Shantaram (Season 1), Episode 7: The seventh episode of Shantaram, ‘Apo Vai Pranah’, sees the return of Madame Zhou after a long and what retrospectively feels like a terribly wanting absence. Though her role is minor, she is one of the show’s most charismatic enigmas. Lin’s role is quite limited in this episode, which works in his favor as instead of having him hop around from one problem to another across the city, there’s a clear arc he has between the episode’s beginning and ending. A negative aspect of the show that doesn’t seem to recede is how many of the Indian characters are played by actors who have not lived in India, their accents, therefore, are extremely distracting whenever they speak Hindi.

Shantaram (Season 1), Episode 7 “Apo Vai Pranah” Recap

Lin’s return to Sagar Wada does little to help the chaos that has broken out after several people fall ill, not just Parvati. They soon discover that it’s cholera, which scares Lin. Qasim is calm though, assuring Lin that it’s a regular ordeal that they undergo and that they cannot expect any external help. Prabhu is especially worried because of Parvati’s health so Lin tells him that he will definitely not be leaving for the next two days. The people of Sagar Wada organize themselves to deal with this outbreak as every individual who isn’t sick gets to work in whatever capacity they can. In this process, Lin learns about the word ‘jugaad’ from Qasim, who also tells him it’s a word befitting a city like Bombay as everyone there lives by improvising with whatever little they have. 

Shantaram (Season 1), Episode 7

Khader’s man keeps a watch on Minister Pandey at the guest house in Khandala where he’s having his clandestine dalliance with Sunita. Pandey is extremely cautious about keeping the matter a secret. Back in Bombay, Khader’s man finds out that Sunita is a prostitute who works out of a brothel in Kamathipura. This is excellent information for Khader as an affair with a prostitute from a cheap brothel gives him greater leverage over Pandey than if he’d had one with a regular woman. Abdullah points out that if Walid finds out about Pandey and Sunita, he’ll have her killed to ensure that Pandey’s position isn’t jeopardized. Karla suggests that they keep her in a safe place, under their watch, when they go to work on Pandey with the information they have. According to Abdullah, asking Madame Zhou to buy Sunita for the Palace is the best option. Karla doesn’t like this plan but reluctantly agrees to owe to the lack of another solution.


At the Palace, Madame Zhou agrees to buy Sunita, along with a few more prostitutes so that it doesn’t arouse suspicion. Khader leaves Karla behind to ensure that Zhou does her job. Padma is sent to get Sunita from her brothel in Kamathipura, which she does. Zhou knows Karla was involved in Rujul’s murder, even though Khader had dismissed knowing her in the first place. During the wait for Padma’s return, Zhou tells Karla that getting Ahmed killed was no different from how Karla got Rujul killed, so Karla shouldn’t resent her. Sunita, who was against going to the Palace, feels trapped there and the sight of her vocal but futile protests is distressing to Karla.


When Modena asks Lisa how she can behave normally despite the arrangement she’s made with Maurizio, she states that she wanted Modena to speak up on her behalf and refuse Maurizio. Since he didn’t do that, she had to make a decision that favored all three of them. Modena doesn’t want Lisa to go through with it but Lisa assures him that it doesn’t change their relationship. Zhou is somewhat worried at the size of Raheem’s consignment but agrees to deliver nonetheless. She reminds Maurizio that if anyone finds out that the two of them are connected, she’ll punish him severely and he reminds her that if Khader finds out first, she won’t have to. Lisa goes to sleep with Raheem, with Modena accompanying her. Raheem demands that she spend the whole night with him and it is around this time that at Reynaldo’s, Abdullah tells Maurizio to stop selling heroin as he doesn’t want to be encumbered with killing him after he informs Khader, should Maurizio disobey him and continue his business.

The death of Jitendra, a resident of Sagar Wada, is the last straw for Lin who feels helpless at what is going on there. He goes to Khader to ask for his help, knowing that only he can provide them with clean water, which is the primary requirement for him to proceed with getting the outbreak under control. Khader agrees to help Lin on the condition that his help is not a secret but something everyone in Sagar Wada agrees to. Prabhu, despondent at Parvati’s health not improving, sits outside her shack, animatedly narrating the story of ‘Barsaat Ki Ek Raat’, the film they’d secretly gone to watch when she fell ill. Prabhu’s perseverance and desire to see Parvati through her illness begin to endear him to her parents. 

Shantaram (Season 1), Episode 7 Ending, Explained

The following morning, Khader arrives with truckloads of clean, drinking water for the people of Sagar Wada. He prominently lets them know that it’s he who is helping them because of Lin’s request, who is the man they should really thank. Lin knows that this is going to disappoint Qasim greatly, especially since he has bypassed his authority. Khader narrates to the people of Sagar Wada how he too lived in a shack when he arrived in Bombay, which makes him empathetic to their plight and he tells them that he hopes that the people of Sagar Wada will remember his help and return the favor when the day arrives. Qasim implores the people to not take Khader’s help but it falls on deaf ears as the people are too glad to receive some aid, finally.


Lin tells a disappointed Qasim that what he did, seeing everything going on around him, is really ‘jugaad’ and nothing else. Prabhu thanks Lin for not listening to him about mixing with gangsters and reminds him how much he’ll miss him once he’s gone. Parvati’s mother invites Prabhu into her house after listening to his antics at length, where he discovers that she’s recovering from cholera. They both know that her parents now approve of the two of them.


Where to watch Shantaram (Season 1)

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