What Makes Sony TV’s Show On Lives Of Doctors, Dhadkan Zindaggi Kii, ‘Revolutionary’?

What happens to all those women who study medicine? Where are their clinics? Where are the surgeons? Where are these doctors? Where do they go when it’s time to be practising as senior doctors at hospitals?

We have seen many shows about medical professionals on Indian television. We have seen popular shows from around the world like Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, E.R, House, etc. People from the medical field will tell you how a lot/most of what is shown is also medically inaccurate.

But then why am I talking about Sony TV’s Dhadkan Zindagi Kii? What makes this show relatable, practical and special?

Ever wondered why in a country like India where so many girls opt for biology, the senior doctors in most departments, apart from gynaecology and paediatrics, are mostly men?

What happens to all those women who study medicine? Where are their clinics? Where are the surgeons? Where are these doctors? But wait, we do see them as junior residents in so many hospitals. Where do they go when it’s time to be practising as senior doctors at hospitals?

The medical profession is an extremely demanding job. Some surgeries can go on for hours. Some emergency cases can need you in the dead of the night. You could be asked to stay back in the hospital for night shifts. On top of all that, a medical study is extremely expensive.

Girls opt for biology because it is an interesting subject. But not all families are ready to spend a lot on their daughters at a medical college. They’d rather save for their dowry. Many girls who I knew had opted for biology went on to do M.Sc. Very few I know did MBBS. I can count them on my fingers. Less than 10.

The show deals with all this in the hindsight.

The show also talks about the problem people have with female bosses leading a department while we see medical cases being dealt with in the forefront.

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A strong, principled protagonist

Marriage is not the goal for our protagonist. It never was. Her passion is to be a surgeon and save lives. Because she understood that her ‘adjustments’ and ‘compromises’ will never let her achieve her dreams, she chooses not to adjust. She was challenged by a man (her fiancé who had the same dream to be a successful surgeon) that she can never be a surgeon. And so, she leaves, and because as a middle-class girl, she breaks the glass ceiling, she is shamed and punished for it for a very long time. But our protagonist is strong and dignified.

The resilience that comes with the struggle makes you grow an iron body. It gives you a very strong mind and great control over your emotions. But sometimes emotions do overcome our strength and our character. Sometimes, emotions can be overwhelming. Dr Sinha is also a human, and her emotions do overwhelm her at times.

Our protagonist’s personal past collides with her professional life. This is the time of tests and trials when she would be judged by the world. When she would constantly question her own path, her own actions, and reconsider her own decisions. But she’ll never regret being a surgeon.

There comes a time when her past and present get tongues wagging (because society!), she does her best to maintain her calm and work with dignity. And then again comes a point, where she is again forced to choose between her personal and professional life. Between her dreams and her emotions. Between society and her own individuality.

Because it’s women who always have to make these choices that really aren’t choices. Men can make choices, regret, and turn their decisions around in a second because they have that privilege. They have the privilege to impact other lives. Women, on the other hand, have to think a hundred times before taking any decision.

Much more than about lives of doctors inside the hospital

The show is not perfect. All the characters have some flaws, the protagonist, Dr Sinha, included, and we come across in her backstory in the later episodes.

But the show doesn’t deal with doctors and their lives only. Issues like dowry, fat-shaming, male child preference, abuse, abortion, failing marriage, sacrifices by women, rich-poor divide and a lot more are included in the plethora of social issues that are discussed with great sensitivity. This all makes this show unique. Revolutionary. At least, for Indian audiences.

Nilanjana Purkayastha’s brainchild is special because it takes a lot of patience and courage to bring such a strong character into people’s conservative homes via a screen. The writers have done a wonderful job of being as diverse, layered and inclusive as they could be while keeping the plot crisp and simple. The best part is that the show has a limited number of episodes.

In one of, what I would call, the most interesting scenes, the board of directors deliberate on whether Dr Sinha should lead the Emergency department, the department she fought for and set up, in the first place. The voting panel consists of all men. The ones against her appointment argue that because she is a woman because she bleeds every month, she can get impatient and impulsive, and it’s not very safe for the patients if she leads such a critical department. Meanwhile, Dr Sinha very calmly attends to a very serious case and saves a life in a parallel scene. Her mentor goes on to say that it’s a shame that all the men are comfortably sitting in a room and deciding about the career of a woman, a woman whose capabilities he knows very well about because he has seen her work, her honesty, her dedication. She loses the appointment by one vote. But she doesn’t lose hope. Like most of us women. And her life goes on. Just like ours.

Image Credits: Poster of ‘Dhadkan Zindagi Kii’ 

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About the Author

Chaitanya Srishti

Mostly writing, other times painting. Here to celebrate little wins. I am on the same page as you, just a different book - you read mine, I'll read yours. read more...

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