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‘Guns & Gulaabs’ Ending, Explained: Did Tipu Kill Atmaram?

Guns & Gulaabs is a new Hindi crime thriller black comedy series by Netflix starring renowned actors Rajkummar Rao, Dulquer Salman, and Gulshan Devaiah. Created and directed by acclaimed writer-director duo Raj and DK, the series is set in the early ‘90s in a small town in India named Gulaabgunj, where the predominant crop is the opium poppy. Amidst this setting and an illegal opium deal that keeps going wrong, the protagonist, Tipu, attempts to express his love to the local school’s English teacher. Guns & Gulaabs is perhaps not unique when it comes to the plot or the final twists, but the director duo’s iconic style does make it a very enjoyable watch.

Spoiler Alert

What Is The Series About?

Guns & Gulaabs opens near the open opium poppy fields that are most characteristic of the small town of Gulaabgunj, where three school friends discuss their lovers. Among these three, Gangaram stays back at the place for a few minutes and accidentally witnesses a violent murder. A vicious hired hitman from Mumbai, Atmaram, stabs a man known as Babu Tiger and leaves him dying at the scene. Once the coast is clear, Gangaram approaches the dying man and talks with him, receiving some important instructions about giving a message to his son.

This son of Babu Tiger, Tipu, wants nothing to do with his father, who had been a henchman for the local drug lord, Ganchi. Instead, Tipu prefers honesty and non-violence in life, and he runs his own mechanic garage in the town. While working at the garage, the young man has developed a crush on Chandralekha, a teacher at the local school who regularly comes to the shop to get her moped maintained. Tipu dreams of confessing his feelings to Chandralekha but is also scared of her rejection and the overall embarrassment. After Gangaram finds Tipu at his house, he is initially denied entry and then finds the man in his garage. However, as it happens, Gangaram also has a crush on his teacher, Chandralekha, and upon learning that Tipu is his rival in love, he decides to keep Babu Tiger’s message to himself.

The mob boss Ganchi is definitely shaken by the loss of his most trusted henchman, Babu Tiger, but he knows very well who got the man killed. Just beside Gulaabgunj is another town, Sherpur, but the people of these two places are always against each other. This is also largely because of the fact that a rival drug lord has a hold over Sherpur, and it is this rival, Nabeed, who got Babu Tiger killed. Despite this setback, Ganchi agrees to a new deal with a fierce drug cartel from Calcutta, and this cartel’s representative, Sukanto, becomes an important side character as well. Although this new order requires the gang to deliver much more opium than their regular yearly harvest, Ganchi is confident that he can come up with an arrangement.

Amidst all of this, a new officer from the recently formed Narcotics Enforcement Board arrives at Gulaabgunj along with his family. The officer, Arjun Verma, gradually becomes aware of the fact that the Superintendent of Police, Mishra, is also involved in the opium smuggling business along with the Ganchi gang. But Arjun remains determined to investigate why the government receives only about three tons of opium each year while the estimated yield of the place is about twelve tons. As Arjun’s teenage daughter Jyotsna immediately becomes the best student at school, making one of the students, Lalkrishna, fall in love with her, the officer plans to tackle the drug smuggling operations. However, trouble begins for Arjun when an old lover of his comes to town, while the non-violent Tipu kills two gangsters in a fit of rage.

What Efforts Does The Ganchi Gang Make To Deliver The Opium?

Fairly early enough, in Guns & Gulaabs, the Ganchi gang receives its biggest setback in the form of the leader of the gang, Ganchi himself, having a horrific accident. Against the advice of the expert, Ganchi had recently gotten a staircase built with a cheaper alternative of wood, and this comically gave away under his heavy weight. Ganchi has to be immediately admitted to the hospital, where he spends a long time in a comatose state. While his followers initially worry about what is to happen to the gang, it is his young son Jugnu who attempts to take over in his position.

However, Jugnu is heavily flawed by his ego and emotions, which are equally worth poking fun of and also to be sympathized with. Ganchi had been in a desperate search for a son, and after killing multiple girl children and doing away with a number of wives, he had been blessed with Jugnu. However, the man never showed any confidence in his son and only wanted to mold the boy with toxic masculinity, whereas Jugnu is clearly very different. Nonetheless, he does enforce these attributes on himself after his father’s ailment, believing that Ganchi will finally be proud of him and also accept him for who he is.

