‘Ketan Kamat’ In ‘Kaala Paani,’ Explained: Why Does Ketan Save Dr. Ritu Gagra?

Characters with shades of gray and complexity are always welcome anytime they show up in web series or movies. It allows the audience to see these characters from a neutral point of view as they are often given a redemption arc, which the viewers eventually find satisfying. The best example would be Jaime Lannister in the show Game of Thrones. He went from being a highly unlikeable character to someone everyone sympathized with by the end of the series finale. Something similar could be said about Ketan Kamat in Kaala Paani.


Spoilers Ahead

Who is Ketan Kamat?

Ketan Kamat is introduced as a police officer on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was sent down south as a punishment transfer from Delhi. Ketan is supposed to be working for the welfare of the people on the island, but he is an ally of the MNC ATOM. The company is responsible for a water pipeline project as well as the “Swaraj Mahotsav,” a major tourist festival being organized for the island’s betterment. ATOM pays him some handsome bribes that make him vouch for the company, especially in the time leading up to the major event.


Ketan is assigned to procure the signature of Dr. Soudamini Singh for the medical clearance of the festival. She is not keen on doing so because she fears a disease outbreak that is being monitored. Ketan outmaneuvered her and presented a false report that favored the MNC. This forced Dr. Singh to sign the medical clearance papers. Ketan’s false medical report will come back to haunt him, as Dr. Singh’s hunch is right. Unfortunately, Dr. Singh’s dead body is found near Jenkins Lake. Her death sends the island into a frenzy. Her colleagues Dr. Mahajan and Dr. Ritu comes across confirmations of her findings to be true as they hear reports of people dying of a mysterious disease. Ketan is initially kept in the dark about the outbreak but he could quickly deduce there is a healthcare emergency.

Why was Ketan helping ATOM?

Ketan Kamat was initially caught escorting the executives of the ATOM off the island discreetly. In return, ATOM promised to acquire his transfer orders from Island to the Mainland. Ketan is in no position to expect any support from his superiors, especially Lt. Governor Qadri. He was quick to understand he was supporting the wrong people when he came across Project Attavus and its possible connection with ATOM. Ketan soon started noticing the entitled behavior the company showed towards the administration, which made him think about his real duties as a police officer. Ketan shares the tale of how he was wronged by his department for speaking the truth. He paid the price for being an honest police officer. Ketan does not deny his association with ATOM, and what made him make such a move is believable to some extent.


How did Ketan meet Dr. Ritu Gagra?

Ketan Kamat’s association with Dr. Ritu Gagra begins in the hospital as she is trying to find a cure for LHF-27 with the help of a plant named ‘Andamania Echnemia’. She explains that the peptide found in the plant is the cure for the infected. Sadly, the plant does not exist anymore. Ketan begins to be intrigued by Dr. Ritu when he witnesses the dedication she shows toward the infected locals. He begins hanging out with her amidst lockdown and the outbreak to help her find the plant in many spots, but to no avail. Ketan also accompanies her to speak to the Oraka in the hope of seeking more information about the plant, which she believes has some connection to the local tribe.

Why did Ketan change his mind about ATOM?

Ketan Kamat is also instrumental in forming a deal between the administration of the island and ATOM. The company agrees to evacuate the unaffected to their private island, Huxley, and in return, their CEO’s wife is to receive treatment for LHF-27. This puts a lot of pressure on Dr. Ritu, but Ketan tries to pacify the situation. Ketan goes through a massive change of heart only because he started seeing ATOM for what they are: a destructive company that does not care for the people. While investigating the case further, Ketan reached Jenkins Bio Park, the place where the first LHF-27 outbreak took place in the Kaala Paani universe. Ketan is livid at the company’s inability to take responsibility for the disaster they caused. He confronts Saurabh Wani, one of the top executives at ATOM, about his findings, but Wani is nonchalant about what happened and is confident their mistake will be overlooked because they are offering Huxley Island in return.


Ketan is left aghast at the idea of how entitled the company feels because of its rich and powerful status. Wani is unhinged, even though Ketan had the power and knowledge to take them down. Ketan’s investigation pointed to the fact that the ground on which the biopark is built was once Oraka’s burial ground for the ancestors who had died of a disease that was another variant of LHF-27. ATOM cleared the land exposing the bacteria to the air and the lake water through rains, which caused the epidemic. Ketan Kamat, sadly, could not use any of this knowledge to his advantage because of their unprecedented power and influence.

Why does he save Dr. Ritu Gagra?

Ketan Kamat is given an order to escort Dr. Ritu to the evacuation point so that the administration and the company could utilize her skills as a communicable disease expert. Ritu successfully cured several infected patients, including the CEO’s wife, by using the peptide from Chiru’s body. This made the administration go after Oraka. Just like Dr. Ritu, Ketan was also against this inhuman crime that was about to be committed in the name of saving the people of the island.


Ketan is conflicted about doing the right thing by letting Dr. Ritu go, as she is on the lookout for a deserted island that seems to have Andamania Echnemia in abundance. Ketan initially wanted to follow the orders of Saurabh Wani to fulfill his dream of leaving the island, but her persistence and the fact that she is not willing to commit a crime changed his mind for good. Ketan did feel some attraction towards Dr. Ritu, but he could not place his feelings. He reaches ATOM’s headquarters without her, which implies that he believes in her cause. Dr. Ritu was let go in the hope that she would save the people someday.

ATOM is in no mood to hear Ketan’s justifications for his actions. He is physically tormented until he reveals Dr. Ritu’s location. Ketan places his feelings as love for Dr. Ritu. His love for the woman is what made him the big man, as she pursued an agenda that might benefit a lot of people. Ketan admits to being in love and understanding the fact that people like her are real heroes who work tirelessly without making any noise. Dr. Ritu’s work speaks for itself, which made him fall for her. He knew he would be stuck on the island for the foreseeable future, but his love for her would keep him grounded and alive. Ketan Kamat is on the path to become a better man and working for the people of the island instead of being a sell-out.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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