Is Mallika Jan's character real? Netflix's Heeramandi:The Diamond Bazar explained

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar was released on Netflix on 1st May 2024.

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The whole nation is abuzz with talks about the magnanimous beauty and grandeur of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first OTT series Heeramandi. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar was released on Netflix on 1st May 2024. The series consists of a total of 8 episodes. Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is an epic saga based on the pre-partition era. The series stars Manisha Koirala as the queen of Shahi Mahal-Mallikajaan, Sonakshi Sinha as Farredan, Richa Chadha as Lajjo, Aditi Rao Haydari as Bibbojaan, Sharmin Sehgal and Alamzeb and Sanjeeda Sheikh as Waheeda. The movie also has Shekhar Suman, Adhyayan Suman and more in pivotal roles. 


Most of people have binge-watched Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar and cannot help themselves but praise Manisha Koirala for her outstanding performance as Mallikajaan. Audiences have called her role in Heeramandi as the strongest comeback of Manisha Koirala in Bollywood. The character played by Manisha Koirala- Mallikajaan for whom power is above all kinds of family bonding.  Mallikajaan, known as the queen of Heeramandi can go to any extent to remain the queen of Shahi Mahal. Now the question arises whether Manisha Koirala’s Heeramandi character ‘Mallikajaan’ is based on a real person or not. Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is based on a true story but the characters portrayed in the series are all fictional. 
Talking about Manisha Koirala’s character Mallikajaan, it is the most powerful character displayed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Mallikajaan is considered as the queen of Heeramandi. However, it was not easy for her to get this title. The story sets back to a pre-partition era when Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar was ruled by Reena (character played by Sonakshi Sinha) who was elder sister of Mallikajaan. To earn money and come in the good books of Nawabs, Reena sells Mallikajaan’s illegitimate child for Rs. 10,000. To seek revenge for the same Mallikajaan plans to murder Reena Appa (her elder sister). She suffocates her with a cushion and later hangs her on a chandelier to make it look like a suicide. Later, she becomes the queen of Heeramandi. Mallikajaan was scared that Reena’s daughter might get the kingdom’s rule after her mother’s death. To ensure that it does not happen Mallikajaan sells Reena Appa’s daughter in a red-light area.


Mallikajaan’s younger sister Waheedan (Sanjeeda Sheikh) blames her for ruining her entire life and not giving her what was rightfully hers. Mallikajaan was only in love with wealth and power, she did not even allow her sisters to call her ‘appa’ and told them to greet her as ‘hazoor.’ When Mallikajaan’s daughter Alamzeb refused to become a ‘tawaif’ and wanted to follow the passion of becoming a poetess, the former threw all her books away and burnt her diary in which the latter used to write her poems. This incident speaks all about the power Manisha Koirala’s character Mallikjaan held. Apart from this, just because of insecurity that her servant’s daughter sings better than her daughter, Malllikajaan sold her also. Not only this, Mallikajaan was a self-centred person. This becomes clear when just to satisfy her ego and win over Reena’s daughter Fareedan, Mallikajaan announces Bibbo’s (character by Aditi Rao Haydari) farewell dance on the day Fareedan’s ‘nath utrai’ ceremony was scheduled. Mallikajaan was also among the strongest women who fought against British government and played a very important role during partition. 


No one like Mallikajaan existed in real life Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. However, it is one of the most powerful women characters Bollywood has ever seen. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi is a series of elite tawaifs or courtesans living during pre partition era. It is the portrayal of three tracks altogether: first rivalry between the tawaifs fighting for power and attention, second Nawabs of Lahore during British rule and lastly a tragic love story between a Nawab and a tawaif.