The film starts by introduction of Shanti Niwas & its residents by Amitabh Bachchan, who is the narrator here. He points out that Shanti Niwas is a pot of ironies: Even though its name means "Home of Peace", there is no peace here. The home, which houses the Sharma family, has members who hate each other for reasons unknown. Even a servant cannot withstand the Sharma's for more than a month.
After every month, the search for a new servant has to start. Then, suddenly a servant named Raghu comes in. Even though nobody remembers asking for some Raghu, they hire him. But Raghu has his own surprises in store for him. Gradually, the whole home comes to know that Raghu is not only an accomplished chef, but also a singer & expert in dancing.
Raghu tells his masters that he worked for reputed veterans of given fields, who taught him something or the other. Gradually, many aces start falling out of his sleeves, causing the Sharma's to develop an attraction to him. Even Daduji, the disgruntled patriarch of the family, develops love for Raghu. The family puts so much trust in Raghu that they even unwittingly show him the box containing the family jewels.
Krishna (Jaya Bhaduri) is the recluse daughter of Daduji's dead son & daughter-in-law. On learning this, Raghu tutors her & brings her talents to the fore. He also helps in clearing up the misunderstandings & calling truces between the family members. Daduji cannot help but think that Raghu is actually a saviour sent by god. Meanwhile, nobody notices that Raghu is suspiciously eyeing the jewel box the whole time.
Meanwhile, Raghu learns that Krishna loves a boy, but the Sharma's are strictly against the union of Krishna with him. The boy also loves Krishna, but is helpless before Krishna's relatives as well. Between all the tangle, Raghu suddenly disappears. The Sharma's are also aghast to know that the box is missing as well.
It does not take the Sharma's to put two & two together. At the same time, Krishna's love interest shows up. The people are already angered at the turn of events & the boys arrival, but they receive a shock when he shows them the jewelry box. He explains that he saw Raghu in a suspicious condition with the box. When he asked Raghu about the box, Raghu tried to run away. He tried to stop Raghu, even beat him up(the boy is a wrestler), but Raghu somehow managed to escape.
Stunned by this unexpected turn of events, the attitude of Sharma's towards the boy changes & they agree to get him married with Krishna out of gratitude. Krishna, however, refuses to buy the story. When Sharma's start abusing Raghu, Krishna's lover cannot take it anymore and tells them what really happened.
He tells them that he met Raghu at his own wrestling ground. He had a little friendly match with Raghu, where he suffered minor injuries from Raghu. He saw the box & asked Raghu about it. Raghu said that the box was the real reason he came there. Raghu had asked him to take the box to the Sharma's and tell them that Raghu had stolen it so that Krishna's lover can get back his place in the house.
Meanwhile Krishna sees Raghu outside the house and asks him that why did he do all this. Raghu told her that his real name was professor Prabhakar, but he took the fake name of Raghu. He had seen many families like the Sharma's which were on the brink of breaking up & hence decided to use his knowledge to stop this.
Raghu explained him that if he lies about the box & what happened between him & Raghu, the boy will be able to marry Krishna. Raghu had promised the boy to secrecy, but latter couldn't stand up the abuse to Raghu. A stunned Sharma family has to accept that Raghu went out of his way to save several homes like Shanti Niwas. Krishna manages to stop Raghu in time from going somewhere else.
Raghu tells her that this is his life mission now & he has to go. Krishna requests him to stop until her marriage, as she regards him as her brother. Raghu obliges & leaves Shanti Niwas after her marriage. The film ends with a scene of him traveling to a new destination & narration from Amitabh Bachchan that "Raghu is going to a new home. Let's hope it is not yours."
The movie was a hit. It was the 8th highest grossing film of the year.
- Genre: Action
- Runtime: 125 Minutes
- Awards: 1973 - Paintal Filmfare Best Comedian Award
Bawarchi (Devnagari: बावर्ची, translation: The Chef) is a 1972 Indian film directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee starring Rajesh Khanna and Jaya Badhuri with Asrani, A.K. Hangal, Usha Kiran and Durga Khote in supporting roles.
In Mukherjee's classic style, the film contains no violence or obscenities, and focuses on spreading family values and morals through clean comedy.
The movie is inspired by the Bengali Film Galpa Holeo Satyi (1966) by Tapan Sinha. The film was remade in Tamil as Samayalkaaran with M. K. Muthu and in Kannada as #73, Shaanthi Nivaasa with Sudeep.