Kaala Paani has many characters that are layered with complexities and shades of gray. Many of them have a certain characteristic trait at the beginning of the show, and as the events unfold, they go through a cathartic journey that makes them change their minds. Some people showcase radical changes, while others become mild and sensitive as season one concludes.
Who Is Chiranjeevi Prabhu?
Chiranjeevi Prabhu, aka Chiru, is the oldest son of Parvathy, a local NGO worker who tirelessly helps the Oraka tribe. She is known to be a nature-loving person and imparts valuable knowledge to her sons about why nurturing and saving the environment is crucial for humanity’s future. Chiru’s younger brother, Vinayak, followed in his mother’s footsteps and worked tirelessly as an environmental conservationist. Chiru was the only member of the family who was never a nature-loving person. His deceased father was a forest guide who gave up his life to safeguard the Oraka tribe.
Chiru was affected by the untimely death of his father, which may have caused a lasting resentment towards nature and the Oraka tribe. Chiru is vocal about his support for development, which he believes the island requires. He works as a driver and a tourist guide. Tourist influx is only possible if the island has good infrastructure development. He strongly believes that nature and the Oraka tribes are a hindrance to the development of the island. The distance to the mainland is also one of the biggest factors behind the lack of infrastructure and social development.
Chiru is financially struggling as a tourist guide, which forces him to resort to smuggling indigenous animals or their eggs for some extra cash. There is an indication that he had dealt with some poachers who paid him handsomely to get information about the Oraka and the animals that live in the forest. It is implied from a few interactions between Chiru and his family that he barely escaped jail time thanks to Ketan Kamat, the local police officer. Chiru’s smuggling racket was busted, but it was his friend who ended up in jail.
Was Chiru Excited About The ‘Swaraj Mahotsav’?
Chiru is excited about the commencement of “Swaraj Mahotsav,” a tourist festival that guarantees a good tourist footfall on the island. He is hired by the Savla family to take them around the islands. He began working with the family only because he intended to earn some good money. Chiru initially is considered clean after his close brush with jail time, but it turns out he will be taking the family around only to receive some contraband on the way that needs to be delivered to a smuggler.
Will The Lockdown And Epidemic Change Chiru?
Amidst the lockdown owing to the LHF-27 outbreak across the islands, Chiru is stuck with his friend Pundi and the Savla couple on Neil Island. Chiru is a selfish person and cheats Santosh Savla even though he knows the man’s wife, Gargi, is on her deathbed. Chiru has a change of heart when Pundi confronts him about taking accountability for his actions. Pundi requested that he look at the situation and get a grip on the reality of the island.
Chiru is in denial and hopes the lockdown will be lifted in no time. This kind of behavior was found among many in the country during the COVID-19 outbreak. Being in denial kept his worries at bay. Pundi is responsible for Chiru getting a reality check as his friend is infected with the bacteria as well. Pundi’s infection, followed by Santosh’s wife’s death, startled Chiru, which made him go out of his way to help Santosh get off the island.
How Did Chiru Learn Of His Parentage?
On reaching Port Blair, he learns of his mother’s tragic death due to the LHF-27 infection. Chiru went hysterical, and he was quick to blame the Oraka tribe. Parvathy died during her stay with the settlement, and she worked for their wellbeing till the end as the disease spread like wildfire. Chiru could not contain his anger and headed back to the forest to confront the Oraka, for he strongly believed they caused the epidemic. Chiru is under the impression that the tribe has the cure, but they refuse to share it with the mainlanders. His hunch about the cure is right, but the history around Oraka knowing the antidote for LHF-27 is different. Chiru is adamant about hurting the Oraka and it stems from his hatred for nature and everything around it. He asks poignant questions regarding the Oraka tribes and why their survival is of utmost importance. He feels the administration is unfair to his people.
Chiru keeps an Oraka tribesman, Enmae, captive for some time until both are captured by the police. This was the turning point in his life as he unexpectedly learned about his identity and parentage. The forest officer found Chiru in possession of a locket with a prominent symbol. He is informed that the said object is found amongst Oraka members, and they pass it on to the next generation. Chiru is unable to process the information he received and wonders why his mother never shared the truth with him.
The story of his parentage is confirmed by his grandfather. Chiru is half Oraka by birth. His biological mother was an Oraka tribal who was raped by a poacher. She was sheltered by Parvathy and her husband Unni, but unfortunately, the mother was burned alive and gave Chiru to Parvathy before she succumbed to her injuries. Parvathy raised the boy as her own and kept his parentage a secret till her last breath.
Why Was Chiru Willing To Sacrifice Himself?
Chiru has a drastic change of mind towards Oraka. He was partially responsible for Enmae getting caught, and Chiru is willing to do anything to save the entire tribe. A radical shift in his mindset towards Oraka was only possible because he realized he was insulting his own tribe all this while. To express his regret, he offers himself for trials since he is half Oraka. The peptide found in ‘Andamania Echnemia’ is found in his body as well because of his parentage. He was willing to sacrifice his life because he had no purpose left in him after his mother’s passing. He has wronged many people in his lifetime, and giving up his life to save the infected is his way of repenting for the crimes he has committed.
Chiru’s arc went through a dramatic change ever since he learned of his heritage. Even though he survived the procedure because of his immunity as a local Andaman, it allowed him to see the predicament of the Oraka with a sympathetic eye. The tribe wouldn’t want him as a part of their community because of his mixed parentage, but he will fight for them till the end.