Horror drama, which also includes a hint of historical fiction, is an interesting blend of two genres. Athidhi, a Disney+ Hotstar Special, is a new web series in this genre and sets out to let the viewers know about the story of an author and his guests who converse about the existence of ghosts and other kinds of entities. As the story progresses, a lot of revelations come out about everyone in the house, and the truth is far from what was being led on initially. Here’s a recap of Athidhi to help you understand what everyone’s motives were.
Athidhi begins with a man frantically running towards a highway from a farm. He speaks about a woman being held hostage against her will, but there was someone else who had followed him. The lamp post near him starts flickering, and very quickly the bulb blinks out. The next moment, we hear the deathly scream of the man, and it is implied that he is dead. The untimely death of this man, who is presumed to be innocent, sets the tone of the show to be a horror drama surrounding an entity who is willing to randomly kill people. Here, there is no motive behind this man’s death.
What is Savari, the vlogger, planning to prove?
Savari’s story begins in the same town, where he is interviewing people for his vlog. The man is a ghost hunter and runs a channel to spread the news that ghosts essentially do not exist. He comes across the story of a woman who died a spinster after being cheated on by her partner. She haunts the small road by attacking those in a vehicle. Savari, who claims that ghosts do not exist, tries to experiment to prove this tale wrong. Savari’s character is probably a satirical take on the vloggers who create content to garner views and popularity. The young man seemed to have no evil intention but to push the boundaries of the subject he deals with through his vlogs. We think Savari might come across something that will shake up his belief system.
Why does Ravi entertain Maya at his home?
Ravi lives in an old but well-maintained mansion, which he has inherited from his family. He is a famous author who loves to write stories and take care of his paralyzed wife, Sandhya. Ravi tends to treat her like an equal who offers him suggestions on how to make his book better. Ravi and Sandhya are just like any other couple who support each other through thick and thin. But looking at Ravi’s wealth and the lavish lifestyle he leads, it does not seem he requires any more money to sustain himself. Ravi comes across as a decent man who will never intentionally harm anyone.
As the night goes by, a woman named Maya seeks shelter at his mansion. As they begin conversing, Maya talks about the existence of powerful entities, and she has reason to back her claims. She reveals that she is a psychic healer who is in town to carry out an exorcism. Ravi agrees to disagree with her at every point she makes in favor of the existence of outer-worldly entities. Ravi entertained her because she was initially helpless. We can assume from the conversation that Ravi likes a good argument over subjects such as this one.
Is Maya the possessed one, or is she the ghost?
A petrified Savari seeks shelter at Ravi’s mansion and reveals having encountered a ghost that the townsmen claimed existed. He has been forced to question his belief system, and nothing that Ravi or Maya say makes any sense to him. Savari probably believes Maya might be the entity because he sees her fearlessly defend her argument. Ravi, for courtesy’s sake, shows them his library, especially the two books that remain incomplete. One story involves a music teacher who has been molesting his student, who hails from a rich family. Another story involves a lazy rich man who hires a workaholic maidservant he is initially satisfied with until things change around him. Ravi wanted to seek help, which is why we believe he wanted Maya and Savari’s take on how to end the story. The plot hole in this instance is that he did not seek his wife’s opinion at all. We wonder if the wife exists at all, because he conveniently forgets her when he is conversing with the guests.
Maya suggests introducing ghosts in both stories to eliminate the criminals. This was her way of suggesting that she might be the entity herself, and Ravi and Savari should not be taking her words lightly. Maya probably wanted to showcase her power to prove Ravi wrong and allow Savari to remain petrified so that she could continue to be a dominating figure inside the house. Ravi does not seem unperturbed because his belief system remains strong.
To their shock, Maya reveals herself to be the one possessed by the ghost. On seeing her reflection in the mirror, the ghost kills itself, which leads to Maya’s instant death. Ravi and Savari’s biggest worry is that they are being framed for molestation and murder. This death is just one of the many big revelations coming our way to figure out who is exactly a ghost and who is a conman. It was difficult to choose at this juncture. We wonder if Maya was indeed possessed to cement Savari’s newfound perception that ghosts do exist. Ravi, on the other hand, is unwilling to believe what he witnessed, but he is not keen on being arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Will Prakash arrest them for murder?
