Kaala Paani takes place in 2027 and is centered around a fictional epidemic called LHF-27 caused by the contamination of a lake in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Even though the warning signs are evident, LG Zibran Qadri, CS Bhowmik, SP Sivakumar, Ketan Kamat, and ATOM employee Saurabh Wani greenlight the Swaraj Mahotsav. As the mystery disease spreads through the water, chaos ensues, and a premature announcement by Dr. Ritu Gagra causes the islands to go on a complete lockdown, thereby cutting them off from the mainland. While some seek to reunite with their loved ones, others seek a cure for the disease. The writers of the Netflix web series have done a splendid job of fleshing out every character and taking them on interesting journeys. But they’ve also left some loose ends for a potential Season 2. At the time of writing this article, we have no information if Kaala Paani is going to get a second season. So, all we can do is speculate based on the information we have.
What Will Happen to Santosh Savla and Kaddu?
The Savla family’s trajectory is truly harrowing. They begin as this dysfunctional family on vacation. Then, they are divided into two parties: Santosh and Gargi Savla on one end of the islands, and Kaddu and Guchhu Savla on the other. Kaddu and Guchhu are saved by Jyotsna Dey, and they try to survive the epidemic by sheltering in Bunker Basu’s (no points for guessing) bunker. Guchhu contracts LHF-27 and perishes. Upon learning that there’s a rescue vessel arranged by ATOM that’s taking the non-infected people out of Port Blair and over to a privately owned island, Jyotsna takes Kaddu to the school, which has been turned into a checkpoint for potential passengers. Santosh loses Gargi to the disease and then parts ways with his guide and smuggler, Chiranjeevi, after learning that he is a poacher. Then he goes on a harrowing journey that brings him to Bunker Basu, and that’s where he finds out that he has lost his son, too. Bunker Basu sends him in the direction that Jyotsna and Kaddu are going. Santosh and Kaddu do meet each other, and they even get the clearance to leave for the ATOM-owned island; but Jyotsna notices that Kaddu is infected.
Now, Jyotsna has to pass on this information to the authorities because if Kaddu gets on that ship, she is going to infect everyone. Santosh thinks that if Kaddu gets to leave, maybe she’ll find a cure. That leads to a disagreement between the two, and the desperate Santosh ends up killing Jyotsna and boarding the ship. That ship is packed with people, and it has the recently rescued Swasti Shaw, wife of the CEO of ATOM. Given that everyone in there is “non-infected,” they aren’t wearing masks. LHF-27 can spread through the infected individual’s water droplets. So, as soon as Kaddu starts coughing, it’s game over. I am expecting the seabound voyage to be a mess. I don’t think anybody is making it to that island. Of course, that’ll be sad for most of the general public on the ship, but it’ll be quite fitting for the people of ATOM because they are largely responsible for the ferocity of the infection. If they didn’t try to build the helipad on hallowed Oraka (the tribals living in the forests) ground, if they stopped drawing water from the infected lake, if they didn’t push the local authorities to greenlight the festival, none of this would’ve happened. At the end of Kaala Paani Season 1, we even see Saurabh Wani being okay with the genocide of the Orakas to get a cure for LHF-27. So, it’ll be a form of poetic justice if they fail to even survive after doing so many heinous things.
What Will Happen to Doctor Ritu Gagra and Ketan Kamat?
Ritu Gagra begins her medical fellowship under Dr. Soudamini Singh, but after Soudamini’s death, Ritu continues her research into the source of LHF-27 and the cure. Despite her initial lack of confidence, which stems from the casteism she has faced all her life, she manages to save the dying Swasti Shaw by executing a complicated surgery that involves extracting fluids from Chiranjeevi’s body. Why? Chiranjeevi’s birth mother was from the Oraka community and was sexually assaulted by someone from the mainland. He was saved and adopted by Vinayak’s birth parents. Since Chiranjeevi is from a long line of Orakas who have become immune to various versions of the LHF that have plagued the island in the past, he has the same kind of immunity as the tribals, thereby making him the perfect candidate for the cure. But that’s not a sensible way to form a vaccine because it’ll end up killing the donor. So, Gagra attempts to get to the source, i.e., the plant with the leaves which have these circular patterns on them. However, Saurabh Wani wants Gagra on that aforementioned ship so that she can administer the vaccine by extracting the required fluid from the Orakas that’ll be brought to the ATOM-owned island. So, he orders Ketan Kamat to forcefully bring Gagra to them. Ketan agrees to do so because it’s his ticket out of hell, and then he changes his mind because he is in love with Gagra.
Ketan faces the wrath of Saurabh and Kanchan (that’s not the character’s real name) for betraying them. We don’t see if Ketan dies while getting punched mercilessly or if he’s left with a painful reminder. I think Ketan is a complex enough character who can be explored further in the second season of Kaala Paani, especially because he has just learned something new about himself (he has feelings). That said, given how expendable everyone is, we can expect the second season to open with his dead body. As for Ritu, she is supposed to meet Jyotsna and go to the part of the islands where the anti-LHF plant can be found and processed to make a vaccine. Jyotsna unceremoniously dies, but Bunker Basu gets to Ritu and agrees to take her to the island. The kicker here is that, back in the day, Vinayak had given the seeds of the plants to Jyotsna for their school project. So, the plant that Ritu needs is right there in her backyard. Kaddu notices that, but she is too young to join the dots. The only other person who is aware of its existence is Vinayak. However, he’ll probably be too distraught after Jyotsna and his mother’s deaths to connect the dots as well. We can only hope that Ritu gets what she needs before it’s too late.
What Will Happen to Chiranjeevi and the Orakas?
Shaken by the news of his adoptive mother’s death, Chiranjeevi captures an Orakan, Enmae, and forces him to tell him the truth about their immunity to the LHF-27. He learns all about it, but he also finds out the truth about his origins. He feels responsible for Enmae’s predicament since the authorities are going to use his fluid to save Swasti Shaw, and he offers himself up for the experiment. Chiranjeevi survives the process and decides to take Enmae back to his colony with the help of the translator, Nandan. It seems like they are going to be nabbed by the police because they’re making the trip to the forest by hiding in a truck meant for essential services only. However, they’re mysteriously released and allowed to continue their journey, albeit on foot. Nandan injures himself. So, Chiru tells Nandan to head back, and he says that he’ll ensure that Enmae reunites with his community. Chiru keeps complaining about noises while heading to the rendezvous point, but Enmae apparently ignores them.
Chiru’s doubts are proven to be true as the police emerge from hiding, thereby revealing that they let Chiru and Enmae go so that they could follow them, nab all the Orakans, and then take them to the ATOM-owned island for vaccine creation. The police think that they have the upper hand, but the Orakans surround them and push them towards the open waters. Chiru and Enmae join the squad, and Kaala Paani Season 1 ends with Enmae shooting an arrow at the police. That means it’ll be an all-out war. I don’t want to dash anybody’s expectations, but the police have guns. The Orakans have spears and arrows. Therefore, if you see all the Orakans perishing very quickly, don’t be surprised. I hope Chiru doesn’t end up being the only survivor because he’ll probably have a hard time being accepted by the Orakans, and that too without Enmae’s seal of approval. Unless the elders of Oraka have forgotten and forgiven Chiru’s birth mother, he isn’t safe with them. That said, at this point, they are his only hope. Chiru knows his way around the islands. So, it’s possible that he’s going to use the might and knowledge of the Orakans to dismantle ATOM and come up with a cure that doesn’t involve genocide.