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Aired on 6th July 2018, Sacred Games took Indian entertainment industry two notches higher. Thanks to Netflix – the online streaming channel for giving a platform to some unique story-tellers who are unrestrained in their way of formation of characters. Sacred Games came and became an overnight sensation. It introduced a whole new bunch of talented actors, re-emphasized the power of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and gave some soil under the feet of Saif Ali Khan. The story of Sacred Games travels from the ’80s till the current time. It is one of the best sensational stories where you have everything from drug, mafia, political hypocrisy, crime, mystery, murder, power, business, greed, sex, and what not! It is a story of fear and valor too!

What’s more interesting is the name of each episode of Sacred Games. All the names come from our mythology and has some significance for you all to know.

Episode 1: Aswatthama
Aswatthama
Image Source – Google

Aswatthama was the son of Guru Dronacharya and was a warrior whom we find in the Mahabharata. Dronacharya lived a simple life with the meager amount of money and property and thus Ashwatthama had difficulty in his childhood. Aswatthama fought with the Kauravas against the Pandavas and for that he was cursed to suffer human life till eternity, in a way making him invincible. We see the character of Gaitonde played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui say that “I am Aswatthama. I am not going to die until the game is over”. He commits suicide but his reference comes back all through the 8 episodes and hence proved that he is not going to die soon!

Episode 2: Halahala
Halahala
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The meaning of Halahala is an extremely toxic poison that comes out as a by-product of an attempt by Devas and Asuras to extract Amrit, the nectar for eternal life. So, Halahala translates to “black mass” or “time puzzle”. This was the poison that Lord Shiva drunk so that the world remains safe. Now, here in the 2nd episode of Sacred Games, we see Sartaj Singh regards Ganesh Gaitonde’s warning and starts an investigation. Finally, he untangles international espionage. This surveillance is same as the poison that can cause complete havoc.

Episode 3: Atapi Vatapi
Atapi Vatapi
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Atapi & Vatapi were two demon brothers who trap and kill travelers in a unique way. As per the legendary stories, they invited saints to dinner and there Atapi turned the younger one into a food item and served the saints. As the saints had dinner and were on their way to home, Atapi would call his brother Vatapi. Vatapi would then tear the stomachs of the priests and come back to his brother. Actually, inviting people and being generous in treating them only to ruin them completely is what Sacred Games is all about. Everywhere from religion to politics – you would see this theory running!

Episode 4: Brahmahatya
Brahmahatya
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The concept of Brahmahatya or Brahmanahatya is the act of killing a Brahman or Brahma. Brahma resides in each one of us and thus it implies killing people and not only the Hindus in particular. Here in Sacred Games, Ganesh Gaitonde is a Brahmin and he does everything un-Brahmin – like consumption of non-veg food or agreeing to poach Muslim votes for a greedy politician. So, basically, he kills the Brahmin that resides inside him and that’s why this episode is perfectly called Brahmahatya.

Episode 5: Sarama
Sarama
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As per Hindu Mythology, Sarama is referred to the female dog of the Gods. In this episode, you would actually see how everyone, in the end, behaves like a dog on a tether. A chained dog can bark but remains powerless much like the characters here! Sartaj is lying about a case for which he had been fighting against the system since long and which has been a major reason for his boss’s dislike towards him. But here at this point, he bows down to his boss’s order just to keep his job. Every prime character at this juncture is shown powerless, “lachar”, and “bechari” types!

Episode 6: Pretakalpa
Pretakalpa
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Pretakalpa is a part of the Garuda Purana that is one of the 18 Mahapurana texts in Hindu religion. Pretakalpa gives us a detailed knowledge about the cycle of life, death, and beyond all that. It is narrated when the last rites of a deceased soul are performed. Here, in episode 6 of Sacred Games, Inspector Katekar – a prime character dies and Sartaj ends up killing Katekar’s murderer. Katekar is cremated and Sartaj totally discards his old self and becomes a new person.

Episode 7: Rudra
Rudra
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Rudra is the other name of Lord Shiva. It is also a name of a deity mentioned in the Rig Veda and that is associated with the wind of the storm. Rudra is also someone who “roars”. This episode is where Gaitonde roars. His darling wife Shubhadra is killed and Gaintonde turns complete mad and takes a pledge to burn the city. He goes on a rampage killing Muslims.

Episode 8: Yayati
Yayati
Image Source – Google

We see that in order to save Mumbai from the threat that Gaitonde, Sartaj continues his search to find out who was that 3rd father of Gaitonde and what is actually going to happen on the 25th day. His continuous search leads him to a large room of dangerous weapons wrapped inside wooden boxes. Now, this episode is named “Yayati”. Yayati was someone who was cursed with premature ageing and had asked his son Puru to swap their ages. In this episode, we also see that Pankaj Tripathi or Guruji finally convinces Gaitinde to join his cause and thus brings his son into the crinkle.

So, after impressing the audience with “Orange Is The New Black” & “House Of Cards”, it is time for that much-awaited Indian original series on Netflix. Based on the novel of Vikram Chandra, “Sacred Games”, this series of the same name has managed to garner scrupulous reviews from people. It has become like a rage among people and the audience simply cannot wait for the next season to revive. This is an 8 episodes show of 40 minutes each that has left everyone in awe. In case, you belong to that minority group who still haven’t found time to watch this epic show, I have reasons for you to coerce you to watch it right away.

