Baba Nirala is back. And that’s a really rapid comeback: at the end of season one of Aashram in August, we’d run the gamut of the murky goings-on in the Baba’s fortress-like ashram, a place of piousness on the surface, but a den of roiling vice underneath. Two months later, we are in season two, picking up from where we’d left off. Now that the gloves are off, Baba Nirala doesn’t need to pretend that he is a good guy. Except when he is in his durbar, where hordes of daily visitors come for his blessings, he is busy with what he does best: preying upon unsuspecting young women, and playing politics with the ‘netas’ who come begging for his help. In this new season, the ashram-as-the-bed-of-vice starts getting unpeeled rapidly. In one corner, ‘prasad-ke-laddoos,’ laced with addictive substance, are being manufactured apace: drugs is as lucrative a business as politics. Intrepid cops Ujagar and Sadhu are penetrating the layers, in disguise. In the dungeons deep below the ashram’s buildings, broken young women are being kept captive. Our feisty young Pammi is working hard to become wrestling champion, fighting off rivalries in the akhada. Her brother Satti has been packed off and his sultry wife Babita been suborned, both at the Baba’s bidding. It’s only when the Baba turns his licentious eye on Pammi that the veils of adoration start lifting: is this the reality of the holy man she worships? Good looking doctor Natasha is still floating around, forging a link between the two cops and the equally intrepid videographer Akki, as they go about getting something, anything implicatory on the Baba. Meanwhile the Baba, his faithful right-hand man and his goons merrily continue doing bad things to good people. Now that the novelty of the first season has worn off, the only way to keep us engaged is to introduce new elements, and characters. But not much has been done on this crucial score, so Aashram 2 comes off as more-of-the-same. How many times can you insert rinse-and-repeat sequences of tremulous women being deflowered in the Baba’s lurid bedroom? I’m not saying all is dull: Prakash Jha is too skilled at creating squelchy hinterland characters (one of them, a cross-dressing warden of the women’s hostel, stays a stand-out); but at nine near-hour-long episodes, there are too many repetitive loops.