Prime Video’s Dahaad follows a team of cops led by Anjali Bhaati, Devilal Singh, and Kailash Parghi as they investigate a slew of suicides in Mandawa. Despite a lot of distractions caused by the upper-caste Hindu politicians, who want to turn everything into a conspiracy against the Muslim community, the police manage to zero in on Anand Swarnakar. Since he belongs to an upper-caste family, has a wife and a kid, and is a teacher, Anjali struggles to link Anand to the seemingly disconnected cases. But the arrest of Anand’s brother (Shiv), the discovery of a survivor (Sindoora), and Anand and Vandana’s devolving marriage bring Anjali closer to putting Anand in jail. So, without any further ado, let’s explore the ending of Dahaad Season 1.
How Would Anand Swarnakar Entrap Innocent Victims?
Despite being a family man, Anand turns out to be a master of disguise and a master manipulator. While he appears as Anand in front of his family members, the school where he teaches, and even the police, he assumes a unique identity while pursuing each of his victims, complete with new backstories and the phone numbers of his deceased victims (so that it couldn’t be traced back to him). While the women he preys on come from various religious and caste-based backgrounds, they always have two things in common: their reluctance towards arranged marriage and their family’s inability to pay dowry. Because of this, the women would be on the lookout for someone they love, thereby freeing their family of the burden of acquiring a large sum of money for the groom. That’s where Anand would come in, pretending to be a true lover who wants to be in a relationship for the money. He would start with a casual conversation. Then he would bring up the topic of being pressured into an arranged marriage. He would ask the women in question to elope with him. He would get physical with them and take explicit pictures as insurance. After that, he would lie about a malfunction with his condom, thereby prompting the necessity of a contraceptive pill, which he’d lace with cyanide acquired from his brother’s shop, and push them towards their death.
Why Did Anand Use To Kill Innocent Women?
There’s the cliche answer that Anand is a victim of childhood trauma. He has seen his father abuse his mother and then kill her by throwing her down a flight of stairs. Since his father forced Anand to keep quiet about the murder, his pent-up emotions exploded in the form of his murderous streak. Then there’s the slightly complex answer, i.e., Anand is a product of the patriarchal society that teaches men to hate women. Anand conveys his contempt for women to Anjali during the concluding moments of Dahaad. But actions speak louder than words, don’t they? The moment where he ruins the life of one of his students by luring her into writing a love letter addressed to him underscores the fact that he dislikes women who have a mind of their own. According to him, women should conform to the rules that are imposed on them. He probably thinks that if his victims simply agreed to marry a total stranger, instead of falling in love, they’d be alive and thriving. Just because these women decided to counter patriarchy and the dowry system, they died. When it comes to that student of his, we can assume that she has no other option left but to get married because her parents will see education as a gateway to promiscuity. So, long story short, Anand went after unmarried women looking to live the rest of their lives with someone they loved because he thought that that was some kind of an immoral act which needed to be dealt with the harshest of punishments.
What Causes Anand Swarnakar To Go On The Run?
The biggest mystery surrounding the deaths of Anand’s victims was that the girls locked themselves inside a bathroom and then consumed cyanide. But Anjali figured out that Anand was giving the girls contraceptive pills laced with cyanide (which is an obvious parallel with the real-life serial killer Cyanide Mohan), thereby making it seem that the deaths by suicide were caused by voluntary consumption of cyanide. Since Anand frames his brother, Shiv, by placing his car and a water bottle from his house at the scene of the crime and leaving some obscene pictures of girls in Shiv’s car, the police go after him and bring him in for questioning. The fact that Shiv has cyanide in his shop—which is used for gold making—doesn’t help his case either. Shiv is oblivious to the allegations that are being thrown at him. So, his inability to comprehend what’s happening is mistaken for non-cooperative behavior.
Sindoora regains consciousness after suffering a panic attack and an attempt to kill herself due to her abuser’s (Anand’s) reemergence and the police’s constant questioning about her past. But since time is running out regarding how long they can keep Shiv in the lock-up without any charges, Anjali goes to Vandana and requests that she spill the truth about Anand. Anjali gives the pictures extracted from Shiv’s car to Vandana in the hopes that she’ll recognize someone or something in them and associate it with Anand. And, well, that’s exactly what she does. She notices one of the victims in the picture wearing the same necklace that Anand gave him during their marriage and realizes that Anand isn’t the person that he claims to be. When she confronts Anand about it, he locks her up in the bathroom, takes some clothes and jewelry, and runs away. It pretty much confirms that Anand is the serial killer that the police are after. Anjali and Devilal get further confirmation about Anand’s villainy when Sindoora identifies him and agrees to testify against him.
What Was Anand Planning To Do With Miriam And Renuka?
