‘Class’ Characters, Explained: Are The Characters In ‘Class’ Different From Those In Netflix ‘Elite’ Series?

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The new Netflix India teen drama, “Class,” adapted from the popular Spanish series “Elite,” is primarily about the class war in an educational space. The uberwealthy kids are the least welcoming of the three new working-class students admitted to an elite Delhi school. The admission of the students was a PR stunt by builder Suraj Ahuja, who was responsible for destroying the Nurpur Khatola Government School. He had set fire to the school to grab the land and build a luxury township. From the first day itself, the rich kids made it clear that they would not get involved with the Nurpur students. However, friendships began to form between the most unlikely of people, causing even more trouble and unbalance. In this article, we analyze the characters in “Class” and also attempt to draw a comparison with their “Elite” counterparts.


Suhani Ahuja

Born into a wealthy family, Suhani was desperate to break free from all those who tried to hold her down. She despised the arrogance that came with money and distanced herself from her family. She was born a rebel, and her parents assumed that she needed psychiatric help to behave well. From a young age, she was introduced to drugs, and eventually, she started abusing them for recreation. Her parents never tried to understand what she was going through. While her parents were busy screaming at her, she searched for friends who would listen to her. She found a match on Tinder and went out with him. She trusted him with all her heart, but he betrayed her by leaking her private pictures and videos. She became a laughing stock at school, and her parents sent her to a mental institute. It was the darkest phase of her life, and she struggled to cope with it. In Dheeraj, she found a friend she could trust. She had grown fond of him, but she had a change of heart when she met his brother, Neeraj. She could relate to Neeraj’s rebellious nature, and his “bad boy” image appealed to her. She did not intend to cause a rift between the brothers, but at the same time, the heart wants what it wants. She kept her relationship with Neeraj a secret, but her pregnancy brought the truth to light. Dheeraj distanced himself from her, and she was left without anyone she could call her friend. She decided to leave Delhi with Neeraj and start her life anew in Kasol. The thought of starting a new life was exciting; she could be anyone without the baggage of her troubled past. While she was ready to leave, she lost her life due to momentary rage. Suhani had always felt misunderstood in life. Her parents did not love her for who she was, her peers found her strange, and Dheeraj thought she was using him. She was attracted to impulsive choices and lived in the moment.

Suhani Ahuja’s storyline replicated that of Marina in “Elite.” She was equally rebellious and had fallen in love with Samuel’s brother, Nano. She had planned to run away with Nano to Morocco, but she was murdered under the same circumstances as Suhani. Other than a few minor changes, the character of Marina remains pretty much the same in “Class.”


Dheeraj Valmiki

Dheeraj could not believe his luck when he got admitted to a premium educational institute. He wanted to use the opportunity to his best advantage. He had always been a diligent student and believed that his education would help him live a prosperous life. While he wanted to believe in the never-ending possibilities, his brother reminded him how it would all remain impossible to achieve if society stayed the same. Dheeraj was a Dalit, and he had grown up in the slums of Delhi. His father was an alcoholic, and his brother was an activist. He and his brother worked at a local eatery to pay bills. The extravagant lifestyle of his classmates startled him, and his dream of becoming a wealthy individual got firm. He fell in love with Suhani, the daughter of Suraj Ahuja. Suhani was quite unlike him, and he made it his responsibility to get her sober and motivate her to live a meaningful life. He loved the fact that Suhani was not arrogant about her status like his other classmates. She was honest and considerate, and Dheeraj loved her for her nature. Dheeraj was heartbroken when he found out about her relationship with his brother. He believed that she used him for emotional support. She was his first love, and he could not accept that he had lost her to his brother. While Dheeraj intended to cut ties with Suhani, in the end, he was desperate to stop her from leaving. He was possessive about her and was not ready to accept defeat. When he went to stop Suhani, he noticed Neeraj near her body. While he knew his brother was not capable of committing a murder, he accused him out of hatred and jealousy.

Dheeraj Valmiki’s character is directly inspired by Samuel. Both characters suffer losses in love. While Samuel has been supportive of Mariana all along, Dheeraj brings a possessive angle to the character.


