When you think of India’s criminal underworld, you tend to imagine it as a big boys’ club. But there has been a slate of deadly women who have broken into its ranks. One such story, currently in the spotlight, is that of Ashraf aka Leela Paswan (Anuja Sathe) from MX Player’s Ek Thi Begum 2 who is seen fearlessly dominating a man’s world and her story is getting a lot of praise – this time from none other than Hussain Zaidi!
Hussain Zaidi, India’s no.1 crime writer and a former investigative journalist shares his thoughts on Ashraf’s story in the show. With years of experience, research, groundwork and knowledge about the mafia world, Zaidi has a multitude of best-selling fiction and non-fiction novels under his belt.
Speaking about the series, Hussain Zaidi said, “The underworld constitutes a wholly different universe, and it takes thorough research behind making a show based on the subject. While Ek Thi Begum Season 1 presented the story of Ashraf Bhatkar who had wreaked havoc in the underworld in order to avenge the death of her husband. The makers and actor Anuja Sathe have managed to get as close to the real and dark underworld in the show.”
Zaidi further elaborates, “I’ve always believed that their stories from being victims to victors makes for a fascinating watch as long as there’s no glamorization and romanticism of their lives. The second season of the series, which is inspired from true events, looks promising and kudos to the makers who have weaved the underworld on screen in a very real manner.”
A crime thriller inspired by true events, the narrative of the first season of Ek Thi Begum followed the life of Ashraf, whose husband Zaheer (Ankit Mohan) was murdered at the behest of underworld don Maqsood (Ajay Gehi). The second season follows the man hunt for Leela Paswan, another disguise donned by Ashraf as she defies death and returns to her mission of bringing the dreaded and powerful Dubai don to his knees.
The series is directed by Sachin Darekar and Vishal Modhave, and stars Shahab Ali, Chinmay Mandlekar, Vijay Nikam, Resham Shrivardhankar, Rajendra Shisatkar, Nazar Khan, Hitesh Bhojraj, Sauraseni Maitra, Lokesh Gupte, Mir Sarwar, Purnanada Wandekar and Rohan Gujar in pivotal roles.