Highly Opinionated: Why We Need More Real And Relevant High-School Dramas Like REJCTX

REJCTX is a ZEE5 Original web series directed by Goldie Behl. It revolves around a bunch of Indian kids who face challenges at an elite school.

Cast of ZEE5 Original web series REJCTX

REJCTX is a suspenseful mystery exploring the real and relevant subjects faced by humans in the contemporary world. The concerns are disturbing, even come across as dark in several scenes, but you come out feeling rather rich in experience and understanding. Goldie Behl and Novoneel Chakraborty manage to explore various taboo subjects in modern society such as gender fluidity, porn addiction amongst others. The story revolves around Aarav, Kiara, Parnomitra, Sehmat, Misha, Maddy, and Harry who form a music band called REJCTX, after facing rejection on several fronts. As we ride along their journey to a collective voice, we simultaneously also learn the horrid incidents that take place in the corridors of Jefferson World School. Catch a glimpse here:

A couple of episodes into the ZEE5 Original web series, you are sucked into the world of REJCTX. You can credit the actors for their believable performances, backed by Sumeet Vyas and Kubbra Sait‘s realistic acts. The finite aspect of REJCTX makes it all the more a must-watch because you can literally binge-watch over the weekend and get done with it. But that’s not even majorly why you should watch it.

Teenage angst is real. No matter how many people term it as just a ‘phase’ it is very much a reality for those in the situation and living the moment. It remains a big emotional roller-coaster ride of our lives besides all the lemons we are thrown at. Mistakes are quintessential to teenage. Ignoring it won’t make it disappear magically or help tackle the fact they exist in the first place. Instead, let’s try to take a closer look. It is a debate long-overdue as to why teens and minors do what they do. Shall we?

A brilliant point to be noted in an episode of REJCTX is when Aarav’s father tells him he hoped his mother would come out of depression. Firstly, we all need to understand that depression or breakdowns are no fashionable terms to use. The show does walk a mile to illustrate the consequences an unstable, disturbed or confused mental state can have. Sample Aarav’s perpetually wandering mind. He was away from his mom who was in a coma, and all he wanted was for her to wake up. Even though it doesn’t do complete justice, it does make an attempt. Mental health is not something that gets affected overnight. It is a continuous process, a product of a series of circumstances. Thus, if a person acts a certain way, there can be various explanations for their behaviour. You wouldn’t understand why Kiara is against Aarav initially, but as her character graph progresses we are shown why she does what she does. Even Sehmat’s hijaab has a story of her own.

(Source: ZEE5)

One of the narratives running through REJCTX is that high-school is not all that we see in Bollywood rom-com. No, it’s not just hormones all over the place and cupid taking aims. Hundreds of teenagers, who are still exploring themselves physically and socially, are put together whether they have anything in common or not. You never know what is going on in somebody’s life, so remember that our choices are our personal responsibility. Sehmat was attracted to both Maddy and Misha, but the poor girl was confused about what she wants. That, in no way, gives anyone the right to judge her. Her decision is her own to make, not yours.

REJCTX also advocates that we be mindful of what we say or do and how we say or do to those around us. For example, Parnomitra wasn’t exactly a pleasant company to members of REJCTX. She always thought of them as inferior to her and refrained from as much as exchanging a glance. But she had her personal set of struggles. She had gay parents who wanted to get married, but the law wouldn’t permit them. And this put a strain on their relationship, with one wanting to move away and another one doesn’t. Sehmat then urges they write a song about this and express all that she is going through. A little empathy goes a long way! Pay more attention to what your peers are feeling.

A still from REJCTX featuring Ridhi Khakhar playing violin
(Source: ZEE5)

There are bullies and then there are bullied. Kiara singles out Aarav as the cause of all her problems. She blames him for her parents not focusing on her academic achievements but rather her physical appearance because they want her to woo him because he has an influential father. Well, sure, but how is Aarav responsible for what Kiara’s parents want? And what about Kiara digging a grave for Aarav every chance she got? Now, isn’t she the victim as much as a victimizer? The point is, we all have demons. And we all hurt each other at one point or another. But just because you were at the receiving end, doesn’t mean the aggressors are oblivious.

(Source: ZEE5)

There’s always something bad happening to the Indian kids at Jefferson World School. But what they really are facing is the fear of not fitting in. They are scared all the time, and to protect themselves they end up hurting each other. Harry was scared that if he didn’t do as the messenger asked him to, his career would be over. Of course, it’s no excuse for his actions but we all need to understand the gravity of the contribution fear makes in decision making, especially in a rat race.

You may not easily like REJCTX, because it’s more real than ‘entertaining.’ But sometimes, it’s necessary to show and speak we’d rather never do. After all, life is not a bed of roses. Why should art be glossy all the time? REJCTX is that long recess you both want and don’t want to get over. But we hope you come out on the bright side.

Tune into ZEE5 to watch a new original film Badnaam Gali starring Patralekhaa and Divyenndhu Sharma.