‘The Complete Handbook on How to Live Life’; ‘Life For Dummies’; ‘How To Live Life and Be Happy’– if only we could have self-help books such as these, that would guide us on how to live that confounding thing called ‘Life’.
But, my friends, the cold, hard fact is this– life does not come with a manual. Instead, it comes with a complete set of complications that leaves us floundering for solutions. Time and again, life flings a slew of situations, problems, issues at us to grapple with, without so much as a by your leave.
c, Sony TV’s innovative, interactive show, that guides us to deal with exactly such situations, by deploying the most ancient means known to man- stories. Each story brings its protagonists to a vital juncture in life, a crossroad, so to say, where they have to make a decision that has the power to make or mar their life.
The beauty of the show is that each story is paused multiple times at crucial moments, and a studio audience dissects, discusses and debates the pros and cons of the decisions taken by the characters on screen.
Ram Kapoor, the host of the show, helps audiences understand the hidden nuances of the stories, steers the discussions in the right direction and takes every story to a perfect culmination. The aim of the show is to pay attention to a wide variety of voices, and using the platform to actually have a full conversation regarding various issues.
As the show enters its fourth week, let’s review the stories that were showcased in the week that was-
Titled ‘Guilt and Trust’, the story is about a young, much-in-love married couple, Rahul and Shilpa Sharma. Things are pretty much on an even keel, until a simple misunderstanding destroys the happiness of their lives. On finding a bill of a hotel called Honeymoon Plaza, issued in Rahul’s name, Neha starts suspecting her husband of being involved in an extramarital affair. Instead of talking it out with Rahul, Shilpa asks her friend to help her out with the vexing issue at hand. She makes a rather bizarre plan to test Rahul’s fidelity. She asks her friend to befriend Rahul and bring him to the point of intimacy, which will prove that Rahul is prone to infidelity.
Does Shilpa’s plan work? Or does her plan hurtle them towards the brink of separation? The story handles the issue of marital trust and infidelity with sensitivity and subtlety. The studio audiences too pitch in with valuable insights and suggestions on the pros and cons of Shilpa’s decisions. The story is an eye opener and leaves a noticeable impact on viewers.
This story is titled ‘When The Past Messes With The Future’. It is about a mother, Revati, who loves her son to bits. She is ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of his happiness, even jeopardizing her relationship with her strict-disciplinarian husband to secure the future of her son. Revati’s husband wants to marry their son, Shekhar, to his friend’s daughter. But Shekhar loves Shaila and requests his mother to intervene on his behalf.
Revati cajoles her husband into giving in to Shekhar’s wishes, and finally gets him to agree. Life hands her the biggest shock of her life when she realizes that the girl her son has fallen for is none other than the same girl she had met at the hospital several years ago, and who was in the process of undergoing an abortion.
Revati solves the conundrum with sensitivity and understanding, going ahead with the marriage, despite being aware of Shaila’s truth. A few months later, life leads Revati to another devastating crossroad when she finds out that Shaila’s former lover is blackmailing Shaila for money.
With her son’s future happiness at stake, Revati must make some tough decisions at this crucial juncture of life. How does she deal with this predicament? Does she reveal Shaila’s truth to her husband and son? Rather than reveal the end, we suggest you watch the episode for yourself. It is a superbly etched out story, absolutely worth watching.
Veteran actress, Zarina Wahab, essays the role of Revati; and the consummate actress that she is, she lends credence, believability and poignancy to her role. The direction is superb; the story, riveting; and the end, empowering.
Titled ‘Sister Mariam’s Dilemma’, we found this to be by far the best story of the show until now. Head nurse, Sister Mariam, is a local Robin Hood of sorts. She penalizes the ward boys, junior nurses and junior doctors for tiny misdemeanors, the penalty being a hundred rupee note, and uses the money to buy food and medicines for the poor and needy.
Life throws a gauntlet at her, when she is approached by the son of a patient on ventilator support. The son tells Mariam about the financial problems at home- his mother is unwell and needs treatment too, he has two sisters to marry off and to top it all, his own income is peanuts. Doctors have given up on this patient, and he is sure to die. Only the ventilator keeps the man alive. The son makes an unusual and unethical request to Mariam. His father has an insurance policy of 25 lakhs, which will lapse in three days. The son begs Mariam to pull the plug on his father, as keeping him alive will deprive the family of the much-needed insurance money.
Even as Mariam is grappling with the ethics of this confounding issue, a young accident victim is brought in, in a critical condition. His organs have failed and he requires an immediate liver and kidney transplant. Pulling the ventilator off the old man can save the life of the accident victim too.
What should Mariam do in such a scenario? Should she pull the plug or should she let destiny take its own course? Should she play God and take one man’s life, to give life to another? Phew! What a difficult situation to find oneself in!
It is a heart touching story that resonates with every human being who comes across it. The studio audiences and we, the viewers, are moved beyond words by the profound message conveyed by the stirring tale. The end is pretty shocking, but so apt that it leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling that stays with you for long after the story is over. It is definitely worth your time and view. Do watch it, for your own sake.
That, dear friends, is all for this week. We’ll be back next week, with another round of relatable tales from Zindagi Ke Crossroads. Do watch the show… it’s engaging to the core.
(Written By Rashmi Paharia)