Prakash Jha and Bobby Deol came together for hit series Aashram on MX Player in August. Now they are back with Aashram Chapter 2, triggering a series of hair-raising episodes.
“Bhakti ya Bhrashtachar? Aastha ya Apraadh?” asks the series, where you also see several characters asking questions about the godman’s intentions. One man asks how the ‘baba’ finds “so many women”, others suspect he is “doing politics”, and a third mysteriously states “once you come to the aashram, you can never go back.”
A series of suspicious crimes such as buried skeletons or women going missing, end up being linked to Baba Nirala of Kashipur (played by Bobby Deol) in Chapter 1. But it is in Aashram Chapter 2 that his true colours come to light. Sub-Inspector Ujagar Singh and Constable Sadhu are on a quest to uncover his secrets.
Baba manages to become popular with the youth by getting popstar Tinka Singh on his side and also becomes coveted by the two political parties fighting elections. He also gains the blind trust of devotee Pammi (played by Aaditi Pohankar). In Aashram Chapter 2, will she find out the evil that is behind Baba’s veil of being a godman–a man who exploits young girls, is involved with the drug trade, and other dark realities?
The web series is fictional, yet it reminds you of the countless similar incidents reported in the news. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Dera Sacha Sauda cult leader who was convicted for rape and murder. The rape-accused Nithyananda who fled the country to form his nation, ‘Kailasa’. Asaram Bapu, who too has an ongoing rape case. Swami Vikasanand, who was arrested for sexually abusing minor girls and making pornographic films, and Swami Bhimanand for running a Rs 500 crore sex racket. Also, Nirmal Baba for evading tax worth Rs 3.5 crore – the list is long and saddening.
He plays the lead role of Baba Nirala of Kashipur. He derives power from the influence he has over the lesser privileged of society. He has often stood for them, and they consider him to be their Messiah. The sudden resurfacing of a skeleton in the forest land near his aashram disrupts the peace of the city in the crucial times of the upcoming state elections, pointing all the links towards him.
Adhyayan Suman plays Tinka Singh, a rockstar who visits baba’s aashram.
He’s appeared in Mary Kom, and series like Avrodh and The F Man. Kumar plays Ujagar Singh in the series, a ‘diligent and sharp’ police officer, who’s convinced that it is Baba Nirala behind all the criminal activities.
She made her debut with the movie Love Sex Aur Dhokha and was recently seen in She on Netflix. The series was written by Imitiaz Ali, and now she returns to OTT with Aashram. She plays Pammi in the new release.
He plays Hukum Singh in the series. The actor is known for roles in television serials like Balika Vadhu and Khichdi.
He plays a policeman in Aashram and has appeared in other web series like Little Things, Inside Edge, and Sacred games.
All images: Courtesy MX Player