Bambai Meri Jaan – Episode 1 “Genesis” Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Bambai Meri Jaan starts with a flash-forward from 1986 when Inspector Ismail Kadri’s children have all grown up. Three out of four of his kids ask Ismail to leave for Dubai too, but the former cop claims that he would rather die in Bombay than pay for his son’s sins.

The episode goes back to 1964 when Ismail is a well-respected cop who attends a wedding with his pregnant wife Sakina and his three sons, Dara, Saadiq and Ajju. Ismail’s colleagues, Ahmed and Yunis, are at the wedding too where they meet the local don – Haji “Sulaiman” Maqbool and his partner, an Afghani gangster, Azeem Pathan.

Ismail narrates how Haji had come to Bombay from Hyderabad to be a porter and started stealing goods to make more money. Soon enough, Haji became the ruler of Bombay as he established his own import-export business. While Haji negotiated most legal deals with his high-end parties, Pathan handled illegal deals like gambling and drugs using his might.

During that same time, a newly transferred cop, Ismail, raids Haji’s bar and busts the illegal gambling racket going on there. The following day, Ismail’s senior officer, Mahesh, asks him to write an apology letter for arresting Inspector Dutta. Mahesh claims that the cops needed to protect Haji and his crimes because the gangster often threatened to harm and kill their families.

That night, Ismail, Younis and Ahmed are with their families at the beach. The three cops discuss the situation with Haji and wonder what they can do to make Bombay safe again. Around the same time, IAS Officer Arvind Kaul sets up a new target squad called “Pathan Squad” to nab Haji and Pathan under the home minister’s orders.

Meanwhile, Ismail’s brother-in-law, Rahim is a drug addict who is caught stealing the wallet of a local bakery shop owner – Darius Patel. Dara and his brothers show up to save his uncle and end up stealing money from the shopkeeper’s wallet.

That night, Rahim asks to borrow money from Ismail but the latter claims that he won’t give money to the druggie as he’s a bad influence on his kids. Rahim asks Ismail to loan him money so he can start his own business – a watch shop.

Ismail asks Rahim to get a job instead of starting his business but the former is pissed off and leaves without having dinner with his sister. Sakina is upset with Ismail for not helping her brother out and throws a fit, convincing Ismail to agree to help Rahim out.

The next day, IAS Officer Kaul puts Ismail, Younis and Ahmed in the Pathan Squad and asks them to report directly to him in order to eradicate the gangster-led corruption in the city. Ismail gets to work and uses extreme torture methods to find out more information about the next round of imported goods and learns that it is due in the next two days.

Meanwhile, Pathan and his cousin Bilawal worked together to run a Westling arena where they discovered a UP-based knifer – Abdullah who was a giant and a threat to all the other wrestlers. Pathan and Bilawal disrespected Abdullah and cheated in order to make sure that Abdullah lost his wrestling matches in order for their favourite wrestler to win.

Haji was not like the duo and could see how Pathan and his cousin treated Abdullah. Haji tells Pathan about the operation Pathan Squad and they discuss plans to outwit the cops. Two days later, Ismail and his team raid the dockyard to look for the imported goods but find nothing. Ismail tells Kaul that his informant is a person from Haji’s inner circle.

Kaul threatens to shut down the squad in the event of another failed raid. Ismail is furious and beats the informant up for relaying fake information. He threatens to kill the man and learns that the naval officer, Srivastav, was also involved with Haji and that the actual import was scheduled for the following day.

That night, Saadiq asks his father to put him into an English-medium school like Dara but Ismail brushes his oldest son off. Sakina and Ismail discuss how his meagre salary barely sustains their family when they think about Saadiq’s request. The following morning, the Pathan Squad inspect the imported goods but find nothing illegal there.

Ismail notices that a few fishermen are fishing in the shallow water and decide to inspect it. They learn that the illegal goods were dumped nearby before the ship arrived at the dock and seized the goods. Pathan and Haji are angered by the incident while Pathan Squad receives praise for their hard work.

That noon, Sakina starts experiencing contractions and asks Dara to call Ismail. Dara runs to the bakery and tries to use the phone but Darius, still pissed off because of his petty theft, refuses to let Dara call. Dara is agitated with the man and promises to make him pay for this. He rushes out and seeks help from Younis’ wife to get in touch with Ismail.

Ismail reaches the hospital a while after Sakina had delivered his fourth child – a baby girl. Dara, who really wanted a little brother, is pissed but ends up naming the girl – Habiba. That night, Ismail is playing with his little girl when Haji shows up at his door as the episode comes to an end.

The Episode Review

Out of so many films and TV shows based on underworld crimes from Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), this one looks like the most authentic to the real story. From the screenplay to its narration, the show does a great job of exploring real-life criminals in an unusual heroic light.

The narrator, Ismail Kadri (played by Kay Kay Menon), talks about being the father of evil, Dara Ismail – the character that is based on the underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Kay Kay Menon’s performance as the angry honourable police officer reminds you of the likes of Amitabh Bachchan from the 90s Bollywood films.

From Haji to Pathan, the makers have done a great job at casting actors that resemble real-life characters well. With all that being said, I cannot wait to see what happens next as Ismail meets Haji to negotiate an agreement.


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review later this weekend!


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