The women in Ganesh Gaitonde’s life have been just as influential as his ‘teen baap’. And even though they haven’t been discussed as passionately, nor have they been the subjects of enthusiastic fan theories, they’ve been critical in shaping one of the most memorable characters of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s career.
The second season of Netflix’s Sacred Games, like the first, features a trio of women who enter Gaitonde’s life, and for reasons of their own, form complex bonds with the formidable gangster. “None of these three women interacts with each other,” notes actor Surveen Chawla, who plays Gaitonde’s ‘muse’, Jojo. Fans of the show would remember that Jojo died in the very first episode of season one. Season two travels back in time, and tells the story of how her path crossed with Gaitonde’s. “She impacts Gaitonde emotionally in many, many ways,” Surveen told Hindustan Times, “He feels that she is the one person he can be vulnerable in front of.”
Watch an interview with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amruta Subhash, Elnaaz Norouzi and Surveen Chawla here:
Gaitonde in season two is at his weakest. He has been stripped of his power; his empire has been wrenched from his hands and he has been uprooted from his beloved Mumbai and sent to the faraway shores of Mombasa, Kenya.
It is there that he is approached by the elusive Kusum Devi Yadav, an agent who approaches a cornered Gaitonde to do the government’s bidding. She is the ‘master’ who pulls his strings as he sets up a new life for himself away from home. Yadav sir, as Gaitonde fondly calls her, is played by actor Amruta Subhash, who has worked with Nawaz in director Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0, in which they shared what is perhaps the film’s most memorable scene.
Amruta Subhash as Yadav in Sacred Games.
Their dynamic in the second season of Sacred Games has been flipped from the one they shared in Raman Raghav 2.0, with the woman being the aggressor in the relationship. “They are always in close proximity of each other, but there’s a distance between them,” Amruta said. Interestingly, Yadav was a man in author Vikram Chandra’s source novel.
Gaitonde’s ‘mistress’ is Jamila, the high-class escort he summons to Mombasa to keep him company. Jamila would later go on to become the movie star Zoya Mirza; the one that Saif Ali Khan’s Sartaj Singh interrogates in season one. Returning to play Zoya’s former self, this time with a bulbous, pre-cosmetic surgery nose that evokes immediate memories of Gaitonde’s former beloved, Kuckoo, is actor Elnaaz Norouzi.
Elnaaz Norouzi returns as Jamila/Zoya in Sacred Games.
“Jamila met Gaitonde at a time in his life that he was very vulnerable, and had no hope,” Elnaaz said. But Jamila herself ‘was also very young.’ She said that the crossing of their paths was destined; “He needed her and she needed him.” But the reason she chose to stay in this toxic relationship wasn’t because she had inadvertently developed feelings for him. “They both used each other…”
The hotly anticipated second season of Sacred Games will begin streaming on Netflix on August 15. Vikramaditya Motwane returns as showrunner, with lead writer Varun Grover, and co-director Anurag Kashyap. Masaan filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan will share directing duties this time around.
First Published: Aug 13, 2019 17:39 IST