Dhruv And Faruq

Dhruv fell in love with Faruq after he met him to score drugs. Dhruv’s father desperately wanted him to become a professional swimmer, not realizing that his son was not interested in it. Dhruv pushed himself to fulfill his father’s dream, but lately, he has struggled to keep up with it. When Billa introduced him to Faruq, Dhruv’s attention completely shifted. All he wanted to do was spend his life with Faruq without thinking about the disappointment he was to his father. Dhruv gradually realized how difficult it was to be a gay person in India. The common people mostly looked down upon homosexuality, and families disowned gay men. Faruq’s uncle was killed in Kashmir after his sexuality became known. Dhruv was hopeful that the world was changing, but when he came out to his parents, he realized how conservative everyone around him was. He was taken to a psychiatrist to “fix” his illness. Meanwhile, Faruq’s parents got to know about his side business and fixed his marriage. Their love story came to a tragic end, with the lovers promising to remember one another forever after they were forced to stay apart.

Dhruv and Faruq’s love story is inspired by Omar and Ander, though changes were made to make it relatable to the Indian context. Ander’s mother was supportive of her son after he came out to her, but the situation is not the same in the Indian version. Whether or not Dhruv and Faruq will find their way back to each other remains speculative.


Koel, Billa, And Shanan

Koel had her eyes on Billa from the moment she noticed his bare body. She was ready to overlook his cringe videos and get intimate with him. She had been in a relationship with Sharan since childhood, and lately, she was left unsatisfied after making out with him. She needed someone to experiment with, and Billa seemed to fit the bill. Sharan watched Billa and Koel make love at a party, and he decided to take advantage of the situation. He explained that he was okay with Billa and Koel making out as long as he would get to be in the same room. Koel was fascinated by his proposal. She did not have to make a choice and could be with both the men she loved and desired. While Billa was a little offended when he first found out that Sharan knew about the affair, he eventually came to terms with it and did not mind having Sharan in the room. Billa wanted to make contacts in the modeling industry, and he knew Koel was the person who could get him connected with the right people. He was ready to do whatever was necessary to win favors. When Koel found out that Sharan was physically attracted to Billa, she refused to be in the three-way situation. She felt cheated by Sharan since he never explicitly stated his interest in Billa. Sharan’s sexuality became the talk of the school chatroom, and he was forced to hide out of shame. He murdered Suhani to get back to Koel. He suffered from immense insecurity about how people perceived him and his sexuality. He could never fully accept his sexuality, even though he was clearly attracted to Billa. Koel was his safe space, and he was ready to do anything to get back there.

Sharan, Billa, and Koel’s situations are similar to that of Carla, Christian, and Polo. While Christian helped Carlo and Polo hide the truth, Billa refused to help Koel and later blackmailed the couple into getting something out of the situation. Other than a few minor changes, the characters remain mostly the same in the Indian adaptation.


Veer And Saba

The academically brilliant Saba found comfort in the most unexpected person, Veer. Veer was a short-tempered young man who never shied away from showing off his power and strength. He would often end up in fights due to his nature. In Saba, he found a sense of calm. She never sweetened her tone for him, and he felt the immediate need to prove his worth to her. He offered to pair with her for a school project since his girlfriend, Yashika, wanted him to take a private video of Saba and post it online. While Veer had the perfect opportunity to shoot a video of Saba when she came to his house drunk, he did not do so out of his respect and admiration for Saba. When Saba learned the truth, she was completely devastated. Veer persistently apologized to her for his mistake, and after innumerable attempts, Saba considered his apology. Saba’s parents stopped her from attending school after she was accused of being involved in her brother’s business. Saba admitted that she liked Veer, but she would only consider their relationship if he changed his ways. After she saw him engage in another fight, she lost all hope. Later during the Gold scholarship program, Veer approached Saba’s parents and discussed how brilliant Saba was academically and that she should be allowed to attend school.

Inspired by Guzman and Nadia’s love story, Veer and Saba’s personalities are quite the same as their Spanish counterparts. There will hopefully be more of Veer and Saba if the series returns for another season.


Final Words

Most of the sub-plots remain the same in the Indian adaptation of “Elite.” Instead of the collapse of the school in “Elite,” we have the fire in “Class.” Though the person behind both incidents was the father of the murder victim. The robbery of the exquisite watch collection from Carla’s place is replaced by a phone collection that Neeraj stole from Koel’s house. Billa chooses to take advantage of the situation by blackmailing Koel and Sharan. Meanwhile, Dhruv and Faruq’s romance takes an unexpected turn, with Dhruv’s family refusing to accept his sexuality. With a few minor changes in the script, keeping the Indian audience and reality in mind, “Class” makes an honest attempt to adapt “Elite” and brings a fresh visual appeal to it.


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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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