Jalsa: Ending Explained (In Detail)

How did Rukhsana deal with the accident? Did Maya finally come clean about what happened that night?
Jalsa: Ending Explained (In Detail)

After having collaborated on the slice-of-life drama Tumhari Sulu (2017), filmmaker Suresh Triveni and actor Vidya Balan combined forces yet again in 2022, this time coming up with Jalsa. Starring alongside Balan was Shefali Shah, and Triveni co-wrote the film with Prajawal Chandrashekhar, Hussain Dalal, and Abbas Dalal. T-Series’ Bhushan and Krishan Kumar, and Vikram Malhotra and Shikhaa Sharma of Abundantia Entertainment produced the film, an original production for Amazon Prime Video.

Jalsa deals with the aftermath of an all-too-common accident that is all too common in metropolises. The kind of accident that is one of the most effective examples of class disparity and lack of accessibility to justice in India.

The Incident

Jalsa follows two women: Maya Menon (Balan), a successful journalist with a zeal to uncover the hidden truths of the world, and Rukhsana (Shah), a working class woman who is partially Maya’s housekeeper and akin to a nanny for her differently-abled son Ayush (Surya Kasibhatla).

One night, whilst on her way back from work, Maya falls asleep at the wheel of her car and loses control of it, hitting a pedestrian. She initially stops, but seeing another pedestrian rattles her, and she leaves the scene without arranging for the victim to receive any help. 

It subsequently comes to light that the pedestrian Maya hit was Rukhsana’s daughter Alia (Kashish Rizwan). The accident embarrasses Rukhsana because she has no idea why her daughter was out late at night, nor any explanation for what she was doing in the area where the accident happened.

Maya is rattled because to conceal the truth of such an incident goes against her ethics as a journalist, but she also does not want to risk the reputation she enjoys. To assuage her guilt, she ensures Alia is admitted to the best hospital possible.

The Investigation

Rukhsana finds herself visited by the police, who appear to be acting on behalf of Maya, and is offered a significant sum of money to let the matter die down. When greenhorn journalist Rohini (Vidhatri Bandi) learns of this, she digs deeper into the matter and discovers the identity of the culprit. She then tracks down the officers who approached Rukhsana, confident that they are acting on Maya’s behest, only to find that an hour before the accident, they were captured taking a bribe by the same CCTV camera whose footage would implicate Maya.

The senior of the cops, just a month away from retirement and with his daughter’s wedding on the horizon, cannot afford for the matter to become public, so he puts the pressure on the people who bribed him and his colleague, handing over that money to Rukhsana.

Rohini manages to get the police officer’s confession on video, but is stopped from taking the matter further by the network head, who cannot afford to deal with the ramifications of Maya’s crime, nor have his clandestine relationship with her possibly exposed. He bribes Rohini into handing over the evidence, which he turns over to Maya, telling that she is lucky to have gotten away with it.

Maya, devastated by her actions and the consequences, resigns from her job and decides to come clean to Rukhsana.

The Climax

Rukhsana, in the meantime, has come to know that the person who nearly killed her daughter was the woman she works for, whose child she looks after. She believes that the payout was a nod from Maya to hold her silence. When she goes to the Menon house and asks to speak with Maya, the latter’s mother (Rohini Hattangadi) tells her to first finish her work, adding offhandedly that Rukhsana should forget about the accident since the Menons have done quite a bit for her. The unfairness of it all, the sheer entitlement of the older woman pushes Rukhsana over the edge and she leaves the house with Maya’s son in tow, leaving behind the money she had received.

Maya rushes to the beach, which is where Rukhsana has taken her son. Panicking when she gets caught in the traffic, Maya is surprised to find her son and Rukhsana sitting by the water, the exercise having clearly been just a ruse to show Maya how helpless parents who are not as privileged as her often feel with regard to their children. Rukhsana has spent more time with Maya’s son than Maya herself, and would thus not have harmed the boy in any way, but with that one act, she ensured that Maya would have to experience, even if for a moment, the fear of losing a child.

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