Apo Vai Pranah
Along with Parvati, several other members of the community start to fall ill at the start of Shantaram episode 7. There is panic all around and Prabhu and Lin make it to Qasim’s place. He reveals that it is a bout of Cholera, something that Lin had deduced too.
Qasim pacifies Lin that they have dealt with this before and will do it again. He assigns various chores to everyone in the community. It will have to be a collective effort to take the disease down. Lin promises Prabhu he will not leave before curing the patients and making sure that the loss of life is limited. Pandey and Sunita take a vacation in Lonavla. A bearded man, wearing glasses keeps an eye on them from afar.
Sunita asks Pandey to make her his secretary and rebuffs his plans to move to Canada. Because he has taken money from Walidbhai, he will never be able to leave India. Everyone in Sagarwada plays their roles. They have faced cholera before and are doing everything to the set plan to make sure that the sick get fine soon. It is all new for Lin, who watches on with bated breath. He also learns the meaning of the word jugaad, something that Indians are notorious for doing for solving problems. It is a quick fix to something, without being a trustworthy sustainable solution.
Lisa is upset with Sebastian about the thing with Raheem and he is apologetic. She sees it in their plan of moving away but it is unlikely she will remain with Modena. The man following Pandey was actually Khader’s and he reports that Sunita is a low-caste whore. He saw her in the brothel outside the city.
This throws everyone off. They must come up with a way to keep her safe and under their watch to use Pandey. Madame Zhou seems like a good decision and Karla reluctantly accepts. Zhou expects Khader to kill her but instead, he writes off her debt if she agrees to keep Sunita. Zhou suggests that they buy more than three girls from the other place so as to kill any suspicion. Khader agrees and leaves Karla with her to see the operation through.
Sagarwada becomes a mourning place as Lins sees Jitu lose his life. His next-door neighbor dying like this while they watch on helplessly does not sit well with him. He goes out at night and to Khaderbhai. He asks for his help. That is when Khaderbhai uses the term “apo vai pranaah”, which is a legend amongst Indian people of a tradition of never shooing away anyone from their doors asking for water. But Khader makes it clear to Lin that he will have to tell the people that the water is from Khader, even though Qasim might not like it. Lin agrees to the terms. Lisa professionally does her job and sleeps with Raheem at the hotel, while Sebastian waits anxiously downstairs.
Karla and Zhou spend time alone as Padma goes on the latter’s behalf to get the girls. Zhou says to Karla that she must be aware of Khader. When he lied to her about not knowing Karla, she readily believed him. And she herself is a distrustful person. Who knows what he is hiding from her? The next morning, Khader brings bottles of clean water for the people of Sagarwada, thus cementing his Godly status among them. They chant his name and he sounds off something of a warning that “they must return the favor when it is time“. It is a true move of a politician and Qasim stands there helpless. He looks defeatedly at Lin but Lin takes satisfaction in the idea that he at least will leave the place without a guilty conscience, despite hurting Qasim’s pride.
Prabhu too thanks Line for not listening to him and bidding him farewell. He is happy that Parvati is okay now and outside their hut, entertains the kids with the retelling of the movie he saw yesterday. Nandita calls Parvati inside and she sits up and recites the title song from the film.
The Episode Review
Lin finally does something for the people beyond Qasim’s approval. His timely jugaad did save many lives but have the people leveraged their future to Khader? When the time comes, will they realize that they have let the monster be?
That is, only if you see Khader as the evil guy. His balancing act actually says otherwise right now. It is a fine line between good and bad on the scale of morality and Khader is jumping across quite frequently. We all waited for Lin to do something that goes against the rules to do good. Episode 6 made that a reality.
This episode provided an opportunity for Shubham Saraf, who plays Prabhu, to showcase his talents. He certainly did not disappoint and kudos to the makers for bringing into focus their love story. It is something redeemable that we all can enjoy in the rather dark world of Bombay. Karla and Lisa too made significant strides about their future and the show finally seems to be gathering pace for something explosive. Watch out, as the Shantaram train is firing on all cylinders!