Crime dramas surrounding drug peddling are not new to the OTT space. It is a genre that has been tapped into and presented in many ways to the audience. What makes Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo different is that instead of a man running the drug syndicate, here there are a whole lot of women who run it. Do they have enemies as well? Of course, yes. How do these women maneuver through this male-dominated industry without being challenged at every step of the way?
Rani Ba’s Rani Cooperative
The show begins with Bijli coming back from Mumbai after delivering Flamingo, a type of narcotic drugs. But at that same party, Maharashtra’s Deputy CM’s son goes into a coma due to an overdose caused by the same drug. There is tremendous pressure on the Narcotics Wing of the Mumbai Police to crack the case, and Prasoon, one of the investigating officers, has been assigned to take charge. The minister, whose son is in a coma, would want a quick arrest. Back in Hastipur, Rann Pradesh, the audience is given a peek into the lives of Bijli and her sister-in-laws who are a part of the drug ring, spearheaded by their mother-in-law Savitri, aka Rani Ba to her workers and many others in the village. Savitri runs the drug ring that manufactures a strain of cocaine called Flamingo, and under the guise of exporting herbs and handicrafts out of the state and country, they run this ring and are the country’s biggest manufacturers.
The women spend their time running their lab, making Flamingo from scratch, and supplying it all over the country and the world. Kajal takes care of hiring women to make the product, while Bijli takes care of the finances. Shanta, Savitri’s youngest daughter, helps in the lab to manufacture Flamingo. These women have been doing this job for years, and it works like a clockwork cycle for them. These women have their issues with Savitri, but the profit that all of these women get from the sale of the product helps them live lavishly, and they are happy with all the luxury at their doorstep.
Prasoon, back in Mumbai, comes across information about a supplier of Flamingo from Rann Pradesh. To understand the gravity of the situation and dig deep into how the product gets in through Rann Pradesh, he comes to the desert-filled state. He is hell-bent on finding out who supplies the product to other parts of the country. Prasoon is a diligent police officer who wants to kill this drug syndicate from the core. He is hoping that killing one drug ring will help kill many other drug rings. Flamingo is the talk of the town, and Prasoon is stubborn about wanting to know where Flamingo is coming from. Prasoon will soon be in for the shock of his life when he comes to know that Flamingo cocaine is grown and produced in India.
Who Is Monk?
Monk, also known as the “Ice Pick Killer” in his younger days, now has become a drug supplier in the eastern part of India. Monk claims to be far away from fear and the pleasures of life. The only thing that keeps him going is the business of narcotics. The man and his business are severely affected by Savitri’s Flamingo. They know there has to be a way to cut down on Savitri’s business, but they are unable to find a proper channel to do that. Monk is an evil man who does not think twice before killing people who speak up against him. That would include getting rid of his biggest supplier in the East in one sitting. His only option is to destroy the shipment of Savitri’s Flamingo, which is going to Spain. For that to happen, he will have to shake hands with a Kerala-based drug lord. The man agrees to work with Monk because he has also suffered major losses due to Flamingo. Their only way out is to destroy Savitri’s drug syndicate slowly and steadily.
Lives Of Kajal, Bijli, And Shanta
Kajal is married to Kapil, the younger son of Savitri, and she has to wait back in Hastipur for Kapil to come back home for the yearly vacation. Kajal and Kapil have not seen each other in a while, and right now, it seems they are desperate to be together. Bijli, on the other hand, is gay, and she is hardly interested in sleeping with her husband, Harish. Harish is the eldest son of Savitri, and he is a man-child and a drug addict. With him coming back to his hometown with Kapil for Janmashtami this time, Harish is looking forward to spending some time with Bijli. Unlike Kapil, Harish is very insecure about himself and the fact that he cannot make his wife happy. It bothers him that she doesn’t want to spend any time with him. Meanwhile, Bijli spends her free time with Naina, her Bombay-based girlfriend.
