Radha Mehta In ‘Pippa,’ Explained: How Did She Help With The War Effort?

Pippa, the brand-new Amazon Prime Video original film about the 1971 war, might come across as a conflict drama on the surface, but on a deeper level, this story is about familial dynamics. It is the tale of three siblings of the same family who each end up serving in the war in their own way. Radha Mehta’s brothers in the movie’s timeline served in the Indian Army, and so did her father until he passed away. This film managed to introduce the coming-of-age element for not just Captain Balram but Radha as well.

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Spoilers Ahead


Who Was Radha Mehta?

Radha Mehta is the only sister of Captain Balram Mehta and his older brother, Major Ram Mehta. She was raised on the values of the Indian army as well, and growing up, she probably knew her brothers would follow in the footsteps of their father. Coming from a family of army officers brings to the table a lot of responsibilities, especially when she and her mother know they will probably face an unfortunate day whether they like it or not. The brothers might end up sacrificing themselves for the glory of the country, and for the greater good, both the women in the family must remain strong and show the exact same sentiment in the hour of grief.

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Apart from the talk of the glory attained while working with the armed forces, Radha happens to be a lot closer to her younger brother, Captain Balram Mehta. Balram was the black sheep of the family and a non-conformist who was blunt by nature. The young man managed to intimidate Radha’s soon-to-be fiancé just because he could. He had the habit of being straightforward in various situations, which made everyone in the family uncomfortable, including Radha. But she is the only person in the family who seems to understand that he does not intend to hurt anyone. She tries to be the mediator between both brothers, apart from their mother. When the brothers had a falling out on the day his brother Ram was called in to join the combat, she knew things would not go well from that point on.


What Was The Job Assigned To Her?

With both her brothers in combat, Radha was seen fiddling with cryptography during her classes. Radha was studying to be a doctor in the movie, and her professor came across many cryptographic puzzles she had solved. She was picked up from the college to work for the Communications and Analysis wing by the same professor’s son. He was working for the same department, and he believed Radha was a gifted person when it came to cracking codes in cryptographic form. Radha finally found her calling in this job, but part of her work involved not letting anyone in the family know about it. She also found the courage to end her engagement because she was not sure if she wanted to get married. Since Radha had picked up the high-octane job, she probably wanted to focus on it and draw results as a war between two neighboring nations was imminent.

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Radha gradually became an important part of the intelligence department as she could crack many important codes that helped them come across many plans of the Pakistani army. The enemy battalion was moving toward the Indian army on the eastern border, and they were planning a surprise ambush. This was busted, and it helped the Indian army remain alert, and it inadvertently helped save her brother Balram. She knew Balram was stationed in the eastern region as well, but she could not locate her oldest brother, who had joined a covert mission to destabilize the Pakistani army by working with Mukti Bahini.

Radha and her mother were always expecting bad news to come their way, with battles intensifying, but they had heard none. Radha, being a woman, was not allowed to serve in the army back in the seventies. This made her eligible only for an interesting desk job. Inherently, she was also contributing to the war effort, just like her brothers. It’s a known fact that work in the combat field is not possible without the help of the intelligence wing, and Radha’s job at the core was serving the war efforts.

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How Did She Help With The War Effort?

Radha was stuck working on a major code coming from the enemy side. It was deciphered after a lot of brainstorming that America’s 7th Fleet, which included two aircraft carriers, would be entering Indian waters to help Pakistan combat on the war front. This message of hers helped the Indian army prepare for an onslaught, and it put both the American fleet and the Pakistani army on the back foot for good. The Indian army had also managed to destroy many Pakistani tanks on the eastern front, which led to many victories. She was sadly the first to know of her brother’s disappearance after the intelligence received news of an Indian army officer being taken as a POW.

Radha was quick to inform Balram about it, somehow without informing him about her line of work, which seemed odd in the film. Thanks to her intelligence, Balram could find the location of the place where Ram might be held captive. As they head for Burinda and win another fierce battle, Balram and his older brother reunite. Radha, on the other hand, was informed about the crucial win, and she was not just elated with the news of the win but also of her brothers, who seemed to have found their way to find each other.

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The movie is based on a book written by Brigadier Balram Mehta, who served as captain during the 1971 war for the 45th Cavalry. As per the source material, Brigadier Balram Mehta had only one sister who never served in the intelligence department. She was a dentist, but beyond that, there is no information about this particular sibling of his. We assume the writers and the director took some cinematic liberties when it comes to the family of Balram Mehta and gave it a spin to make the movie more about sibling dynamics as well. All three had a role to play in the family, as per the film, and did very well for themselves eventually.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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