Shujaat Saudagar’s Bambai Meri Jaan is a thrilling period drama that traces the rise and “rise” of notorious gangster, Dara Kadri. He is the son of police officer Ismail Kadri and homemaker Sakina, and his siblings are Saadiq, Ajju, and Habiba. When Ismail goes after Haji, Pathan, Bilawal, and Anna’s operations, he loses his job and is forced to work for Haji so that he can put food on the table and stay alive. When Dara grows up, he joins Haji’s business and then plans to overthrow him and his companions and rule over Mumbai. And while Haji is relatively calmer in nature, the rest relentlessly attack him, which leads to personal losses on both sides. Ismail tries to reason with Dara, as he thinks there is no end to this cycle of revenge, but after Saadiq’s death, Dara begins a bloodbath that brings the titular city to a standstill.
Dara Hires Chhota to Kill Saadiq’s Murderers
Pathan hires Ganiya to avenge the deaths of Yasir and Arif, the two men who had sexually assaulted Nasreen and murdered Nasir. While Ganiya’s men attack Dara’s house, Ganiya and two other men, Raiszada and Haroon, go after Saadiq. With the help of Officer Malik, Dara stages an encounter and gets Ganiya killed. When they go after Raiszada and Haroon, the former gets himself arrested, and the latter runs away. So, Dara hires Chhota to finish off Raiszada and Haroon. Since Haroon is untraceable, Chhota targets Raiszada, and his only mission is to ensure that Raiszada never makes it to court. By the way, Ajju isn’t okay with Dara involving a third party to avenge Saadiq. He wants to do it himself. However, Dara convinces Ajju that since they have the power to send pawns into a battle, they should avail that option first. If it fails, they will enter the arena themselves. Going back to Chhota, he hires Pardesi to get the job done because he needs to ensure that there is a sense of hierarchy between the people who look up to him. Anticipating the worst, Malik shifts Raiszada from the regular lockup to solitary confinement so that he can’t be reached until his hearing. When Chhota learns about this, he changes his plan a little: instead of killing Raiszada before reaching the court, they will kill him inside the court.
Pathan orders Haroon to stay put until Dara is finished. Malik reaches out to Ismail and requests that he talk to Dara and dissuade him from starting yet another war. Ismail reminds Malik about the time when he brought Dara, Saadiq, and Ajju to the police station, and Malik didn’t arrest him, thereby leading to this whole mess. So, now it’s up to Malik to deal with everything that Dara has in store. Ismail heads home to learn that Sakina is suffering from a heart ailment. I guess this prompts him to stay at home instead of the temporary lodging where he had shifted to a long time ago. Dara and Ajju share a pretty sad moment where Dara helps an anxious and hurting Ajju calm down. It’s these scenes, which don’t add much to the plot, that make Bambai Meri Jaan such an interesting watch. Talking about the plot, Pardesi apparently overdoses and is incapacitated. So Chhota decides to get the job done on his own. He figures out the ins and outs of the court. However, when the moment arrives, Chhota learns that Raiszada isn’t being presented publicly. Malik is taking him to a private hearing with a judge so that Raiszada can walk out of there unscathed. That doesn’t stop Chhota from killing Raiszada. He even ensures that the last words Raiszada gets to hear are, “Dara sends his regards.”
The Kadris Survive a Deadly Hospital Attack
Malik barges into the Kadri household and accuses Dara of orchestrating the attack on Raiszada. Abdullah, on Dara’s behalf, denies the allegations and sends him away. Later that night, Dara visits the place where Chhota and his men are holed up and gives Chhota a massive amount of money for getting the job done. Abdullah advises Chhota to stay under the radar for a few days, just in case someone from the court identifies him. Haji asks Pathan to put an end to his violence because he knows that Pathan is going to retaliate. But Pathan doesn’t listen to reason and insinuates that he’s going to teach Dara a lesson for killing Raiszada. Coincidentally, Dara faces a moment of crisis. Sakina’s poor health starts deteriorating even further just when Dara has to travel to Dubai to meet Sheikh Wahab regarding their ongoing business transactions. Before Abdullah can warn him about the consequences of mixing business with family issues, Ajju assures Dara that he’s going to take care of the family so that Dara can continue with his work. Dara takes Abdullah’s advice and lets Ajju take care of things in Mumbai, and he orders Abdullah to strengthen the security before they leave for Dubai.