It is because of this that Jugnu first tries to cut a better deal with Sukanto, and when the attempt miserably fails, he tries uniting with Nabeed and delivering on the opium deal together. However, Nabeed also turns him away, and Jugnu and the rest of the Ganchi gang are left to gather the opium themselves. During this time, the NEB officer Arjun Verma had been seizing all opium grown by farmers under Ganchi’s territory, and Jugnu now learns that Arjun was up to some business with the corrupt SP Singh. He believes that the two men are now working with Nabeed, and so he storms the hideout where all the opium had been stored by the police.

Although the Ganchi gang shoots dead all the police personnel at the place, including SP Singh, they do not find the opium stash there. Filled with rage, Jugnu then goes over to meet with Sukanto and his gang members from Calcutta, who were also equally confused because they had not received the promised drugs. Jugnu confronts Sukanto about why he struck a deal with Nabeed behind their backs, and this leads to a massive shootout in which everyone except Jugnu is killed.

What Was Arjun Verma Trying To Do With The Drugs?

Although Arjun Verma’s character is initially introduced as someone extremely honest and upright, it is soon revealed that he, too, has his own secrets. Back in Delhi, Arjun had gotten involved in an extramarital relationship with a woman named Yamini before she mysteriously vanished, and he was sent away from the city. Now at Gulaabgunj, Yamini emerges once again and calls Arjun to her hotel room, where she informs him that a man named Dheeraj wants to contact him. Once the entire matter becomes clear, it is revealed that both Dheeraj and Yamini were actually working for an old acquaintance of Arjun. Before being transferred to Gulaabgunj, the NEB officer had solved a case of mass corruption in which a senior IAS officer named Pratap had also been involved. Although the main criminals in the case had managed to escape, Pratap had been caught and given a very long prison sentence.

Therefore, Pratap now wanted his revenge on Arjun, and he planted Yamini in his life only to ensure compromising photographs of the NEB officer were taken and used for blackmail. In order to get hold of the negatives of these photos, Arjun agrees to pay a humongous amount of money to Pratap, and to get this money, he decides to make use of the situation in Gulaabgunj. The officer directly makes a personal deal with Sukanto, ensuring that he will be the one selling the opium to the Calcutta gang. Arjun then uses his authority to seize all the opium in Gulaabgunj and store it in the government factory.

Towards the end, though, Arjun learns that Ganchi has regained consciousness and therefore realizes that his gang will soon attack the factory and take back the opium stash. Arjun does indeed make a deal with SP Mishra, but only to ensure that he would have the backing of the police force during such an attack since the NEB has only a few allotted men. All goes according to Arjun’s plan until the end, when he suddenly receives a call informing him of his daughter Jyotsna’s kidnapping.

Who Kidnaps Jyotsna And Why?

For the longest time in Guns & Gulaabs, the hired hitman Atmaram remains a feared assassin whose skills are almost supernatural. Rumor even says that Atmaram cannot be killed because he has seven lives before his actual death. The man is also extremely somber and rather erratic in his behavior, and any personal disrespect, direct or indirect, tremendously angers him. Therefore, when Nabeed, the very man who had hired him to first kill Babu Tiger and then Ganchi, disrespects him, Atmaram cannot contain himself. Using his unique 4-cut method of murder, he kills Nabeed and goes about his merry way, possibly planning to leave Gulaabgunj for good.

Never once does Atmaram wish to take Nabeed’s place or get involved in the opium deal for his personal benefit. It is certain that the hitman only takes on jobs when hired by someone else, and surely enough, he does find a new employer in the end. For this whole duration, Dheeraj had been in Gulaabgunj upon Pratap’s orders, threatening and blackmailing Arjun whenever necessary. Dheeraj had found out about the opium deal, too, and was rather irritated that his employer, Pratap, would take away all the money while he would still remain a servant to him. Sensing this to be the right time, Dheeraj now hires Atmaram to ensure that the opium stash becomes his own. Both men, along with the entire town, knew that Arjun Verma had been confiscating opium from farmers. Although they did not have any idea about Arjun’s personal deal, they knew that he would hand over the drugs to them if they could target his weakest spot. Therefore, Dheeraj orders Atmaram to kidnap Jyotsna, and as he does so, the girl’s smitten classmate Lalkrishna also gets kidnapped.

How Did Tipu Get Involved In This Entire Mess?

Although almost everyone interacting with Tipu after his father’s death expected him to avenge his father’s murder in some way, the man does not have any such desire. He is always expressive about the fact that he wants to stay away from the violent lifestyle of his father. But when two Sherpur goons instigate him over the matter, Tipu instinctively chooses violence and kills the two men with his spanner. This eventually gets him embroiled in the gang war, as he has to take protection from the Ganchi gang and therefore work for them. On the other side, Atmaram now hunts Tipu in order to react against his murders, and he kills Tipu’s best friend, Suneel. This truly enrages Tipu, and he now genuinely wants to take revenge on Atmaram, deciding to stay back in Gulaabgunj and ensure his plan.