Shanta is the only woman in the family who was given the choice of studying abroad because she is Savitri’s daughter. Kajal and Bijli were not given that choice, and they were chained to the job of making the business profitable year after year and bringing in more clients and workers. Shanta is the brains behind Flamingo, and she is proud of it. Shanta is having an affair with Deeman, the son of Savitri’s friend. Deeman’s mother died in childbirth, and Savitri raised him as her own son. To the world, Shanta and Deeman are brother and sister, but to both of them, they never treat each other as siblings. This gave them all the right to fall in love with each other and continue the affair right under Savitri’s nose. Shanta is sure of what she wants from Deeman, and she proclaims her love for him. Shanta is the most confident woman in the family and follows her heart. She is sure Deeman is the one for her and pursues him. Deeman, though, is not sure if what they are doing is right, but her confidence in him and the relationship they have makes him succumb to the love she carries for him in her heart.
Surprises Await Kapil And Harish
Harish and Kapil are headed back to Hastipur, their hometown. They are not that excited to head back home because they are used to their life in America. The only reason they are headed back is because of their mother and wives. Savitri always kept her real life away from her sons because she did not want them to ever be involved in it. She pushed them to have a normal life outside of Hastipur. Kapil and Harish reach their home, and things around them have not changed a bit. The brothers constantly argue with each other on minor matters, but somehow it is an indication of the relationship they have shared since they were young boys. Kapil and Harish feel they cannot connect with the life their mother is leading here. Both are keen on taking their spouses to America this time, but they are not sure how their mother would react to it. Harish is a drug addict and always ends up being something of a troublemaker, while Kapil is a logical person.
One day, by mistake, the siblings find a tunnel that takes them toward the lab where the coca plants are grown under controlled conditions. Savitri ends up telling the kids the truth because she is now sure there is no point in hiding anything from them about her reality. The reality also includes their wives and sister. The brothers are shocked to see and comprehend that everyone in the family is part of the syndicate except the two of them. Harish was always on bad terms with Deeman, and he is angry to know that even he was allowed to be a part of this ring. Harish, though, is mesmerized, while Kapil is terrified to know his family runs a drug ring, which would mean if they ever got caught, it would lead to a long jail term. While Harish is happy to know the profit and turnover, Kapil is disgusted to see the source of the money they live off of.
Savitri’s Past Trauma
Savitri lets the boys know about her past. Savitri is a Banjaran who is known for her nomadic lifestyle. Her husband was killed by drug suppliers right in front of her eyes, and they ended up raping her. With nothing else to depend on, she started selling local drugs, and slowly she built a small gang of women who were widows who joined her to be able to sustain themselves and take care of their kids. Savitri is also helped by a local leader called Saabji, who protects her from being persecuted and is a big aid in supplying narcotics all over the state. Saabji surely got a profit share out of it, and their partnership went on. To pass off her business as legitimate, they started Rani Cooperative, which sells handicrafts, but their under the table business is supplying different kinds of narcotics. They were soon introduced to the coca plant, and their lives changed after that. They bring in a French guy named Jean-Claude, who knows how to manufacture cocaine from the plant under controlled conditions. Soon, dungeons full of coca plants turned into a lab, which helped them become one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine from India, which was not possible before. Savitri has not looked back after that. She managed to create an empire worth 500 crores and is now supplying this product to the Middle East and Europe as well.
Who Will Be The Heir To Savitri’s Rani Cooperative?
As Savitri lets her sons know about the actual life that she leads, she also lets all of them know that on Janmashtami, she will be announcing the heir to her empire. She is keen to choose the right person for the empire she has created for herself and her family. She would want the chosen person to take the business forward. This is when the conflicts begin in the family because all of them are looking for a piece of this giant, three-tiered, well-constructed cake. Kajal and Bijli are also not happy to see Savitri, including her sons, in the line for being the heirs because, according to them, it was always Kajal and Bijli who made maximum sacrifices and worked relentlessly to make this a profitable business.
They are keen on running the business, and they know they are capable of it, but deep down, the women want the top spot for themselves; just like Savitri, they want to be the sole chief of this business. Shanta, too, is aiming for this job, and she is sure her mother would choose her because Shanta can see herself becoming the next Savitri. Savitri leaves no indication of letting anyone know who she has in mind. Amongst all this frenzy, Savitri’s syndicate faces a big loss as her consignment, which was heading to Spain on a barge, was bombed. Dubbed an attack by the pirates, she and the family know the attack was to reduce her 800-crore worth of cocaine into dust. They are not sure who is behind this attack, and Savitri is keen to find out who leaked the information about their stuff being on the barge. This loss is averted by Bijli’s presence of mind, who had taken out insurance against the consignment. The insurance would cover the money they had lost, which would reduce the impact on the business.
