Panchayat season two
Director: Deepak Kumar Mishra
spit: Jitendra Kumar, Nina Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Faisal Malik, Chandan Roy
What makes a place home? The easiest answer, of course, is that home is where the heart is. What holds enough heart to turn a townhouse with dusty files piled around it and a makeshift kitchen, into a “home” are the people who touch your life with their warmth and become a part of your life, your extended family.
The first season of panchayat It ends with Abhishek Tripathi (Jetendra Kumar) – who reluctantly relocates to Vulera village as a secretary to the local Pradhan Manju Devi (Nina Gupta) – trying to fall in love with the place by capturing a corner view of him from the water tank, against the sunset. Just when he thinks there is nothing amazing about it, he meets Pradhan’s young daughter Rinky (Sanvika), sipping tea from the flask while admiring the view. The second season begins with Tripathi to follow suit.
This time around, Tripathi seems to have settled into the monotony of village life, although he still dreams of getting an MBA and big paychecks. But he is more steadfast as he navigates village politics, rivalries, difficult situations, and disaffected locals. Manju Devi, too, is more sure of her stature as Pradhan although her husband, Brij Pusan Dube (Yadav), is still running the show on her behalf. But she learns things and takes a stand. As the power couple in this rustic setting, Gupta and Yadav, both great actors, bring an atmosphere to live in their performances.
What makes Tripathi’s life in Bolera easier and gives the show its emotional core is the friendship he shares with his assistant Vikas (Roy), MP Pradhan Prahlad (Faisal Malik) and Dube, forming a merry quartet. This lends some mystery to the show, on which the main cast has not changed. There’s also the promise of a budding romance, as he’s caught exchanging sly looks and smiles with Rinky.
The staff seems to be getting more comfortable with the fantasy world they live in. Their performance remains the selling point of view. Regardless, the strength of the series lies in the writing, as it vividly depicts village life through the eyes of a keen observer.
Panchayat gained popularity with its clever conception of rural life, with all its quirks and pitfalls. This season (of eight episodes) delves deeper by adding more detail and gentle humor to a story that unfolds at a quiet pace, in keeping with the rustic vibe. For example, before a public announcement is made, there is a discussion of the use of ‘priya’ and ‘pyaare’ while addressing villagers. They settle on the latter. Newly installed surveillance cameras are used to find missing goats and a missing pair of slippers. The jeep driver hired to spread the message of de-addiction in the village appears drunk. However, he drives away and earns Tripathi’s sympathy, as it turns out that the driver was saddened by his wife’s abandonment of him.
The second season increased the show’s interests. The seemingly idyllic life in Bolera is shaken by tragedy. This makes the show give up its distinct character, unexpectedly, even as it brings the community closer. But there are a few other incidents, such as the local MLA’s resentment of Tripathi describing him as a village-shaking ploy to get out of its complacent, and at times, naive ways.
It looks like next season, Panchayat’s story may veer into some unfamiliar territory. This should not compromise its content and positive spirit.