Show Title: Ghulaam
Channel: Life OK
Timings: Monday to Friday 9 pm
Based on bride kidnapping and forced marriages, Ghulaam is set in the village of Behrampur where women are treated like mere objects. The serial stars Param Singh, Niti Taylor and Vikas Manaktala. I watched the first episode and here is my first impression of this show.
SGS officer Raghav and his fiancée Rashmi are travelling in a train. At night, as Raghav is asleep, Rashmi walks out of their compartment to visit the washroom when a man smothers her and leaves the train with an unconscious Rashmi on his shoulder. In the morning, (the director has used such poor lighting to show daybreak that even I could make out that it isn’t natural sunlight but some substandard candescent light….humko samjh kya rakha hain director saab?) Raghav is frantically looking for his fiancée in the train and calls his senior and tells him that his fiancée has been kidnapped from the train (Wow….that was a quick conclusion).
Cut to, (with some poor special effects) Rashmi wakes up to find herself in a jeep with her hands tied to the sides. She screams at the driver to stop the jeep when he laughs eerily telling her that they are in Behrampur and “yaha reham naam ki koi chidiya naa ude hain” (Where there is no such thing as mercy). He tells her that this village is the hub of criminals where criminals from all over India are trained in all sorts of crime like robbery, murder, etc.
In the courtyard of a palace, drums are rolling as a wrestling pit is kept ready for a match. A bulky wrestler (with amazing abs) enters the ring and rubs the mud to his forehead. The two competitors shake hands before the match. They both hold each other in a lock up before the bulky wrestler, we first saw, drops his opponent with a hip toss. Similarly, the bulky wrestler (Vikas Makatala…. I still remember him as Hudda from Left Right Left) defeats all three of his opponents with a suplex (What? Do our desi wrestlers get knocked out so easily?) as he becomes the last man standing in the pit. A man looking over the pit from a gallery declares that Behrampur has only two Gods, one is the God above who decides the time of birth of a person and two is himself who writes the time of death of a person. He says that a doctor can change the time of birth of a person but once Chaudhary Bishwa Pratap issues the time of death for a person then that can never be changed. He further announces that his son Veer’s to-be bride is being brought to them and to celebrate this happy occasion, beverages for all the people gathered will be on him. Chaudhary Bishwa Pratap then walks to his son Veer, and tells him that now that he will be getting married soon he must keep in mind that “aurat ke mane sirf itne ki tawe ki roti thandi naa ho aur kurte ki collar gandi na ho” (Women are meant only for cooking and cleaning). A girl is brought screaming to the courtyard and we see Rashmi struggling get free from her kidnappers. The kidnappers present her before Veer and his father. Rashmi (who was speaking hindi till now suddenly sees the rural crowd and starts speaking in English just to show that she is an educated girl. This director really takes the viewers to be ignorant fools. Such a lousy attempt at showing a padi likhi ladki.) asks Veer who they are and why they have forcibly brought her to the place. Veers leers at her and snaps his fingers and shehnai players start playing their shehnais (the tune they play is ‘My heart is beating’ from the film Julie. Hahaha Rashmi was screaming in English so maybe they thought she will like to hear an ‘English’ song hahahaha). Veer then walks closer to Rashmi and starts singing ‘my hurt eeis berting kheeps on repeerting I am wairting fawr you’. Chaudhary Bishwa Pratap then tells Veer that his wait is over and asks his minions to take the girl inside, apply ubtan (body mask) and mehendi (henna) as her marriage will take place tomorrow. She asks Chaudhary Bishwa Pratap if she has been kidnapped to be married to which he replies that parents are frightened to have their daughters married to guys from Behrampur so this is the only way to find brides for their sons. Rashmi admonishes Chaudhary saying that he shouldn’t forget that this country has laws and a government and above all she has her Raghav, a SGS officer, who has killed hundreds of terrorists and that Chaudhary and his men are no big deal for him. Veer grabs her hand and tells her that he will wait and watch how her fiancée rescues her as the crowd cheers to his dialogue ‘maza avega….fauji ki hone waali wife ab banegi meri life’ (It will be fun to see an army officer’s wife become his life).
Rashmi is amidst a group of women who are in complete celebratory mode all decked up, dancing and grooming Rashmi for the marriage. Rashmi is screaming when a woman making a tattoo of Veer’s name on her hand slaps Rashmi hard across her face. She grabs Rashmi by her hair and tells her ‘mhaare bete Veer se na koi bada veer na ameer’ (no other man is braver and richer than her son Veer). Pointing out to a woman she tells Rashmi that she is the wife of her elder son and that when she had been kidnapped and brought to them, she too has created a ruckus but just for a day. Once they hammered her nicely she never dared to scream again.