The man also gets romantically involved with his beloved Chandralekha, who asks Tipu for particular help at one point. Chandralekha’s father is also an opium farmer who only sells his crops to the government officially. But when the Ganchi gang falls short of the drugs required for their deal, they forcefully take away crops from all government farmers, too, including Chandralekha’s father. When the woman asks Tipu for help regarding this, he tries to cut a deal with Jugnu, asking him to spare his beloved’s father. In exchange, he is ordered to get hold of the exact amount of opium to make up for the farmer’s share, and Tipu plans on stealing this from the government factory.

Tipu gets caught doing this, and he first meets Arjun Verma during this time. Arjun lets the protagonist leave after hearing about his toil for love, but Tipu soon returns with a different proposition. He had been tailing Arjun for quite some time now and had learned about the NED officer’s personal deal with Sukanto. Tipu now makes use of this information to coerce Arjun into making a plan with him so that he, too, can ensure the safety of Chandralekha’s father. It was upon Tipu’s advice that Arjun got SP Mishra involved in his plan, for they only wanted a decoy, and the police force was ideal for it. While Mishra and Jugnu’s men fought and killed each other at the secret hideout, Tipu drove away the entire stash of opium from the place and took it to the designated spot where Sukanto would collect it.

What Happens To Tipu, Atmaram And The Others?

In the last episode of Guns & Gulaabs, the stash of opium exchanges hands frequently, and ultimately, it seems like Tipu and Arjun would complete the deal with Sukanto. However, when Dheeraj and Atmaram kidnap Jyoti, Arjun immediately changes his plan and drives the truck full of opium to Dheeraj’s hideout in order to save his daughter. On the other side, as Jugnu’s men kill off Sukanto and his men, the buyer of the opium is also now erased from existence. Most of the Ganchi gang also gets killed in this encounter, meaning that they are now out of contention for the drug stash. Tipu, who was on his merry way home after leaving the truck inside the forest, coincidentally comes across Gangaram and Lalkrishna’s friend, who informs him about the kidnapping. Hearing that Chandralekha is also in danger, Tipu rushes to the abandoned factory too.

After the end of an ensuing gunfight, Arjun manages to take down Dheeraj and get hold of the entire stash of opium. Without any buyer for the drugs and also because of his desire to change his ways, Arjun decides to turn the entire drug stash in to the government authorities and no longer cares about Pratap’s threats against him. The NED officer decides that he will come clean to his wife about his short affair with Yamini and not fear blackmail anymore. In the end, Yamini does hand over the negatives of the photographs to Arjun, meaning that they were always with her and not with Pratap. It is her conviction that Arjun is, after all, a good man that makes her hand over the negatives now. However, Arjun still remains determined to confess to his wife about his past infidelity.

Guns & Gulaabs began with the death of Babu Tiger and the message he had left with Gangaram, and it is now only at the end that more about this is revealed. Babu Tiger had left behind his pistol for his son as the only inheritance that Tipu would get from his father. The goon had told Gangaram something, asking him to say the words to Tipu, but now, after all this time, Gangaram admits that he has forgotten what these words were. It could be that the words were of a degrading or condescending nature, and Gangaram chose not to say them after seeing the bravado of Tipu. Either way, the words left behind by Babu Tiger do not seem significant at all. Tipu manages to shoot Atmaram with this very gun and bring him down, although he himself is stabbed three times and gravely injured. As his friends Bunty and Chandralekha drive him toward the hospital, Tipu is satisfied that he has successfully taken his revenge, and the man seems to die while being held by his beloved.

Back at the hospital, Ganchi receives the shock of his life when Jugnu arrives at the place completely adorned with a woman’s appearance. Jugnu reveals that they have always secretly identified as a woman trapped in a man’s life and have now decided to no longer keep up with the pretense. Taking off Ganchi’s oxygen mask and therefore killing him, Jugnu states that they would now like to be identified as a woman, and would also be heading Ganchi gang from now on.

Guns & Gulaabs’ ending also suggests that despite being shot from close range, Atmaram has still managed to survive, almost like a mythical being indeed with seven lives. Tipu’s bullet, in the end, takes the count to five deaths, and Atmaram still seems to have two more left in some unexplainable magical manner.

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This post first appeared on DMT Digital Mafia Talkies, please read the originial post: here

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‘Guns & Gulaabs’ Ending, Explained: Did Tipu Kill Atmaram?


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