to make sure Gudiya gets everything she wants. Soon, their dreams come true, and Gudiya gets selected to play in the district tournament. Manoj is over the moon and takes his daughter shopping before leaving for Mumbai the next day. The calmness before the storm finally ends when Manoj’s fidgety scooter crashes while driving over a pothole. Radha’s head hits a sharp rock, and a crowd gathers around them. The people do absolutely nothing as one of them tries to make a video instead of calling an ambulance, and honestly, that’s not much different from a real-life accident in India. Manoj picks up his bleeding daughter in his arms and runs to a hospital, but the doctors couldn’t save Gudiya. 


How do Manoj and Radha handle Gudiya’s death?

The grief replaces the abundance of joy the family used to have. Their little angel has been taken from them, and the couple loses their sanity a little. Manoj wanders around Gudiya’s school, her practice ground, to look for his daughter. He finally goes to the cops to file a report against the pothole that killed his daughter. The cops seem nice and supportive, and they advise Manoj to look for the person who built the road. Manoj ends up at the contractor’s house, who’s responsible for the potholes. 

Does Manoj take revenge?

Manoj and Radha visit the contractor’s bungalow while he still talks on his phone about acquiring a new tender. It’s clear the man is nothing but a greedy reptile who’d do everything for his own benefits. Manoj loses his calm and attacks him. The security kicks Manoj out, and the contractor blames him for Gudiya’s death. He thinks potholes are avoidable, and this death is nothing but a natural order of life. 


Radha tries to convince Manoj that she has already lost her daughter and she can’t lose him now, but Manoj defies her. He goes back to the contractor’s bungalow and sneaks into the house. With a sharp-edged knife in his hand, he’s all set to murder the man. Just when he’s about to kill the man responsible for Gudiya’s death, a little girl hugs him. Manoj is shocked to see that it’s the daughter of the contractor, begging him not to kill her father. Manoj is a kind person after all, and this changes his mind in an instant. He kisses the little girl’s forehead and drops the knife before taking off. A corrupt life is spared because of his daughter’s innocence. 

What does Manoj do with his grief?

When his plan to get revenge is unsuccessful, Manoj sits with his pain and tries to process it in some other way. Outside Manoj’s house, there’s always a pile of sand and cement lying around, and it’s not an uncommon sight in the country. He packs some of it and goes to the road where Gudiya took her last breath. He fixes the pothole that led to the accident and finally lets go of Gudiya. He’s been carrying her ashes with him for months, but he finally scatters them in the river. Where the family has spent some of their best moments together, Manoj leaves her daughter’s ashes and his grief. He goes on to fix potholes all around the town of Sangli and dedicates his whole life to the cause. Radha supports the decision, and the couple makes sure that nobody else should suffer like they did. They couldn’t fight the system, but they spent their lives trying to fix it. 


Kaam Chalu Hai ends with a powerful sequence where the real-life Manoj Patil and Rajpal Yadav sit side by side and talk about his tragedy. This movie is a reminder of all the things that’s wrong with the system of this country and how little people pay attention to them.

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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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