Prasoon, on the other hand, is at it to find out what is happening in Rampur, Hastipur’s neighboring town in the state of Rann Pradesh. He is sure there is some link between Flamingo and this town. He runs into an empty truck and a goat herder fighting over a minor matter. He is made aware of these two buses belonging to Savitri, aka Rani Ba. Prasoon has an instinct, and he depends on it to find out more answers. He is unable to find any evidence of any cocaine being produced in this area of the state because he is not getting any help from the local police department. Most of them are on the payroll of Savitri and her boss, Saabji. They would make sure no investigation officer came close to them. Prasoon goes by Savitri’s home just to question her business because he has developed a suspicion that it is she who is carrying out all the drug supply and manufacture, but again, he has no evidence to back his theories. Freaked out by the presence of Mumbai police at her home, she informs her boss, Saabji, of the same. If her business flow is affected, it will affect the profit he gets from the business as well. Saabji makes sure to close the case by using his influence. It bothers Prasoon because he is very close to cracking the case.
Prasoon knew that at some point, he would get a call from his seniors to close the case, but this time he was not willing to give up. Prasoon is soon to conclude that the goats he saw a few days ago might be carriers of drugs. He kills the goats using his pistol. He cuts open the bodies to see packets of cocaine stuffed in their bodies. The next moment, he is attacked and taken hostage by Savitri and her henchmen, so he does not reveal anything about their business so far. Prasoon did not see this coming; he was not aware of the power this woman had in the village or to what extent she would go to save her business.
Savitri is warned by Saabji of the arrival of Monk, her rival in the state, to kill her the day before Janmashtami. Before Monk can attack her family, Savitri and the woman who works for her attack Monk and his men. Brutal gunfire ensues, but before she can kill him, she and Monk are separated on the orders of Saabji, and Monk is arrested. Saabji does not want any untoward incident in his town before the elections, but Savitri wants to kill the Monk and his men. On the night before Janmashtami, Bijli’s girlfriend, who was visiting her before she could leave for Berlin, is killed. It is assumed that it was Savitri because she knew Bijli and Naina were in love, and Bijli probably told Naina about their business. Naina, being an outsider and a liability, was murdered. Bijli is beyond heartbroken because she wanted Naina to leave the country and be safe. Her body was cremated without anybody around, which put Bijli in a state of sorrow.
Savitri starts questioning Prasoon, and he reveals he has some information. It turns out he had no information, for he ends up kidnapping Savitri under the guise of answering her questions. Savitri is kept captive in the car while Prasoon crashes it into the nearby river. Prasoon’s body is not found, but Savitri’s is, and she is cremated by Deeman, Harish, and Kapil. The family is bereaved, and along with that, they would want to know who the heir to her empire would be. Savitri has a prerecorded message for her kids about the will she has prepared. As the lawyer is about to read out the name, Monk and his men walk in and ambush their little party. He was bailed out by Saabji because the man had switched sides. Monk reveals that Kajal was Monk’s mole in their family. She was the one who leaked the information about the consignment going to Spain. Kajal reveals that Savitri took her child away at birth and forced Kajal to work in the field of narcotics. Kajal felt betrayed by the woman who claimed to have saved her.
She reveals that Savitri is not as good a person as everyone projects her to be. Kajal does not feel guilty for switching sides because she knows she or Kapil would never get what they wanted, which is control of the entire empire. Monk was the one who got her in touch with her kid, and ever since, she has been forever grateful to him, and that made her the insider he was looking for. Since the guns are out, Savitri’s henchman finally reveals that the dead body they had cremated was that of Naina, and Savitri had indeed survived that accident. She carried out this whole act to know who the backstabbing traitor was. Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo ends with Savitri watching and hearing all the drama through the CCTV footage and coming to terms with the fact that Kajal betrayed her. With Kajal’s secret out in the open, there is no stopping Savitri from running after her daughter in law and Monk and eradicating them. Savitri is very much alive, and she will now be back stronger and more vigilant. Savitri is not the one who would apologize to Kajal because, according to her, Kajal’s betrayal enraged Savitri even more. Savitri will not back out of her quest to be the most powerful drug mafia lord, even if it means getting rid of her family member. The woman is far from done with her job.
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo is a Disney Hotstar Original, streaming with subtitles.