Chhavi Mittal talks about her Crossroads experience

We often complain that desi fiction is always regressive. However, Sony Television is attempting to change all that with its new show, Zindagi Ke Crossroads, hosted by well-known film and TV actor, Ram Kapoor. The show is unique, thought-provoking and a paradigm shift from the usual fare shown on television.

Steeped in emotions, brimming with sensitivity and packed with passionate sentiments, it is bound to create ripples amongst the audiences. Suffice to say, it is unlike anything shown on Indian television before. Believe us when we tell you that Zindagi Ke Crossroads has to be seen to be believed.

The show takes one important social issue, weaves a fictional narrative around it, and when the characters reach a crossroad, the story is stopped and Ram holds a discussion on the same, with the studio audience. This is repeated four or five times during critical times in the episode, giving viewers a more detailed understanding of the dilemma the characters face, as opposed to your normal drama situation.

The most recent episode featured well-known TV actor and web producer, Chhavi Mittal, and focused on the abortion of an unborn child, diagnosed with a serious mental condition. Says Chhavi, “My character’s child will never be able to do anything for his entire life, for his brain has stopped developing in the womb itself. It is tougher for her, as she really wants to become a mother as well.”

Talking about her shooting experience, she says, “It was really an eye-opener, for we could see the tough crossroad which such mothers are faced with. While they love their child, they are equally aware of the consequences of bringing such a special life into the world. The financial implications are not small either. Full marks to producer Shabina Khan (well-known film costume designer) for choosing highly talented actors for each episodic story. Ours was helmed by well-known director, Mahadev (Bahubhali).”

I just hope the home-watching audiences warm up to this concept, for here, ultimately, it all boils down to ratings. But yes, we must doff our hats to Sony, for at least trying to change the grammar

The show features top-notch talent in the form of consummate performers and gifted directors. The production quality is at par with international shows. The story keeps you in its vice-like grip, right from the start, and you’re drawn into the dilemma as it unfolds on screen.

“The best thing was what we were told to tone it down, while mostly we are asked to go loud in such TV shows; so this was a pleasure for the actor within.”

Here, Chhavi admits, “The studio discussion does not change the pre-shot narrative; yet it compels you to think, as life is not black or white. You are faced with moral, if not legal, dilemmas, as in our case, abortion is legal in India till the 21st week of pregnancy.”

“Host Ram did a superb job of taking the conversation forward, as you not only have time-constraints but some people might have stuff to say which is not only repetitive but also goes against the theme of the show; you can’t go overboard either way. “Full marks to the team, for it is not easy to gather a crowd of people who are knowledgeable about the issues at hand. This is not your usual reality show audience profile. I just hope the home-watching audiences warm up to this concept, for here, ultimately, it all boils down to ratings. But yes, we must doff our hats to Sony, for at least trying to change the grammar.”

In closing, Chhavi says, “This fusion of fiction and non-fiction is really interesting. The confusion of the character was shown in great detail before bringing in the audience part, so was tough to hold the emotions. For a while, I could not understand what was going on, but soon got the hang of it.”

Phew, with endorsement like that, it’s quite obvious that Sony TV has a great thing going. The Indian TV-scape definitely requires more such shows that have their hearts in the right place. We hope the show makes a difference in the lives of people at the same juncture….mmm….crossroad in life, and they manage to come of the dilemma with their hope and well-being intact. More power to Zindagi Ke Crossroads!

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