‘Aranyak,’ directed by Vinay Waikul, is an Indian Netflix Series set in a fictitious town named ‘Sironah.’ The small town located in Himachal has hidden secrets, all of which start unraveling when a young girl is raped and murdered. The series with numerous sub-plots and characters ties it all together for the big reveal in the final episode.
‘Aranyak’ Plot Summary – The Myth of Sironah
The series brings together myth and reality. The myth revolves around a creature called ‘nar-tenduya,’ who is both a man and a leopard. It is said that the leopard-man feasts on blood on the nights of the lunar eclipse. Mahadev Dogra, a retired head constable of Sironah and father-in-law of Kasturi, waits for the leopard-man even after nineteen years from the time he was attacked by the creature.
Meanwhile, Julie, a French woman, comes to the police to file a missing person/s report as her daughter and boyfriend were missing. The police, led by Angad Mallik, who joined the Sironah police that morning as a replacement of Kasturi, went to the Taj lodge to find Aimee. The Taj lodge was where Julie, her boyfriend Sundar, and her younger daughter, Kiki, stayed. Upon entering their room, the police retrieve drugs and find Kiki in an unconscious state.
Later, Mahadev Dogra, in an attempt to find the leopard-man, enters the forest a day after the lunar eclipse and finds Aimee’s body hanging from a tree. Aimee’s neck had a claw scratch, a common feature in all the rape and murder cases that took place nineteen years back. Kasturi decides to cancel her leave application to be a part of the case investigation. Overcoming their initial difference in opinion, Angad and Kasturi start working on Aimee’s rape and murder case.
Also Read – ‘Aranyak’ Summary & Review
Who was Aimee Baptiste?
One of the significant points of revelation was the identity of Aimee. Kasturi and Mahadev Dogra, from the very first meeting, doubted Julie. They believed she was hiding some truth. Julie was a drug addict and had come to Sironah with her boyfriend from Pondicherry. Sundar, her boyfriend, was a drug supplier and planned to use a secret of Julie’s to receive a heavy amount of money.
The father of Aimee was Ravi, a businessman whom Julie met when she was in Paris. Upon learning that Ravi was about to get married to Manhas’s daughter, Nilima, they decided to blackmail Ravi for cash. Ravi, unaware that he had a daughter, met Aimee the morning of the murder and agreed to pay the amount Julie demanded. Things got complicated when Aimee had a fight with Julie and wanted Ravi to not pay a dime to her mother. She took the help of Bunty, a tour guide, to reach Hotel Bom, where Ravi frequented.
Hotel Bom & Its Secrets
Hotel Bom was owned by Manhas, a royalty of Sironah, who hoped his son-in-law would get a ticket to the Rajya Sabha. Manhas was desperate to get his resort property sanctioned by the government, but Jagdamba, the minister, did not consider his request. Hotel Bom was the place where the crime occurred, and all the prime suspects were present there at the same time. While Aimee went with Bunty to find her father Ravi; Kanti, son of Jadamba, went to Hotel Bom with Gagan, a scholar, and a potential bureaucrat. He was convicted of a rape charge but was out on parole. Kanti spotted Aimee and mixed drugs in her drink. Bunty was asked to leave while Kanti made up his mind to prey on her.
A drugged Aimee was taken to Kanti’s room, but she passed out soon after. Irritated by the situation, Kanti decided to leave her in the room and searched for another woman to spend the night with. Gagan taking advantage of the situation, entered the room and found Aimee gaining her consciousness. He forced himself on Aimee and left the room. Gagan and Kanti were spotted by Manhas’s men. Ravi and Manhas were present at Hotel Bom to test the cocaine brought by Omi, a drug dealer who had a past rivalry with Angad. Aimee found Ravi in the corridor and called him “Papa,” this left Manhas furious, who asked a scared Ravi to leave the hotel immediately and never to mention that he had a daughter. Manhas tried to take advantage of the situation and asked his men to strangle Aimee.
After the murder, the body was left inside Kanti’s car, who was unaware of it. Manhas tried to frame Kanti for the rape and murder charge to blackmail Jagdamba and get his resort property sanctioned by the government. The semen test report indicated Gagan to be the rapist. Manhas knew he had to find a way to confirm his property deal and started blackmailing Gagan’s father, the Deputy Commissioner of Police.
‘Aranyak’ Ending, Explained – Mystery Of Leopard-Man & Rabbit
While the rape-murder mystery was solved by Angad and Kasturi, Mahadev Dogra was on a hunt to find the leopard-man. He studied the rope used to hang the body, knowing it was no ordinary knot. After nights of studying and analyzing the rope, he pinned Kalidas Mallah, who was a hangman in Kanpur Central Jail in 1996 and lived in Sironah for the last nineteen years. He was the personal assistant of Jagdamba and knew all her secrets. Kalidas, or Nandan as he was known, raped and murdered women nineteen years back as a way to express his frustration when he could not be close to Jagdamba, whom he considered to be his wife.
After the death of her husband, Nandan considered Jagdamba and Kanti as his family. Upon finding Aimee’s body in Kanti’s car, he was advised by the minister to get rid of it. He brought back the leopard-man, a myth he learned from the villagers and used to his advantage, to mark her body with the claw hand he made to blame it on the mythical creature. The show left a space for the myth to survive by hinting towards the existence of the mythical creature and his magical mushrooms.
Will There Be ‘Aranyak’ Season 2?
The series might be back with a new season, as hinted with the introduction of Rabbit, Angad’s long-lost son who was taken away by Omi’s men. He was code-named Rabbit as he was kidnapped to blackmail Angad while playing the role of a rabbit for a school play. While Angad lived in desperation to find any last remains of his son, ‘Rabbit’ lived with drug dealers and learned the trade of supplying drugs.
Aranyak is a 2021 Indian Crime Drama Series directed by Vinay Waikul. It is streaming on Netflix.