After much anticipation, Sanjivani, the second season of hit 2002 show Sanjivani: A Medical Boon, premiered on Monday. In its first two episodes, we get an insight into the several subplots which, if not given proper treatment, have the potential to turn the medical drama into a run-of-the-mill daily soap.
The politics of power has taken over Sanjivani with Dr Vardhaan (Rohit Roy) and Dr Anjali Gupta (Sayantani Ghosh) eyeing Dr Shashank Gupta’s (Mohnish Bahl) post of Sanjivani’s director. Dr Ishaani ‘Arora’ (Surbhi Chandna), the first-year resident doctor, refrains from telling her last name as she despises her doctor father for probably putting someone’s life at stake for money and Dr Sid (Namit Khanna) hates the rich. He manipulates them into paying more and uses their money in the treatment of the poor. Lastly, Dr Shashank’s fondness for Dr Juhi aka Gurdeep Kohli makes his daughter Anjali insecure.
Felt a strange sense of deja-vu while reading these lines? Well yes, these sub plots will seem familiar to regular viewers of Indian television. Hence, I hope the makers have a good plan in place for a fresh treatment to these familiar subplots. Like, I know Dr Ishaani and Dr Sid, after a love-hate relationship, will eventually fall in love, just like Dr Armaan and Dr Riddhima did in Dill Mill Gayye. However, can we please expect them to have a love story different from the thousands we have already watched?
Meanwhile, where the show works for me is how the writers have intertwined the story of the new show with that of its previous edition and spin-off. They have retained the characters of Dr Shashank and Dr Juhi from Sanjivani: A Medical Boon and Dr Anjali (Dr Riddhima’s sister) from Dill Mill Gayye. And that iconic whistle succeeds in evoking nostalgia.
Also, it’s interesting to watch young professionals deal with the complexities of their patient’s health and their inter-personal relationships simultaneously.
I will not dismiss the show entirely as it has the potential to strike a chord with millennials and indulge our moms and grandmoms. But I hope the show doesn’t hark back to the same-old formulaic tracks to survive in the rat race.