After running away from Mandawa, Anand lands in Mumbai, where he tells Shiv the truth about their mother’s death and how their father is the killer. It’s technically an inconsequential thing for the main plot. But it goes to show what kind of person Anand is and how he refuses to let anyone have the last laugh. By the time Shiv informs Rajasthan Police about Anand’s current location, and then Rajasthan Police requests Mumbai Police to trace the call and go to the hotel where Anand is apparently staying, he is gone. The narrative then shifts to Goa, where Anand has taken on the identity of Richard Abraham and has married Miriam Sushila. There are two things that need to be pointed out here.
Firstly, Anand’s (as Richard) and Miriam’s romance is peppered throughout Dahaad Season 1. It doesn’t become clear that he’s going to use her as his next anchor point until he runs away and marries Miriam. This shows that Anand always needs to have a “wife” to keep up appearances while he goes around committing unthinkable crimes. Secondly, the ease with which Anand changes identities, gets into hotels, and settles down in various states, shows that the system can be duped while the officials keep saying that it’s sophisticated and whatnot. Anyway, after settling down as the Hindi teacher at a local school and cutting off Miriam’s contacts, and making her way too dependent on him, Anand restarts his process of seducing girls, fornicating with them, and then killing them with a cyanide pill. He makes a nurse named Renuka his latest target.
Anjali and Devilal are way behind because they are still searching for him in Nagpur. By the time they learn that Anand is in Goa, they’ve exhausted their funds and are ordered to go back to Mandawa. It’s only after the fridge in Anand’s house breaks down, and Miriam uses her debit card to pay the mechanic that Anjali, Devilal, and Kailash get to jump back into action and actually head to Goa to nab Anand. In the meantime, Anand has already made promises to Renuka to marry her so that they can get physical with each other. Luckily, Anjali, her team, and the rest of the Goa police manage to locate the hotel Anand and Renuka are in and finally arrest Anand. If they had waited till the next morning, Anand would’ve given Renuka a cyanide-laced “contraceptive” pill and killed her.
‘Dahaad’ Ending Explained: What Lies In Anjali, Devilal, And Kailash’s Future?
At the end of Dahaad, we see that Anand has been brought to Mandawa and jailed for his crimes. Anjali can’t help but ask Anand why he did what he did, and he brings up the age-old concept of punishing promiscuous women. You can call it a cliche because you’ve seen it a hundred times in fictional slasher films. But the truth of the matter is that real-life killers like Anand are governed by the same kind of reasoning. Upper-caste men like Anand see themselves as the rule-makers for everyone, especially women. And if anyone tries to revolt, these gatekeepers of a regressive culture resort to discrimination or straight-up murder. Unable to digest his defeat, Anand does take a final swing at Anjali’s image with casteist slurs and her apparent proximity to her boss, Devilal. It doesn’t seem to impact Anjali in any way because she goes to the Central Press Office to change her surname back to Meghwal. Anjali’s father had changed their family surname to Bhaati to avoid caste-based discrimination. That clearly didn’t work because Anjali faces it every day. So, she feels that it’s better to stay true to her identity instead of pretending to be someone else because bigots are going to partake in bigotry anyway.
What happens to the rest of the characters? Hopefully, Anand is going to rot away in the dirtiest jail cell. His family members (Vandana, Shiv, Tarini, and even Anand’s father) will probably move on. But what of Kapish? Is he going to keep blaming himself for his father’s incarceration? If he finds out about Vandana’s extramarital affair, is Kapish going to blame Vandana for everything that has happened in their lives? Is Kapish going to turn into a version of Anand? Well, if the show gets a second season and if the showrunners decide to continue this story, maybe we’ll get the answers. Devilal’s family is a little fractured too. His kids love him and their mother. However, Shivangi is convinced that Devilal is having an affair with Anjali. Shivangi isn’t entirely wrong because Devilal has feelings for Anjali, no matter how one-sided they are. I feel that it’s not that serious, though, and Devilal will be able to look past it and fix his marriage. Is Shivangi going to cultivate some progressive views? That’s uncertain. Is Nupur going to make her father proud or cement her mother’s apprehensions? Well, I hope that the latter never happens and that Nupur becomes an independent and successful individual.
Kailash’s scene is kind of disappointing because I was under the impression that he was going to ignite a conversation around the practice of giving birth to kids without thinking about the world they are entering. He echoed a lot of the feelings around marriage and having children that Millennials and Gen Z are experiencing. I thought he was going to stick to the topic of abortion or at least start a conversation about choices. But as soon as he saw the child in Neelam’s womb, that commentary went nowhere. I don’t know if that was intentional and showed that people are going to talk about population control and the state of the country and then simply fornicate and push a child into the hell that is Indian society. That said, Kailash’s decision to ignore his chances of getting promoted by accusing Anjali and Devilal for helping Rajni and Altaf, and his choice to be a witness at the inter-faith couple’s marriage set a good precedent regarding how people should view such relationships. At the time of writing this article, I’m unaware of any announcements regarding Dahaad Season 2 because it all depends on viewership numbers. That said, if it does get greenlit, I hope the showrunners follow these plot threads while throwing them headfirst into another dangerous case that speaks to the times we’re living in.