Panchayatis the talk of the town, and rightly so. Amazon Prime Video surprised us by releasing the show two days before its official stated release date and what more could we ask for. The show has bowled us over with its simplicity and a certain old-world charm.
In Season 1, Abhishek Tripathi aka Sachiv Ji had Prateek as his friend who would give him valuable advice and tips to remain sane in Phulera while preparing for CAT exams. However, in Season 2, Prateek moves to the United States and we have a new friend in the series.
Enter Siddharth Gupta.
After a stint in the United States, Siddharth has returned to Gurgaon. Reason: like he says, "apna desh, apna hi desh hota hai." Siddharth comes to Phulera to surprise Sachiv Ji, and then we see a glimpse of the village from the eyes of an outsider. He is amazed by even the tiniest of things in the village, so much so that he is also seen recording the village on his phone.
But here's the catch when it comes to Siddharth. You know, how we all have that one friend who does well in life but paints himself as the most humble person on Earth? That friend who is well off but still thinks your life is exciting when you are struggling to make ends meet? That's exactly Siddharth.
Don't believe us? Here is proof.
Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead.
1. When he thinks his salary package is enough to only run his 'kharcha-paani'.
Siddharth returns to Gurgaon because he had a nice offer in hand. When Abhishek asks him how much is his package, he shrugs it off saying "kharcha paani chal raha hai". But when he reveals his package we are as astounded as Abhishek. We all have one friend who earns way more than us but even that much is not enough for them. Also, think about this ₹1.5 crore package in this economy? Wow.
2. When he subtly shows off his office perks.
For Sachiv Ji, office perks meant having his home in the office. But for Siddharth, office perks take on a very different meaning. Siddharth is not bothered about the expenses he will incur on his Delhi to Kolkata trip because his office will take care of that. We all know of friends who won't shut up about their office perks while we struggle for free lunches.
3. When he tells Abhishek that his life in Phulera is amazing.
Yeah right, Siddharth! All through the series, we see Abhishek struggling with his life in Phulera. He wants to clear CAT, just so that he can leave the village. So when Siddharth tells him that his corporate life is "materialistic", we cannot help but wonder what is Siddharth's definition of an amazing life and what is his idea of a village? Very reminiscent of that one friend we all have who often says that we have the best life, when it is only us who know what the real struggle is.
4. When he tells Abhishek what life in Los Angeles is like.
Abhishek lives in the panchayat office because he has no other choice. Siddharth's peak NRI moment comes out when the only comparison he can think of is from LA. Who will tell him that a roadside apartment will burn a hole in your pocket even in Mumbai? He is that friend who keeps preaching about good vibes till he faces the reality himself.
5. When he unknowingly rubs salt on Abhishek's open wounds.
Siddharth, who has possibly been in a village after a very long time, sees Abhishek's room and likes it in an instant. It might have reminded him of his hostel room. The novelty intrigues him so much that he suggests swapping his well paying job for Abhishek's job. We all have that one friend who doesn't understand our job, yet says it is the best job and they would rather enjoy doing that.
6. When Siddharth is amazed by Abhishek's knowledge of the village.
For Siddharth, the idea of a village is what Bollywood has propagated for aeons. And we don't blame him. When he asks "sarson ke khet kahan hai?" he is like all of us.
7. When the novelty of the village starts wearing off.
Siddharth has romanticized Phulera and Abhishek's life to a great extent. Thanks to his idea of a village. He wants to do everything touristy in the village but the novelty soon starts fading off, and he slowly comes face to face with the reality.
8. When even a buffalo amazes him.
There is always that one friend who is amazed by something so common and ubiquitous that they take millions of pictures of that just to document that memory.
9. Jokes apart, but he actually wants Abhishek to crack his CAT exam.
Siddharth might have his quirks but, like a sensible friend, he actually wants the best for Abhishek.
10. When he realizes the Phulera he imagined was way different than the reality.
What if the friend who always says we have the best life, actually ends up living our life? Well, in a way Siddharth did exactly that and he realized that his life in the city was much better, at least with respect to the availability of basic facilities, if nothing else. We hope he doesn't look at Abhishek's life with rosy eyes in the next season.
Played by Satish Ray, Siddharth added a unique perspective to the show. Like him or not, we all have a friend like him. Do you have a friend like Siddharth? Tell us.