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Heeramandi ending explained! Does Sanjay Leela Bhansali give closure to his period drama, or will there be a Season 2? Find out

Heeramandi unfolds the untold stories of Lahore’s diamond bazaar, weaving a tapestry of love, betrayal, and rebellion.

Heeramandi ending explained! Does Sanjay Leela Bhansali give closure to his period drama, or will there be a Season 2? Find out

Last Updated: 12.04 PM, May 02, 2024


The humanisation of the courtesans of Lahore's Heeramandi is the central theme of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Netflix debut. The queen of Heeramandi and owner of Shahi Mahal, Mallikajaan (Manisha Koirala), is the protagonist of the series. After killing her sister (Sonakshi Sinha), who treats her like an adversary, Mallika begins her ascent to power. Malika uses her charms to persuade Zulfikar (Shekhar Suman), a common "nawab" who is deeply infatuated with her, to cover up the murder in order to escape from jail.

The Daughters of Heeramandi: Bibbojaan, Alamzeb, and Fareedan

Nonetheless, she is able to save her sister Rehana's daughter, Fareedan (Sonakshi Sinha), by selling her off. Returning to Heeramandi twenty-five years later, Fareedan is visibly furious and resolute. However, Mallika's first daughter, Bibbojaan (Aditi Rao Hydari), is a sensitive sweetheart who closely follows her mother's instructions while being an underground freedom fighter. Alamzeb (Sharmin Segal), the younger daughter, aspires to be a respectable poet instead of "tawaif," but love appears to be standing in the way of both her and her mother's aspirations. 


Despite his distaste for the diamond bazaar, Alam develops feelings for the nawab Tajdar (Taha Shah Badussa). However, he develops strong feelings for Alam very quickly. Her gracefulness and beauty shield him from discovering her family tree. Taj chooses to spearhead the revolution on his own, despite his family's connections to the British Raj and his own affluence; British officers eventually kill him. 

In return for her escape from the British, he abandons a pregnant Alam in Heeramandi, owing her mother her life. In the series finale of Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, the women of Heeramandi are prepared to fight to the death when the revolution arrives at their doorstep.

Alamzeb's revenge and the beginning of the revolution

The man responsible for Alam's fate is Cartwright, a British officer. He is the one who murdered Tajdar, sexually abused her mother, and had her sister executed. Thus, Ustaad (Indresh Malik) chooses to give Alam an opportunity for vengeance. In addition to offering her a night with the British officer, he also gives her a rifle. Here is Alam's chance to exact revenge on her loved ones, and who better to accomplish it than she herself? Alam visits him at night as the other Heeramandi queens parade around Lahore to show their support for Bibbo, dressed entirely in scarlet to symbolise the blood that Cartwright has poured. Alam proves Cartwright wrong when she pulls a revolver and shoots him in the chest; he doesn't know what she's doing. As she fires another shot, the screen goes dark, confirming that she has successfully killed the man. We can only speculate about the terrible fate that befell every woman who chose to join the revolution that night; it's hard to believe that Alam's younger sister would have avoided the same tragedy.

Reports of Bibbo's imminent assassination start to circulate. The fight against the British takes precedence over family strife, sibling rivalry, and gender inequality at this stage. Fareedan would never stoop to insulting Mallika, no matter how much they hated each other. Circumstances force all the women of Heeramandi to do what they do, but that day Fareedan felt something stirring inside her, and she chose to work with her cousins rather than fight them. She and Mallika rally the women to get up and tell Bibbo that she has support as she gives her life for her nation. At night, the women gather, march to the wall where Bibbo's execution takes place, and sing a revolutionary song demanding freedom. Even as the police officers beat them with sticks and shove them past, their will remains unwavering. Bibbo utters the revolutionary cry just as several police officers open fire on her, resulting in her death. The women, hiding behind the wall, roared out to make her feel their presence. The show concludes with her death. The "tawaifs" fought valiantly, despite the majority of history overlooking their role in the revolution.

Understanding and forgiveness among the women of Heeramandi

Despite its pessimism, the series concludes on a hopeful note for Heeramandi women's future. Throughout their entire lives, the Heeramandi gems longed to shed the label of "tawaifs." But once the country gained its independence, it would be difficult for them to live freely as women in a sovereign nation deserving of honour. Their battle seems to go on indefinitely, despite their best efforts. Every day, some obstacle will arise and make living miserable. Despite their personal disagreements, the women ultimately united for the greater good of the country. 

The ladies of Heeramandi seem to have one understanding. They are all well aware that their current personalities are a product of their upbringing. After seeing Mallika suffer at Cartwright's hands, Fareedan forgave her for killing her mother. It appears that Fareedan's primary intention was to physically humiliate Mallika so that she would swallow her pride; nevertheless, Cartwright interpreted this as an opportunity to disgrace her. "No woman would wish that on another," Fareedan declares as soon as she learns of it.

Heeramandi's final scene aspires to be particularly feminist by addressing the modern-day challenges women face. It's a nice gesture, but it seems a little forced. Naturally, the "tawaifs," who went from being Heeramandi's artists to hated courtesans who sold their bodies, are at the heart of the message. A scene from earlier in the show, when Lajjo (Richa Chadha) passed away and Mallika said that "death is freedom" for the women of Heeramandi, came to mind.

Heeramandi is currently streaming on Netflix.

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