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 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
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 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
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
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 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 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
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.