Review: Zindagi Ke Crossroads engages through introspection

Sony Entertainment Television debuted its uniquely format show, ‘Zindagi ke Crossroads’, on June 6, 2018. The show is airing on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8.30 pm. Each episode features a new narrative about people facing a serious dilemma in life that challenges their conscience, way of life and brings them to the point of no return. 

High on emotion, each episode presents these people at crossroads and has a studio audience discussing and debating on the right course of action that the individual needs to take and also presents the actual decision taken by the individual and the consequences of that action. Host Ram Kapoor is restrained, sensitive and encourages his audience to think and introspect. 

The first episode dealt with the issue of aborting a child whose growth is not normal. The child, even if born, will never have a normal, independent life. The parents are faced with the dilemma of whether to go ahead with the birth of the baby or get it aborted while it is medically and legally possible. This is the story of Neha and Rahul Mehra, the to-be parents who are placed at this crossroad. 

The audience presents their own views, experiences while discussing on what the parents should do. Some narrate their own experiences, or of people they know, and emotions run high. The decision is finally the mother’s and Neha decides against the family and doctor’s opinion and decides to go through with the pregnancy. 

Two years later, Neha is pregnant again and she delivers a healthy girl. Many years later, when Neha is forced to take a decision to send her first born Adi to a special school, she is at a crossroad again and finally takes the decision to put Adi in the special school and stays back with him. She tells her family that Adi needs her more. For some, this seems to be a very selfish motive, while for others it is the right decision. 

The second episode is about a father Sadanand Gaikwad, who is a conductor in a State Transport bus, and his daughter who is critically ill and needs a major surgery. Sadanand needs Rs 10 lakh for the surgery in 24 hours and obviously is in a fix as to where to get the money from. But as luck would have it, he finds a bag full of money left behind in the bus by a passenger when the bus reaches the depot. When Sadanand tells his friend about the bag, he asks Sadanand to keep the money and use it for his daughter’s surgery. 

Sadanand is at a Crossroad – whether he should pay the money to the hospital which is pressurising him to deposit money for the surgery, or should he make an effort to return the money to the rightful owner, who might be in need of the money even more than him. 

Sadanand listens to his conscience and decided to go to a police station to report about the money. However, when he overhears the cops, he changes his mind and walks away with the bag of money. But he still wants to return the money and eventually is able to find the rightful owner. 

When Sadanand reaches the hospital, a happy news awaits him – his daughter is in surgery. The owner of the bag of money is actually the father of a friend of Sadanand’s daughter. The man is persuaded by his son to help his friend who is in desperate need of the operation. 

In the end, all’s well that ends well. 

Episode 3 is about live-in relationships. Nidhi’s decision to have a live in relationship with her boyfriend before deciding to get married puts her father, a lawyer, in a fix. On the one hand is the society and relatives’ reaction to such a move, while on the other hand is his daughter’s happiness. 

The father finally agrees to his daughter’s decision, but the mother is totally against it. Here, too, there is a happy ending when the young couple decides to tie the knot. 

What makes the narratives interesting and engaging is that these are dilemmas that anyone could be facing. The studio audience’s opinions and suggestions as the story unfolds make things more interactive and also draw in the viewers to form their own views and also introspect. The format sure is a novel concept.


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