‘Shastry Virudh Shastry’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Whom Did Momoji Choose?

Custody battles can get ugly, but they are even more heartbreaking when they are being fought between parents and grandparents. Shastry Virudh Shastry is a very probing film that tries to bring some very contemporary issues to the forefront, albeit in a sentimental way. The film is made for family viewership, and it doesn’t remain a cold observer watching the courtroom drama unfold but shows us different aspects of the situation. The basic question remains the same: what is best for the child? To be raised by unavailable parents who are drowning in their jobs or to live with grandparents who pamper him and never leave his side. Where is the balance?


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Manohar Joshi, an aging musical maestro, was taking care of Yaman, aka Momoji, his grandson, in the best way he could. His house was situated in Panchgani, away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, and everything was going fine. Momoji was nearly seven now, and Manohar and his wife were very fond of the kid. Momoji’s parents, Malhar and Mallika, were both working in Mumbai, and due to their hectic schedules, they would seldom come to meet Momoji. When Manohar and Mallika made up their minds to take Momoji back to their place, that’s when the strained relationship between Manohar and Malhar came to the forefront, and things got ugly.


Why Did Momoji Start Living With His Grandparents?

When Momoji was just 3 months old, his grandmother Urmila visited Malhar’s place in Mumbai and saw that they had wrapped Momoji’s feverish body in a blanket. Urmila took care of Momoji from there on until he was well. She was the one who knew that wrapping a child in a blanket was not the right way to bring their fever down. She saw many other things that clearly indicated that neither Malhar nor Mallika was equipped enough to deal with a baby. Urmila decided to take Momoji with her to Panchgani. Malhar and Mallika were grateful at that time, as they had to accept that, given their hectic schedules and stressful environment, they probably weren’t the best caregivers for Momoji. So, an unsaid pact was made, and Manohar and Urmila started to raise Momoji in Panchgani.

How Did The Father-Son Relationship Deteriorate?

Malhar and Manohar’s relationship couldn’t be called a good one, but they never showed it. When Malhar came to Panchgani, he had resigned from his company because of the founder’s corrupt practices, and that’s why he was a bit reserved, drinking his vodka mix in secret. Manohar didn’t know about his status as a ‘social drinker’ but when he found out that not only Malhar had resigned from his job, but he was a ‘drunkard’ as well, the disciplinarian in him couldn’t hold back. Malhar was so frustrated by this quality of his father, who labeled everything with the most vulgar and extreme label he could find. He felt it was time that Momoji came back to live with him and Mallika, but Manohar wasn’t willing to let Momoji be raised by a ‘spineless slacker’ who depended on his wife’s earnings. Malhar was simmering with anger and was pained by these labels, and he was looking for an opportunity to bounce back in his business. He got it when Chintu, a childhood friend, offered him to move to America for a start-up. When Malhar insisted on taking Momoji away, Manohar filed a court case against Malhar.


What Happened In Court?

The case was deemed a custody battle, and the lawyers had to represent their clients, making them seem like the most suitable guardians for Momoji. Jitesh, Manohar’s old mate, had to represent him in the trial, and Malhar hired Shalini, Mallika’s friend, to make their case. Each party wanted to paint the other as an unfit guardian. There was a point that was so ugly to look at that even Malhar wanted Shalini to stop. The topic was Malhar’s elder brother Lalit’s suicide. Shalini made the case that Lalit committed suicide because Manohar stopped him from going away and wanted him to be a great singer. Lalit felt suffocated because of Manohar’s authoritarian nature, and Manohar wanted to have a second go at ‘creating’ a genius with Momoji, which is why he had filed the case. The implication was that Manohar didn’t care about Momoji’s well-being but was working purely out of his selfish and impractical motives, which would be detrimental to Momoji’s mental health.

How Was The Custody Decided?

Both Manohar and Malhar had their problems. Malhar was a good father, but he was known to drink, drive, and leave jobs constantly. He wanted to go abroad, but there was no guarantee that the start-up would be a success. Manohar, on the other hand, was slowly coming into his disciplinarian phase, and stress was visible on Momoji’s face when he wasn’t able to learn a musical note properly. Mallika was the mute spectator, and she burst out one day, asking Manohar to take back the silly case, which was just an ego clash between the father and the son. She begged him to understand that she had sacrificed a lot to be in a position where she could run the house on her own salary, and it was high time that Momoji started to live with her.


Manohar was softening up, but his attachment to Momoji wasn’t letting him see what was best for the child. He wasn’t ready to accept that perhaps he was too harsh at times, which had affected Lalit badly, and Malhar was dealing with the repercussions as well. Accepting that would mean that he could do that to Momoji in the future as well. He had a heart attack, and the topic of his deteriorating health was brought up in the trial.

Manohar’s case had weakened significantly, but he still wasn’t willing to withdraw it. Jitesh prepared a strong argument that Malhar was an abusive father with symptoms of alcoholism, and Mallika would not be able to provide the quality time they were promising. The judge was a smart fellow who called in Momoji and asked him to reveal his own choice. Would he choose to live in Panchgani with Manohar and Urmila or go to America with Malhar and Mallika? The judge knew that Momoji wouldn’t be able to make that choice, but there was a reason to call him to the stand. When Momoji broke down, unable to decide, Manohar came forward and pleaded with the judge to dismiss the case. He was doing this to see Momoji happy, and seeing him in distress, he accepted that he was too attached to his grandson and didn’t have the courage to let him go, especially when he perhaps would never see him again in person.

During Shastry Virudh Shastry‘s ending, the judge dismissed the case and admitted that Malhar and Mallika had full rights to take their son to America. Before the trial had concluded, Malhar pleaded with Manohar to understand that just because Malhar was the less talented of the two sons, he didn’t deserve less of Manohar’s love. It looked like the father-son duo was going to part ways with their issues unresolved. Malhar reached the airport with Mallika and Momoji but didn’t get on the flight. The reason was that Momoji had hidden himself in a trolley, signaling clearly that he didn’t want to leave Manohar and Urmila. Malhar and Mallika returned to Panchgani to leave Momoji with the grandparents. Malhar and Mallika understood that their decision was not all that good for Momoji. There was a middle path. Momoji could stay with Manohar and Urmila for a few more years until he made up his mind about where to stay. They would get time to set up the business in America in the meantime. Manohar saw wisdom in Malhar’s eyes for the first time, and they both embraced, and Manohar expressed how proud he was of his son and accepted that he had been a bit harsh. The correct decision seemed to have been made, as Momoji had to be prepared a bit more gently before he could be taken away from the caregivers who had raised him for seven years straight. Everyone seemed to be on the same page at last and focused on Momoji’s well-being, keeping their egos aside.

Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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