We, Malaysian Tamil speaking youngsters generally abhor the mega serials aired on Astro’s Sun TV, Maharaja package. Athu pathaleh nu ippo Chakravarthy package vereh. I too, dislike them and there are too many of them; Thendral, Vamsam, Ponoonjal, Pillai Nila, Deiva Magal, Mundhanai Mudichu, Vaani Raani, appapah!!
The directors of the Tamil serials stretch the plot like javvu mittai – frozen and flashed shocked expressions on behalf of the chinna thirai actors, the length of the theme song, the surplus of advertisements of each Tamil serial and them putting ‘Thodarum’ at a much interesting scene. How do I know all this when I claim that I dislike Tamil serial? It is because of my mother who is an ardent fan of Tamil serials. She complains of the hiccups above to me but never misses an episode.
The story lines of such serials consists of typical Indian family sentiments, maamiyar marumaga sande, kaasu and sothu pirachanai not to mention conspiracy theories with plenty of Indian flavour thrown in. And then, the length of these serials are insanely long. Oru serial mudiye kulle, oru kulanthai porenthu school ku poyirum. Kolanggal ran for 8+ years.. Shabbah.
Yes, serials seem like bad news but when we inspect who watches serials, most of them are housewives of middle age. OUR MOTHERS. We like to say that those women abandon everything, cooking, cleaning, making a house a home and be couch potatoes, eyes glued on TV day in, day out, the craze, only mitigating on weekends.
I call this far-fetched. How many of us come back to a dust and dirt covered house, not having our laundry done and finding no food on the table because our mothers or wives are too engrossed with Tamil serials?
Tamil serials from India made it to Malaysian shores about a decade ago, the first ones being Chitti and K.Balachander’s Jannal, Anni, Sindhu Bhairavi as well as Sahana and they instantly became a hit among our Tamil speaking middle aged women. Many others ensued and our mothers are spoilt for choice now.
There is an allegation that the evil in Tamil serials will infuse in the minds of those who watch them on a daily basis, pointedly middle aged Tamil women who are housewives. Are our mothers teens to act emulate the villainous projection on small screens? How many families broke up because of our mothers are so keen on Tamil serials? How many divorces occurred because ladies are too preoccupied with Tamil serials that they don’t ‘serve’ their husbands? Naa ellam arthatule than soldren. So what if your mother didn’t add enough salt in her sambar? Add salt yourself or help yourself to the bottled urkha. Can’t you wait for a few minutes for the advertisement to come for your wife/mother to make you coffee? Why don’t you make your own coffee?
Tamil serials just happened to become a source of entertainment for stayhome Malaysian Indian ladies. No fuss over obsession with football but serials take the cake of being everything which is wrong for our middle aged women. Most women who watch Tamil serials forget what happened in the latest and previous episodes watched plainly because it is that insignificant – it is at the moment memory and is soon forgotten, replaced by thoughts of what to cook for her beloved family tomorrow, calculating budget, thinking what to buy from the market tomorrow and other thoughts revolving the sustaining and betterment of her family. When she spends several hours entertaining herself the way many men and youth dislike, she earns condemnation.
Tamil serials are along the lines of Facebook, Wifi, Whatsapp and smartphones. Before all of them came into existence, we entertained ourselves differently and since they came into the picture, they redefined entertainment but they are still entertainment. Those who say ladies shouldn’t watch Tamil mega serials, I say you stop using Facebook, Whatsapp and whatnot. Mudiyuma?