Nawazuddin Siddiqui


Sacred Games season two came out on the eve of Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, a strategically positioned release date, or fate? (Only Guru Ji knows)

Our Web Editor, Shaurya Thapa commented that if Season 1 of Sacred Games was set in Kashyap’s Wasseypur world then Season 2 took inspiration from his No Smoking cinematic universe. This review begins on a comparative note because this whole show does the same. It is a comparison within itself, contradicting its characters, creating parallels with the previous season, mirroring the outer world, reflecting on the World’s political climate, driving on India’s history and dramatising on the didactic dilemma of this decade: Is this world worth saving?

Season two is packed with a lot of brand new information, twists and turns wrapped up in the eight hour long cinephile’s dream. It comes full circle with completing almost all the strands left loose in the first season. It is the story of a chase against time, personal conflicts, greater good and men in white tripping over red pills and drinks.

Guru Ji and his ashram, which was barely touched upon in season one, takes the centre stage this season. Kalki has less to do as Batya, but it is ominous, arbitrary and satisfactory. The angle of the third baap and Gaitonde’s Freudian obsession with his baaps make way more sense now.

At its heart, despite all its nuclear bomb threat to Mumbai and Sartaj Singh’s race against time to prove his masculine heroism, Sacred Games is the story of Ganesh Gaitonde. His rise, his fall, his obsessions, his pre-occupations, his business, his enemies, his love, his life, and Mumbai is what makes the revolutionary plot. He has the best lines, direction, writing, acting and side characters. Season one’s ferocious Kantabai and frivolous Kuku take a back seat as compared to the new characters- RAW agent Yadav Sahab, and conflicted JoJo.

Characters in this show don’t pop up out of no-where; they rise out of a connection and become important eventually. Parulkar, Trivedi, and Bhonsle all make appearances in Gaitonde’s formative years to become an integral part of the Sartaj Singh plot. Dilbagh Singh’s involvement in the annihilation plans is ambiguous yet it connects all the dots. Zoya or Jamila’s involvement becomes a full circle and even a minor mention of Anjali Mathur’s father’s death gets an explanation.

The traje(dy)ctory of Inspector Majid Khan is the most surprising of all. With chilling dialogues like “Musalman ko uthaane ka police ko kya bahaana chahiye” and “Majid Khan hone se Parulkar ka banda hona behtar hai” and an equally disturbing scene of a young Muslim boy being forced to “Say It” and eventually being brutally lynched, the show takes a much-needed stand in today’s time. What is even more tantalizing is that among that mob we know one character, a devastated boy who is finding his peace in the brutality of a religious war.

On the other end of this spectrum stands, the almost comical parodies of real-life people. We can easily see the inspiration behind them and how easily the writer’s incorporated them into the story. Ram Gopal Verma and Osho are the influences woven strongly into the story with brilliant writing.

The end is a rollercoaster. The viewers have to scratch the reality away from the imagination. They are stuck together side by side, one striving on the other’s existence, one is real and the other is the influencer. The red pill and tripping play a major part in the culmination, Sartaj is still running on them, making hasty decisions, delayed realisations and maybe even mistakes.

The takeaway from this open end is that the detonation of the bomb doesn’t even matter. The world is killing itself, it is moving towards mass destruction with corruption steeped into its being. The use of a real-life footage in the background during Guru Ji’s convincing ‘let’s kill everyone and bring about Satyug’ speech fuels my conclusion that even without such Guru Ji’s involvement in our real life, American mass shootings are on a rise, Palestine-Israel conflicts is still alive, the Middle-East war seems never-ending and India-Pakistan are still on the Colonial crossroads. Adding to this, without Guru Ji we still have Rohingya annihilation, Sri Lankan bombings, New Zealand mass killings, and climate change. So that bomb, really doesn’t matter, we will get to the end of the world even without it.

Feature Image Credits: Business Insider

Sakshi Arora

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On 23rd January 2019, Amrita Rao got candid with DU Beat about her life, career, and the industry, when she visited Conference Centre, North Campus along with her co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui to promote their film ‘Thackeray’.

Anoushka: How was your journey in life, being from a non-Bollywood background to becoming a Bollywood star?
Amrita: About my journey, I have always believed that I am a destiny’s baby, with no godfathers, sugar daddies, and influence in the film industry. These days, there are so many avenues through which you can get recognition. You can rise by being an internet sensation or an Instagrammer. During those days, one either had to be a Miss India, a star kid or had to rise through ad films. So, that time was such that I used to walk into auditions and bag the ad films. After some of my ad films became hits, Tips Films came with a bouquet and a cake saying, “We will make you a star.” It was a very big deal for me because I was still studying. I have actually lived my college life in the campuses of Main Hoon Na and Ishq Vishq. I couldn’t continue my studies because I was barely in school when I started modelling. It’s a big responsibility to manage your education along with your career and work life.

Anoushka: Were your parents supportive in this entire journey?
Amrita: I think my father was very supportive because he comes from an advertising background. He has had his own advertising agency for the longest time. This was print media advertising, not the films. I didn’t get any influence. I had to walk into auditions and perform. He did not have the slightest clue, and was so surprised with the first campaign that I signed. The agency signed me from Chennai. When Tips came with a proposal, he supported it tremendously because he saw the corporate set up with a contract in place. My association with Tips was for three to four years.

Anoushka: You do not come from a Bollywood background, and we also know the nepotism debate which recently shook the entire industry. So, what is your take on nepotism?
Amrita: I think that if two people are comfortable in working with each other, if I have found comfort in you and share a natural rapport and don’t feel like a nobody or outsider, that is great! If we have grown up together, attended the same birthday parties around the same friends and families, I can understand that as a different comfort zone altogether. If we want to work with each other, that’s not really nepotism. However, if a third person comes at random and favours the other person more than you, pushes him or her to the awards and magazine covers at random, now that is nepotism. That is how I look at it. However, we live in times where unfortunately even to get your kid admitted in that reputed school, you see people picking up their phones. It has engulfed the society in an unavoidable and unfair manner. I think, in today’s world, talent is something that is recognised, and people don’t really care what background you come from, or whether you are a star or a superstar. I think good acting ultimately survives.

Anoushka: She Wings is a social awareness organisation which is working towards women and menstrual hygiene. There are many women who don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities. How should we, as women encourage others regarding the same?
Amrita: I am glad we are talking about this. When I was in school, I don’t think we ever spoke about this or talked about it as an issue or as something that you have to deal with. It was perhaps, just told to us. I think I would say that it is important to have basic hygiene. We don’t even have basic sanitation or hygiene. There are no theories or rules that we are given on how to use sanitary aids. I know there are a lot of uterus infections. A lot of things go wrong because women don’t have knowledge. I would like to tell everyone that you have to prioritise yourself. Even if you are somebody who lives by the budget, you can cut on those new tops or denims but make sure that you get the best quality pads for yourself. Don’t compromise on that. Don’t try to save on that. It can cost you much more.

Featured Image Credits- Aakarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Interview by- Anoushka Sharma
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Transcribed by- Sakshi Arora
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