The double life of Shreya and the Makhija’s:
The story of Shreya Makhija is unique: a girl who is caught in a lifestyle and a situation she cannot be as open about as she would like. Her parents fight constantly, and Shreya has had to work from a very young age to supplement the income her mother brings in. Shreya both loves and hates her parents – loves them because she has no one else, and hates them because of what they represent – fights, a lifestyle on the fringes of what is socially acceptable, and a future that holds little promise.
The first switch begins with Shreya’s replacement parents- the Bhatias – entering the house bearing gifts – something that triggers a wonderful emotional reaction inside Shreya, as she was expecting anything but nice, understanding parents (Part of the effort at Big Switch is to always surprise both audience and participants with the unexpected!). The day proceeds so well and they become such a happy, understanding family that Shreya confides a lot of secrets in her parents – about how her mother has to support the family, and her dad takes little or no responsibility, how her mother has no time or love for her, and she doesn’t really understand a mother’s or father’s love, and also tells them about her boyfriend, with whom she talks all night long. The parents are shocked at the revelations but swallow their doubts and try to give Shreya the love she has always needed, even when the neighbours make some extremely shocking allegations against her and her mother!
The next switch begins with Subuhi (aka Candy) – the child from hell – entering the life of Bhisham and Alka Makhija. it is immediately obvious that the father is completely uninterested and uninvolved, and lives in his own world. First, Candy is demanding, and this sparks a angry reaction in Mrs. Makhija. Then, Candy goes out with them wearing shockingly skimpy clothes that provoke reactions from men on the street. Candy seems to enjoy the attention and surprisingly, Mrs. Makhija is annoyed by this, and other provocations by Candy lead to extreme, even violent reactions. Within a day, Mrs. Makhija has given up, and is now surprisingly praising her daughter to the skies, doing a complete about turn on what she’s said about her daughter earlier. Then Shreya also returns and in the same way does an about turn and defends her mother.
At the showdown, it is clear to the jury that the mother is obviously more at fault, and Shreya is granted her win and her wish of being settled in Mumbai and being supported by her parents for a year while she tries to make it as a model and an actress.