How can a story be complete without those who add fuel to the fire? Bhushan shows us how he wants to literally take a hammer to the Panchayat office. The arrival of a new secretary who claims immediately that the local Vidhayak ji (MLA) has orchestrated his appointment, Bhushan incites him to break the lock on the Panchayat office. The lock is a protest against the earlier popular Sachiv (secretary) who has been transferred unfairly. Bhushan does everything he can to undermine everything the Panchayat President wants to achieve all through season 3. There are dead pigeons, a battle over a horse and ambitious women which will make you binge watch the show quite happily.

Even if you haven’t seen the earlier two seasons, you will enjoy the show because of its humanity and money lessons you will learn.

Also Read: Panchayat 3 public reviews: Netizens hail Amazon Prime Video web series; ‘heartfelt narrative, compelling characters’

A home at any cost

Jagmohan’s Ammaji shows up at the Panchayat office, in tears. Ammaji (played wonderfully by Abha Sharma) claims that Jagnohan and his wife have kicked Ammaji out of their ‘pucca’ (brick) home and she now has to live in a thatched hut. She pleads that Sachiv ji – the popular guy Abhishek Tripathi (played by Jitendra Kumar) back on duty – to put her name on the Prime Minister’s homes for the poor scheme. 

Since Jagmohan has always lived amicably with his Ammaji, Abhishek is suspicious about this new development. He goes to Jagmohan’s home to check the old lady’s claim. Even though the claim turns out to be spurious, politics that Pradhan Pati (Raghubeer Yadav) insists on playing gets Ammaji an allotment. 

Also Read: ‘Panchayat’ Season 3 review: Not a comedy anymore

Another character in the show Prahlad is shown sleeping under the stars, never going home because he’s mourning the loss of his son. Prahlad leads Ammaji through his large but empty brick home for Ammaji to realise that it is better to live in a small house that is filled with a loving family than an empty large home.

With a lump in your throat you realise this money lesson. We have been conditioned to believe that having one’s own home is important. But will you lie and cheat and alienate your family to get that home loan, or put your name in a housing scheme not really meant for you? How far will you go to buy your own home?

Also Read: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’: 3 hidden money lessons you can learn from this film

You reputation rests on your investments

The local politician strongman MLA Chandrakishore Singh (brilliantly played by Pankaj Jha) has been accused of killing and even eating a dog that used to bark incessantly. He chooses to believe Bhushan and his cohorts – Bhushan’s wife Kranti Devi (the awesome Sunita Rawar whom you watched in the beloved series Gullak), disgruntled sidekicks Binod and Madhav who lavish praises on the MLA and in return of the next Panchayat seat after elections tell the MLA everything that is going on in the village.

Bhushan (Durgesh Kumar) brings the MLA to the village with promises of getting a road built and plays a game of one upmanship with the current Panchayat. In this game, the poor MLA ends up killing the pigeon that he insisted on releasing as a peace offering, eating meat (when he has claimed at court that he’s a vegetarian and couldn’t have eaten the missing dog).

When you invest in wrong people, take incorrect financial advice from people without checking and rechecking facts and details of investment schemes, you will end up suffering just as the MLA does. Even when you claim innocence (as the MLA does, insisting that he did not send people with guns to shoot the Pradhan Pati), no one will believe you. Apart from the loss of reputation, you will suffer loss of assets. The MLA cries over the loss of his beloved horse, but you can be smarter. Learn, educate everything about everything you invest in, and that includes people.

Also Read: ‘Super Rich in Korea’ on Netflix: 3 hidden money lessons to learn from the series

Some stories take time to touch your heart

Season One, Episode One started with a key to the Panchayat office getting lost. And I must confess that I was completely put off by the search of the key in different fields where Raghubir Yadav took a dump. I did want to watch characters in a show covering their noses and making gagging sounds at human excreta while I was eating popcorn or dinner in front of my television. Of course I made good use of the ‘Fast Forward’ option, but that’s because some of us do not want to miss out on a good thing. But I found fault with everything: did not like how Sachiv ji’s mouth was almost always slightly open, did not like dirty but ironed clothes on characters. 

Smart investors know that every investment scheme will have its naysayers. It’s important to consider the opinions of people you trust. But in the end, the decision must be yours. If you are put off by the colour scheme of the brochure or the way the spokesperson selling that scheme sounded or dressed for the video, then you may miss out on a good investment option. And if you are a part of this scheme, then ensure that you put on a good face to something you want people to like. Would I have watched had the show not started with a scatalogical event? Definitely. Did I appreciate the creation of a character like Prahlad? Absolutely.

If you are like me, this offering of the shenanigans in Phulora will compel you to go back and watch the first two seasons. Just as sometimes you wait to see how the market is reacting to something you did not like before you step in and invest!      

Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.

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Published: 30 May 2024, 12:41 PM IST

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