Veer’s sister-in-law throws a wedding attire at Rashmi and tells her there is no use trying to get away from these people and that she should now give up and accept her fate. Rashmi begs her to help her and promises to free her too when Raghav comes to her rescue. The sister-in-law tells her that she doesn’t own a phone to be able to contact anyone. Rashmi then takes a decorative paper, writes Raghav’s number with her blood and pleads the lady to inform Raghav about her whereabouts. (Rashmi darling didn’t she just tell you that she doesn’t own a phone?) The sister-in-law throws the paper as soon as she walks out of the room and joins the wedding celebration.
The note with Raghav’s number on it goes into trash which is then taken out of the palace in a truck when it drifts away and lands on the face of a motorcyclist who calls Raghav and informs him about it (hahahahahahha…. Seriously? I think I died laughing at this miraculous scene. I am laughing uncontrollably even as I write it here. Director saab, ye toh sach mein hudh hogai).
In a bar, Veer (who was applying haldi just a few minutes ago has somehow managed to reach the bar) and his father are celebrating as their people are drinking and dancing while Raghav and his team of 5 commandos make their way to Behrampur. (Wow! since when did our commandos be allowed to use arms and ammunition to carry out covert missions of rescuing girlfriends?) Choudhary asks Veer about his younger brother Rangeela and his time of arrival.
Cut to, Rangeela (Param Singh) with red and yellow powder smeared on his face, is smoking chillum and is trance as he moves to the music being played.
At the palace, Raghav and his men ambush the haveli guards and launch an attack on Chaudhary’s house. An injured guard rushes inside to inform Chaudhary of the attack as the lights go off. Veer and his men rush out to catch hold of the attacker. Rashmi arises from her seat and proudly states that Raghav has arrived. Veer and his father see their guards dead on the terrace and realise that the attackers are NSG commandos and are loaded with arms. Chaudhary tries to contact someone when he sees that there is no mobile network. He tells Veer that with no electricity, only Rangeela can fight in the dark (Why? Does all that hashish give him the ability to see in the dark? ).
Raghav blows up the main door (standing right next to it like he was playing with some Diwali cracker) and takes down all of Choudhary’s men with incessant firing. (The next scene is so funny with supposed bodies of men scattered all over the ground with their guns across their chest. It looked like a yoga session with men all relaxing in Shavasan. hahaha) A commando manages to corner Veer and his father and Raghav enquires about Rashmi. Rashmi manages to free herself from her captors and runs into Raghav’s arms. Raghav tells Veer and his father that if he wants to he can kill them right away but he won’t do that as his only purpose being there was to rescue Rashmi. Raghav starts to leave with Rashmi and his men when someone starts playing a mouth organ (that doesn’t even sound like a mouth organ. Director saab….yeh kya tha?) and is seen moving through the palace in a hoverboard. Veer and his father are now smiling at the arrival of the new person. This person flies with his hoverboard (hahahhaa God… I think I died laughing the second time in the past 30 minutes) and kills Raghav’s men with some secret weapon before holding a gun pointed at Raghav.
First Episode First Impression
Can I first laugh at what I saw….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha.
Okay, I am done laughing. After seeing all that I am sure that the first episode’s script was not given any consideration before it was finalised. I mean seriously, what were they thinking, if they were thinking at all. I understand the story is based on real incidents where women are kidnapped to be married off to strange men by is this the way to present it? What kind of tattoo machine makes you bleed that profusely? Unless Rashmi was on painkillers that caused her blood to thin and made her bleed that bad which I do not think was the case. The show makers have put any illogical stuff and they expect the viewers to like it. No wonder Indian television sucks! How many more serials are we going to have about women being suppressed by men? I know these things are still prevalent in our society but there is more to the society than women empowerment. I wonder if I will ever get to watch a decent show on television.
What looked nice?
Despite the senseless stuff I endured for over 30 minutes, there was something good about the show and that was the cast. Indraneil may not be a part of the main cast but his cameo was awesome. A big thumbs up to this lean hottie who made the first episode bearable. Seeing Vikas Makatala after so long was a delight. I loved him in Left Right Left and after seeing him as Veer I was reminded of his talent. He has got good screen presence and makes a great Veer. Thumbs up to Veer. I have followed male lead Param Singh’s show Sadda Haq and female lead Niti Taylor’s Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan and I have liked them both in their respective shows. If anything excites me about this show then that is the lead couple. Param and Niti’s fresh pairing will be something to look forward to.
What did not look nice?
Other than the cast nothing else looked nice to me. The plot too has been tried and tested on television before so there is absolutely nothing new about this show.
Ghulaam does not interest me a bit. If you are forced to watch TV and do not want to watch saas-bahu rona dhona then go for this one. The lead couple might bring some solace to you.
Catch the first episode on Hotstar.