Ankhon Dekhi
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRajat Kapoor
Written byRajat Kapoor
Produced byManish Mundra
StarringSanjay Mishra
Seema Pahwa
Rajat Kapoor
Brijendra Kala
CinematographyRafey Mehmood
Edited bySuresh Pai
Music bySagar Desai
Mithya Talkies
Drishyam Films
Release dates
  • 5 December 2013 (2013-12-05) (SAIFF)[1]
  • 21 March 2014 (2014-03-21) (India)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
Budget4.75 crore
Box officeest. 1.11 crore

Ankhon Dekhi (transl. Through my own eyes) is a 2014 Indian Hindi-language drama film written and directed by Rajat Kapoor[3][4] and produced by Manish Mundra. It stars Sanjay Mishra and Rajat Kapoor. The film was released on 21 March 2014. It was the opening film at the 8th annual Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF) 2014 in Toronto. It is Kapoor's fifth feature film and was dedicated to his idols and teachers: filmmakers Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani. At the 2015 Screen Awards ceremony, Ankhon Dekhi won the awards for Best Supporting Actress for Seema Pahwa, Best Story and Best Ensemble Cast.[5] The movie is based on the philosophy of empiricism. Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) refuses to believe anything he is told unless he has seen it with his own eyes. The movie also encompasses the Derridean philosophy of deconstruction of reality.[6]


Rajesh Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) is a man in his late 50s, living a dreary but eventful life in a small house in old Delhi with his extended family. The movie starts with Bauji narrating a dream where he sees himself flying like a bird, free from all the worldly affairs. A random incident is going to change his life in a dramatic way, though he does not realise it at the moment. Bauji's daughter has been seeing a boy who is allegedly ill-reputed in their town. When that is revealed to the family, after some deliberation, they decide to lock up the girl and go beat the wilful boy.

When they confront the boy, to Babuji he seems like a very nice person. This event radically changes his life — he decides that he will believe only what he can see, hence the title Ankhon Dekhi. After a while he refuses to worship god and treats prasad (offerings) as just another sweet. He is working as a travel agent and refuses to book tickets to Amsterdam as he has never seen Amsterdam. To uphold his ideals, he quits his job. He resorts to a very idealistic mode and takes things to extreme levels to explore his theory. At first his neighbours consider him a lunatic, but over time they start admiring his logical reasoning and start following him.

Once while intervening in a petty loan issue with a loan shark, he refuses to believe the bad reputation of the shark. He concludes that he is a good person, based on his observation. He forms a rapport with the loan shark and is recruited by him in his illegal gambling den. His followers join.

He agrees to get his daughter married to the boy she loves, and almost sorts out the emotional issues with his estranged brother.

Now free from all responsibility, he leads a life where there are almost no blind spots and a lot of clarity. He takes his wife for a vacation.

While chatting he narrates to his wife that he feels very light, like a bird flying in free skies. His wife jokes about his experience, inadvertently challenging his own theory that he doesn't know how a bird actually flies. In the middle of the night he walks towards a cliff. Babuji narrates the dream that the movie starts with. He has yet to experience flying. As the film ends, Bauji is seen flying down a cliff.


Critical response

Aankhon Dekhi opened to critical appreciation. Most critics praised all the performances and the deeply rich philosophical undertones of the script.

Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 3.5/5 stars stating, "Through the wonderfully whimsical Ankhon Dekhi, writer-director Rajat Kapoor shows us how the journey could be more meaningful if we lived life the way we choose to."

Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times gave 3.5/5 and mentioned, "the strands come together with such a heave of emotion that I found myself wiping away tears. Ankhon Dekhi is a lovely respite from the formulaic fare that clutters our multiplexes week after week."

Independent film scholar Baradwaj Rangan praised the acting and casting stating "Watching Rajat Kapoor's marvellous Ankhon Dekhi, you may find yourself wishing that we had one of those "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" awards. The casting is perfect, the performances exquisite. It's a cliché to say that an actor has "lived" his role – but that sense of not-acting-but-being is all-pervasive here."[7]

Sukanya Varma of Rediff went with 4/5 stars, saying "For all its existentialism crisis, Aankhon Dekhi's heart lies in Kapoor's affectionate depiction of humdrum living, the tender father-daughter relationship between Bauji and Rita (Maya Sarao), the unspoken attachment between him and his younger brother and the concerned anxiety of his rock solid wife."

Shubra Gupta of Indian Express, usually a very harsh critic, gave the film a surprising 4/5, mentioning about the central character, "He is fool, clown and man, all in one. He is us. I have seen it with my own eyes, and I can tell you that Aankhon Dekhi is a fine, fine film."

One of the few differing voices was Madhureetha Mukherjee of India Today who gave 2.5/5 stars stating "What doesn't work for the film is the fact that it borders on abstract at regular intervals and lacks continuity, making a few scenes and conversations seem out-of-context." However, she still recommended that people watch it.


Filmfare Awards
Screen Awards
Mirchi Music Awards


Ankhon Dekhi
Soundtrack album by
Sagar Desai
Released4 March 2014 (2014-03-04)[11]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelTimes Music
External audio
audio icon Audio Jukebox on YouTube

Ankhon Dekhi features an unusual soundtrack combining Indian classical melodies with modern rhythms. The score was composed by Saagar Desai, and the lyrics were written by Varun Grover. The soundtrack was well received with many calling it a 'breath of fresh air' due to the melodies being composed with classical instruments.

Song Singer Composer Lyricist
"Aaj Laagi Laagi Nai Dhoop" Kailash Kher Saagar Desai Varun Grover
"Aayi Bahaar" Kailash Kher Saagar Desai Varun Grover
"Kaise Sukh Soyein" Ronkini Gupta A Hindustani classical song based on raga Behag
"Yaad Saari Baari Baari" Kailash Kher Saagar Desai Varun Grover
"Hakka Bakka" Shaan Saagar Desai Varun Grover
"Dheeme Re Re" Mansheel Gujral Saagar Desai Varun Grover


  1. ^ "Ankhon Dekhi | SAIFF 2013 | South Asian International Film Festival". Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Ankhon Dekhi". South Asian International Film Festival 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Article Window". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Mumbai English ePaper: Mumbai E-paper, English News ePaper - Midday". Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. ^ Sharma, Sarika (14 January 2015). "Live: 21st Life OK Screen Awards". The Indian Express. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Ankhon Dekhi: Story with a vision". The Hindu. 22 March 2014. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 March 2023.
  7. ^ ""Ankhon Dekhi"… In plain sight". Bharadwaj Rangan. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "60th Britannia Filmfare Awards 2014: Complete list of winners". The Times of India. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Winners of 21st Annual Star Screen Awards 2014". Indian Express. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Nominations - Mirchi Music Awards 2014". MMAMirchiMusicAwards. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Ankhon Dekhi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. 4 March 2014.