Prakash, a police officer, is the third person seeking shelter at Ravi’s mansion. Ravi and Savari are terrified because their worst nightmare might just come true. In the attempt to get rid of the body, Prakash catches Ravi and Savari and blackmails them into bribing him so that this case never sees the light of day. Prakash turned out to be a corrupt official, and it was not that difficult for him to conclude that Ravi was a rich man. Ravi had no choice but to quickly arrange the money for him.
To Savari’s shock, Maya pretended to be dead and caused havoc in the mansion to create a big distraction with the bare minimum damage. Maya and Prakash are revealed to be in cahoots with each other after overhearing a tea shop owner talk about Ravi’s wealth. They hatched an elaborate plan to rob Ravi and took advantage of Savari as an eyewitness. Why this couple needs Ravi’s wealth is not made clear during this disclosure. It is just assumed that the couple are seasoned thieves who are willing to put anyone in jeopardy for their final goal, which is to extort money from the rich.
As they keep Ravi hostage in his mansion to secure more money, they come across the skeleton of his deceased wife, Sandhya. It is revealed that Ravi is probably a mental health patient who has lived too long in this mansion alone and kept the body of his dead wife all this time. Ravi’s history is yet to be revealed, but the tables have been flipped for Prakash and Maya. They are petrified of being killed by him for the atrocities they unleashed just out of pure greed.
This also proves that Ravi might have committed many other crimes and buried a lot of people in this mansion to avoid suspicion of any kind. As Savari, Prakash, and Maya hide from Ravi inside a storeroom, they come across a gigantic painting of Ravi, who was supposedly born in the year 1732. The existence of this painting implies that Ravi is either immortal, or that he died and roams in the mansion as a ghost. This might be going on for a while, and Ravi may have managed to fool a lot into this mansion disguised as a human. The entire plot starts to make sense after a lot of digressions, but we also need to understand Ravi’s reason for existence in this mansion.
What is Ravi’s truth?
Ravi reveals that he was the king of this town centuries ago and was known to be a just leader. His brother was jealous of Ravi’s power and popularity, and along with the ministers at court and his bodyguard, they plotted his murder. It is revealed that Ravi is indeed the owner of the mansion, and it has remained in his possession for centuries. Ravi, being a victim of power-hungry rich aristocracy, is motivated to go after people who are possessed by one of the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth. He believed he ran his kingdom with the right values, and it was only the politics of greed and power that led to his demise and his wife Sandhya’s death.
Ravi couldn’t be an honorable monarch while he was alive. He wanted to fulfill his destiny by being a ghost and killing those who had committed many crimes. He is the ghost that is haunting the town, but the story they got around was incorrect. It is smart that we get to see a male ghost as a revenge-seeking entity instead of demonizing women to be bloodthirsty vengeance seekers. It is not revealed if his wife remained in that mansion for centuries. We assume she might have been paralyzed after an attempt on her life and died eventually. There are a lot of plot points that are not made clear by the writer ever since Ravi was murdered by his own family at the court in a Dara Shikoh fashion.
How Does The Series End?
Athidhi ends with Ravi letting go of Maya, Prakash, and Savari in the hope they might have learned something from the life he had led centuries ago. Even after all these years, Ravi is searching for some inherent goodness in people. Savari found his exit from the mansion. He’s given a lift from the town by a person who recognizes him from the video. Even though the man claims to be a fan of what Savari propagates, the latter coldly claims that what he believes in is wrong and that ghosts do exist. This entire episode might have had a strange impact on Savari’s life, and it did shake his belief system. Savari was the innocent of the lot and ran away when he got the chance. He probably wouldn’t want to encounter Ravi ever again, but only his destiny will decide if Ravi is meant to be in his life.
But Prakash and Maya have other plans. Maya further manipulates Prakash into getting the bag of money they got from Ravi, only to find it filled with shreds of paper. It seems greed is inherent to them, and they could never let it go, as suspected by Ravi. Maya and Prakash will remain thieves all their lives, which makes them take a step against Ravi even though they know he is a powerful entity.
As Athidhi finale reaches its conclusion, Maya and Prakash are deemed sinners and are sucked into a large mirror, where he captures all his victims. Ravi still feels he is the king, and he must bring people to justice. The last scene of Athidhi has Ravi packing all the memorabilia he has collected after he killed people and separating them into boxes named after the sins. Ravi states that this is not the ending but just the beginning, implying that Ravi’s crusade has just begun. There are many people he will want to tackle and bring to justice. There is also an indication of Athidhi Season 2 here, where hopefully we will get to see Ravi as a ruthless ghost.