Being from Mumbai, and knowing the Mahashtrian community, I feel hurt, at the way, the producers of SSBN have used the occasion of this sacred festival, to show two specimens of this community, disgracing this moment of prayer and worship. It is a sad commentary of our times, when media owned by foreign capital, and especially by a man, who is already under the scanner in England, should have allowed this to pass through. The only grace is that 2 members, out of ten present at the place, were responsible to this caricature of sacredness, and the other eight members were unaware of the rats in their midst. It was only Naina, a Bhardwaj, from North India, whose only connection with Maharashtra is her mother, who has spawned one of the rats.
As the story unfolds, all are at the hall, and the boys, bring the statue of Ganapati, for the installation in the house. This is a sacred occasion, at which time, the members of the house, ask for the blessings of God. God who sees through the hearts of people, is not deceived by humans, who only use their worship to hoodwink others. He definitely abides by his time, to bring them to their senses, and many a time, sends such severe strictures, that they will be forced to change their lives. Let us hope the two rats will amend their ways, but as we are told, that it may take another four weeks, for the action of God to appear in their lives.
Daksh who is one of the people who brought Ganapati home, finds Naina avoiding everyone. He does not realize that it is his family members, who have ostracized her. Yet his heart pulls towards her, as he knows she is guileless. The two rats, are more atheists than devotees of Ganapati. For them it is a time, to bring disgrace to Naina, to fulfill their dreams. The ugly spectacle they make of themselves, is a pain to watch, but if the producers want to give us, we too have a weapon in our hands, the remote control, and can mute their utterances and switch the channel off, if one finds that it is too hot to handle.
There is one instance, where deliberately, Sonakshi has not kept the fruit in the offering plate, and Kaka draws the attention to this fact, and then Rohini palms the job to Naina, and she being a North Indian, does not know the customs of Maharashtra, and asks Rohini for advice, but she willfully misguides her. When the fruits are in place, Rohini says loudly to Naina, that she should have kept only five fruits, – so she knows all the external rituals, but has no faith in them, and has no compunction to desecrate them – and then the job is given to Sonakshi as the dutiful daughter in law, to impress the mother, who has already been made to lose her faith in Naina. It is unfortunate, that there are people in our midst to can be so easily led astray, and can join any band wagon, and shout slogans, and bring down any body, whom they do not want in the picture.
They leave Naina behind in the kitchen, and the elder women rush to celebrate, so that they do not offend the ritual, but their hearts are not in their normal place. The gap between belief and practice is evident. The 8 members truly say their prayers, but the two rats, pretend and show for public gaze that they are devout in their worship. Naina, is the only one who prays sincerely, in her own mind, asking God to bless this house which she has called her own.
Rohini has a suggestion. The Aarti is performed, and she tells that couples should join hands, and the elders start it first. When they have finished, Sanket and Rohini do their part. When Sonakshi has to do it, Rohini calls Daksh, but just in the nick of time Ganapati, sends him someone, who calls him on the phone, and he leaves the assembly and goes out to talk on the phone. The father tells Sonakshi to do the aarti all by herself. One blow for Rohini and Sonakshi. When Akruti’s chance comes, she calls Naina and both offer the aarti, and this makes the two rats jealous. Daksh has just finished his call, and has joined the others. Just then, Akruti seems to get a fainting fit, and Daksh rushes to help her, and she is asked to rest. He and Naina hold the thali, and wait, and the father tells him to continue the aarti. Again, Ganapati, has come to their rescue. Naina’s true faith may be responsible that Ganapati, a symbol of God, wants to turn the tide, which has been trying to drown her.
The wicked duo, are not subdued. They hatch upon a new idea, and that is to heat the plate of prasad, and make Naina offer it, and when she drops the plate, Rohini will get a chance to say, that she has brought a bad omen, and hopes the dumb mother to fall for it, and expel Naina from the house. They wait for the distribution of the prasad. The plate has been heated by the two rats, with a flame lit under it. They both wait to see the reaction. But to their dismay, Vidhyadar, tells his wife to take the prasad plate and offer it to the members of the assembly. She hesitates, and then Shyamal draws her away, and Rohini takes the center stage and asks Naina to do the job, as she always was anxious to help.
In the meantime, Naina had received a call from the Laboratory, and the man had told her clearly, that the contents of the bottle was cough syrup. Naina is exploding within, at the treachory of Sonakshi. Yet, she goes now to offer the prasad, and when she touches it, she senses the game of the rats. Naina has had enough tragedies spanned in her 21 years of life, and has turned out to be stronger by the day She uses her will power and holds the plate, and walks round and offers the prasad, until all have had the same. She goes to the kitchen, and drops the plate on the table, and is stunned at the depth of depravity this girl could go. She knows that Rohini too is behind it. When Akruti comes into the kitchen, she senses that she has had a bad experience, but Naina does not let out what she feels, and then, she walks to her room, where she opens the tap, and holds her burnt fingers below the flowing water, and cools her skin. She remembers every bit of the game, Sonakshi has been playing to come between her and Daksh. She recalls how Daksh had warned her, and now she makes a solemn promise to herself, to defeat the game of this girl, and expose her before everyone. When Daksh comes to her concerned about what is happening with her, she brushes him aside.
In the pre-cap: The two rats, confer between themselves, and Rohini tells the other, that Naina has started to suspect them. Sonakshi also tells her, that she can not find the rat poison bottle. Naina is an outsider, no doubt, but she has some Maharashtrian blood, and this is good enough, to detect the rats in the crowd.