Dara and Sakina share a really tender moment, which incites tension because you’re given the impression that anything can go wrong, and this can be their final meeting. And the audience’s fears are confirmed as Pathan orders a hit on the hospital where the Kadris are supposed to go for Sakina’s check-up. Despite the beefed-up security, Pathan’s men, led by Bilawal, manage to launch an attack on the Kadris. Several of Dara’s men are killed in the process, and many of Pathan’s men are also killed. However, when Ajju gets shot, the nonviolent Ismail finally picks up a gun lying in front of him and shoots Bilawal until he is undoubtedly dead. When Dara and Abdullah return from their trip, Ismail warns him that if he survives after causing Ajju, Sakina, or Habiba’s deaths, he is going to kill Dara with his own hands. Ismail has always been against Dara’s lifestyle, and until this moment, he has tried to reason with him. Ismail urged Dara to stop after Saadiq’s death instead of lashing out at him or blaming him. But after seeing his wife in danger, he chooses the rest of his family over Dara. It’s sad, it’s tragic, and it is what it is.
Does Dara get his revenge? Is Habiba the godmother of Mumbai?
Dara finally takes matters into his own hands. Chhota informs him about Pathan’s location, and Dara goes there with Chhota and Abdullah and murders Pathan in his bed. Then Dara’s gang, popularly known as D Company, begins a rampage throughout the city, where every rival member is slaughtered publicly. Innocent pedestrians are killed in the process as well. And this forces the police to announce a curfew. Commissioner Kamath orders Malik to arrest Dara or lose his job. Malik stays loyal to Dara till the end because he informs Abdullah about the warrant and advises Dara and the rest of his family to leave Mumbai for good. This brings us back to the opening moments of the web series, where Dara is about to leave Mumbai along with his family, but Ismail states that he’ll stay put. Dara decides to leave without Ismail and asks Sakina to come with him. Unsurprisingly, Sakina decides to stay with Ismail, and that comes as a shock to Dara. Since there’s no time left for Dara to process all this, he leaves without a goodbye or a last hug. Surprisingly (not for those who have read the book or know the real-life people the characters are based on), Habiba says that she’s going to stay with Sakina and Ismail and look after them. Again, Dara can’t process all this, but he trusts Habiba enough to let her take care of his empire in Mumbai. As Dara leaves, the police arrive, and Malik is shocked to find Habiba, Ismail, and Sakina there. What comes as an even greater shock is that Habiba takes Dara’s seat, thereby implicitly announcing herself as the godmother of Mumbai. Dara meets Haji one last time, and Haji acknowledges the fact that Dara has surpassed him.
At the end of Bambai Meri Jaan, the narrative shifts to Gujarat, where Haroon is seen ordering tea and going for his morning activities. The kid working at the tea shop creeps up on Haroon and shoots him dead, and with that, Dara and the Kadris’ revenge saga comes to an end. The narrator’s voice changes from that of Ismail to Habiba as she coldly states that only God is capable of forgiveness. However, since humans aren’t gods, they are incapable of forgiveness. And that underscores the fact that it’s easy to expect forgiveness when you aren’t the one who is forgiving others. It’s easy to imagine a world without repercussions or face something that’s just purely evil and is trying to make the world a living hell. It’s tough to tackle life-threatening situations and simply let the perpetrator walk away scot-free.
It’s true that we should trust our judiciary and law enforcement agencies and hope for governments to promote systemic equality. However, when they can be bought by the highest bidder, as per Dara, you should become the highest bidder. Of course, it’s a flawed perspective because Dara is a villainous character who thinks he is the hero of his story. But given how you see that argument taking shape throughout the course of his life, it becomes hard to argue against it, and that’s the hallmark of a good gangster story. At the time of writing this article, I don’t know if there’s going to be a Season 2 of this web series. That said, if it does happen, I expect Habiba to take on a more central role while Dara functions from the shadows because the writers have done a great job of building up Habiba’s prowess while telling Dara’s story. How do you interpret that ending, though? What do you expect from Bambai Meri Jaan Season 2? Please feel free to share your opinions and thoughts.