  1. The First Jolt
The First Jolt
Image Source – Google

That character of Nawazuddin saying “Bhagwaan ko maante ho?” (Do you believe in God?) & “Kabhi Kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwaan hai” (Sometimes I feel, I am the God) – gives you a certain shock for sure! No one has ever heard of such bold, dynamic, raw, & flabbergasting dialogues and that too on the first episode. In that terms, this series can be compared to Game of Thrones – the first episode is a bit hard to understand but once you survive that, the rest of the journey is smooth, engrossing, and enjoyable.

  1. Multidimensional Plots & Psychologies
Multidimensional Plots & Psychologies
Image Source – Google

Sacred Games start with a threat call to a Police Officer that if he can save Mumbai, then listen to my story. But this series is not only about saving Mumbai, but it also has too many underlying plots inside it. You will come across different stories and characters of different psychologies and flavors which add to your pure entertainment.

  1. Gripping Characters
Gripping Characters
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This series is not only about the lead characters like Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui – who are definitely big names now. But Sacred Games is also a lot about the rest of the characters. Each and every character would leave a mark on your mind be it the Police Constable katekar or Jitendra Joshi, Bunty or Jatin Sarna, Parulekar or Neeraj Kabi, & Cuckoo or Kubra Sait. A special mention has to be Rajshree Deshpande who played Subhadra and Shalini Vatsa who played Kanta Bai. These are the two women who keep Ganesh Gaitonde, the lead character of Nawazuddin at a reality check. Varun Grover has done the character sketching brilliantly and the cast has done more than 100% justice to the given roles. You would simply rewind and watch again and again.

  1. Powerful Direction
Powerful Direction
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An actor becomes powerful on screen for the hard work his/her director has done. The directors have the CV of “Gangs Of Wasseypur”, “Udaan”, “Satya”, “Dev.D”, “Lootera”, “Paanch”, “Black Friday”, “Trapped”, etc. So, undoubtedly, the show had to be that game changer. These mentioned movies are those handfuls which have changed the landscape of Indian cinema or gloriously presented India to the world platform and this time these two Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane have again done something for which the Indian audience would be forever thankful.

You would see the signature Anurag here with funny one-liners among the gangsters, witty fight or shootout sequences. And of course, the raw yet endearing use of Ma***C**d. There is the usual sex, ferocity, cuss words, nudity, and drugs. But nowhere you would feel these are unnecessary or crossing the line with context and that’s the true Anurag style. The softer tone of Sartaj Singh was directed by Motwane. Another signature of these directors is their eyes for detailing which is why you would feel satisfied with this series. So, the whole execution from storyboarding to acting, direction to editing – all are simply mind-blowing.

  1. Meaning Of The Name Of Episodes
Meaning Of The Name Of Episodes
Image Source – Google

One of the major highlights of Sacred Games is the interesting name of the episodes. All the names are taken from our great mythology and have a well-researched and deep connection with the content of each episode. For example, The first episode is “Ashwathama” – that Hindu legend who was cursed to suffer human life for 3000 years, in a way making him invincible. Ganesh Gaitonde utters that he is Ashwathama whose story won’t end till the story is over. He kills himself in the first episode but the story follows. Episode 4 is named “Brahmahatya” because Gaitonde is Brahmin himself but in his life, he does all those things that a Brahmin in Hindu won’t do like eating non-veg or killing people. Thus, he kills the Brahman inside him which led to this name. With the name of these episodes, you would learn many things not only about the plot but also about our mythology.

  1. The Never Seen Before Saif Ali Khan
The Never Seen Before Saif Ali Khan
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Saif Ali Khan is in his biggest career low currently. With 7 films bombing back to back, he is clueless where things are going wrong. His choice of movies have definitely sharpened over the last few years but luck is not by his side with movies like Chef or Kalakaandi. But Sacred Games turned out to be a big-big achievement for him career-wise. He plays the role of Sartaj Singh who is an honest police officer who is aware of the dirty power games and corruption going around him in his department. He is not someone who would let go of moral standards and Saif Ali Khan convincingly pulls out this underdog cop role. This cop is going through an emotional jolt in his personal life too and that’s well narrated through his moves.

  1. Radhika Apte – When Charm & Grace Meets Aggression
Radhika Apte – When Charm & Grace Meets Aggression
Image Source – Google

She deserves some extra brownie points. Radhika Apte plays the role of Anjali Mathur who would not tolerate any non-sense at her workplace. She is a RAW agent and wants to prove a point that women in RAW are as good as their male counterpart on field. She is not happy to digest a desk job. That aggression on her eyes with a graceful body language is not to be forgotten at all. Radhika Apte deserves all the laurels for carting out Anjali Mathur with aplomb.

  1. The God Himself – Nawazuddin Siddiqui
The God Himself – Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Image Source – Google

Is there anything that this 5 feet 5 inches actor cannot do? After so many years of struggle in Bollywood, when we finally saw him in Wasseypur – he was like a revelation. He is truly a volcano of talent. The moviebuffs would always be thankful to Mr. Kashyap for introducing Nawaz to us. He plays Ganesh Gaitonde here – the notorious crime mafia who is up for no good. He goes missing for 16 years but revives with a powerfully spread web that may destroy Mumbai. The story begins in 2018 but Nawaz unfolds many roots of his Gaintonde character from the 80’s. We all know what a terrific performer he is and Sacred Games have just added another feather to his glorious crown. He is more ruthless than Faizal but has a calmer and a more calculative mind than him.

Just like any other Anurag Kashyap creation, this Sacred Games is also like a great addiction. Which you can watch over and over again without getting bored and tired. Because every time you may discover a new aspect to the characters, the nuances of acting, the brilliance of direction, etc. Another mention-worthy thing is the music of this TV series. Which has been made keeping the 80’s era in mind as the chunk of the story resides in that time. So, please watch Sacred Games now because this is the kind of TV series we all truly deserve!

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