Episode 2 of Bombay Begums begins with Rani promising that she’s going to protect Zuvi no matter what. At work, she rallies the females together, with Ayesha showing up fashionably late. Already waiting though are both Lily and Fatima, the latter of which not exactly pleased to see Ayesha.
After their meeting, Lily decides to quit being a prostitute and open a factory instead, incentivized by Ayesha’s welfare project. When she breaks the news to her fellow workers later that day, they’re shocked by her revelation. She mentions doing this to gain some respect but they simply burst out laughing incredulously.
Ayesha confronts Lily about her ambitious plans, questioning her motives. Lily simply repeats her mantra that she wants respect. On the back of this, Rani requests Ayesha give her a business plan with Lily by the end of the weekend.
Speaking of incredulous, Rani finds herself forced into doing advertising and TV gigs but she’s not particularly happy about it. In fact, this is only made worse when Deepak shows up and gloats, telling her that she looks like a TV soap star.
Meanwhile, Fatima begins her new role but Arijay is not exactly happy. Even worse, he’s denied a promotion in wake of Fatima’s big break. He drops by to let her know, bitterly proclaiming that she has a beautiful office and leaving.
With Fatima settling into her new role, she joins Rani as they arrive at a business meeting. Only, Rani becomes breathless and is forced into leaving the room again. This leaves Fatima alone to negotiate with this businesswoman, telling her to fight against her Father, undermining Rani’s ideas for progression.
After the meeting, Fatima and Rani catch up in the bathroom. It seems like Rani is starting menopause, while Fatima admits that she’s no longer going to have a child, breaking the news about her miscarriage. When Rani leaves, Fatima worries that her changed tactics could come back to bite her.
Back home, Rina speaks to Shai about becoming a woman, and specifically the faked red stain on her skirt. Elsewhere, Ayesha is invited out for dinner with her colleague Ron. They discuss Lily and the factory project, before they both start growing closer together. Rina decides against kissing him for now, despite leaning in to do so, and deciding to try and separate business from pleasure. At least for now anyway.
In the morning, Ayesha heads up to Lily’s run-down apartment where she meets her son. With neon lights pulsating, they talk about Lily’s life, although she’s understandably cagey about the specifics. After, Ayesha heads out to the jazz club where she contemplates the meaning of love…while looking at Chitra, the Jazz singer.
Rani attends a work meeting but immediately comes under fire when she learns of Fatima’s betrayal. Specifically, her suggestion that Niyamat’s daughter try to take full control of her own company. When Rani finds out through them, she’s understandably shocked and claims this isn’t what happened.
With the board not approving funds right now, Rani is on thin ice and as she’s aptly told by the board, this company “can’t afford any f*ck ups right now.”
On the back of this, Rani agrees to the 40% equity stake and takes full responsibility for what happens next. Only, Fatima outright mentions how she doesn’t think it’s a good idea in front of the investors and exhibits concerns.
With the potential investors listening to this back and forth rapport, they eventually decide to pack their things up and leave for now. When they do, Rani confronts Fatima and tells her she needs this deal to go through.
After all, if the board approve this then there’s a chance they’ll also pass the VC funding too. If she can’t figure it out, Rani will fire Fatima. This pressure starts to get the better of her, but thankfully Arijay comes around and speaks to his wife, giving her encouraging words of wisdom.
As the episode closes out, Ayesha meets Chitra and the pair share a kiss. However, Ayesha has cold feet and leaves, heading back to see Ron and kissing him instead at his place. At the same time, Rani winds up having an affair with a man named Mahesh, as the pair kiss passionately.
The Episode Review
I’ve mentioned this a lot in the past but showing a female protagonist having an affair is not a good look. And it’s made even worse when it’s spun into some weird form of sympathy.
Whether it be Ginny & Georgia, Tell Me Your Secrets or even A Teacher, these moments undermine the credibility of a show that’s trying to show empowering women. Deception and lies are not positive traits, and in essence actually make these women look more weak than they should.
A better moment this episode though comes from that of Fatima and Arijay near the end. Their reconciliation was really well written and certainly emotional. The loss of a child is something one can’t even begin to imagine and both Fatima and Arijay have found themselves struggling to cope with this.
Thankfully by the end they’re both on the same side – even if Arijay does tell her to get out of his career!
Cheating issues aside, episode 2 continues to develop the various different subplots and this works well to feed into this larger storyline about power and femininity. Quite what direction this one will take next though, remains to be seen.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up Later This Week!