Gali Guleiyan: Ending Explained (In Detail)

What does Khuddoos do with the secret he discovers about his neighbours? Is he able to save Idris?
Gali Guleiyan: Ending Explained (In Detail)

In 2017, Manoj Bajpayee, that experimental artist always in search of a new character or a new way to perform a familiar role, took on a challenging opportunity extended by first-time feature filmmaker Dipesh Jain. The resultant film – Gali Guleiyan – opened to positive notices at the 2017 Busan Film Festival and to a similar critical reception when it made its theatrical bow the next monsoon.

The Inquisitive Khuddoos

Khuddoos (Bajpayee) is a middle-aged mechanic who lives in the labyrinthine bylanes of Old Delhi. He’s a loner who keeps to himself and has a penchant for spying on his neighbours through hidden cameras he has rigged. His only friend in the world is Ganeshi (Ranvir Shorey), who checks up on him and looks after his day-to-day requirements as best he can. 

Khuddoos’ world changes when his estranged brother Shaukat (Ashwath Bhatt) comes by and asks for an old necklace that belonged to their mother: he needs it for his daughter’s wedding. In trying to find the necklace, Khuddoos overhears the events happening in one of the neighbouring houses: an instance of domestic violence. Appalled, Khuddoos tries to locate the source of the disturbance but is unable to. 

The Neighbours

The house belongs to a butcher Liakat (Neeraj Kabi) and his wife Saira (Shahana Goswami). The noise that Khuddoos overheard was Liaqat beating up his son Idris (Om Singh), a rather curious lad who goes about exploring the neighbourhood and spying on people, trying to peep into their houses. He is also devoted to his mother, and fears his father’s wrath unlike anything else. 

A jittery Khuddoos confides in Ganeshi, who tells him to stop interfering in others’ lives and focus on what little life he has of his own, especially his job. When Shauqat returns, he expresses revulsion for the state in which Khuddoos lives. Neither man is able to create any kind of impression on Khuddoos, or certainly nothing that would take Idris’ troubles out of his mind. He gradually comes to be obsessed with the invisible family, and pays for it with a loss of health, leading to the closure of his shop due to non-payment of rent.

Even as this significant change occurs in Khuddoos’ life, Idris’ life experiences an even greater change: the softening of his father. Liakat stops beating the boy, who remains suspicious because he has suffered too much to become complacent. 

Idris then uncovers an extramarital affair his father is engaged in, and plans to run away with his mother and younger brother. When he confronts Liakat, he is soundly beaten. He escapes to the railway station, but his father tracks him down and thrashes him again. 

Even as Idris goes through the motions of trying to escape his father’s clutches, Khuddoos, despondent at being unable to track the boy down, gets drunk and is arrested after neighbours complain. Ganeshi, who bails him out, once again advises Khuddoos to forget about Idris and get his life together.

The Reveal

The same night as Khuddoos’ arrest and subsequent release, Idris suffocates and kills Liakat. Khuddoos, who hears the struggle, makes a desperate final attempt to locate the house: he breaks through the walls, only to discover plumbing behind it. He also finds an old family photograph of Liakat, Saira, Idris, and the baby. It is then revealed that Idris is Khuddoos’ younger self, and his murder of Liakat is what alienated him from the rest of his family. 

Days go by and there is no sign of Khuddoos, forcing Ganeshi and the neighbours to break in. Khuddoos is nowhere to be found, though Ganeshi does see the same photograph and realise just what Khuddoos was likely going through.

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