I was watching Papanasam the other day and I am amazed by the character Suyambu Lingam’s brilliance which is derived from watching Indian cinema.
The plot is intelligent, riveting and nail biting. It made me expect when they will blow their cover up, when will they sothepify and when they didn’t it only made the story more edgy.
Many things this movie can teach Indians. That education is not proof for intelligence. Ahmad Maslan CGPA 3.85.
Many times I laughed as a man whose education is 4th standard literally thanni kaaturan to the Indian police.
Most importantly, Papanasam teaches us that there is much to learn from Tamil/Indian movies – positive stuff. But, do our machas and machis take in the positive stuff in Tamil movies? I am narrowing this down to Tamil cinema since Indian cinema is vast and many Malaysian Indians, Tamil people think that Telugu and Malayalam are castes. When I showed my friend the Telugu version of Bahubali trailer, she asked me whether the language is Sanskrit. Also, Papanasam is a remake of the Malayalam movie Dhrusyam, starring Mohanlal and Meena. There are also Hindi and Telugu versions, starring Ajay Devgan and Shreya, Venkatesh and Meena in leading roles respectively.
What kind of life lessons many Malaysian Indians take from Tamil movies?
Tamil entertainment, particularly Tamil movies have become central to our machas and machis. While we insult Indians from India as oorekaren, many of us have no qualms hailing actors like Vijay/Ajith/Rajinikanth/Surya etc as thalaiva and fight for them.
In all the years I spent watching Tamil cinema, I observed that most of us only prefer to buang yang jernih dan ambil yang keruh from Tamil movies and this has reached the peak in recent times due to repeated messages in the movies’ plots. The typical story line of a theru porikki or a jobless fellow trying to pick up a well educated, homely, white girl Whom has a fetish for rowdies that live on their best friend’s cash. And, the only way he gets her is by stalking and harassing her till She is forced to say Yes so that he can leave her the F*** alone. Then when She realises What a piece of monkey poop he is and how he literally steals cigarettes from the maligai kadai and leaves him, suddenly comes the “pennai nambathe “, “vennam intha ponungga kathal ” songs with a quarter thanni. Our machas look at this story and think about What a manmathan he is then goes on to line podduran a Form 3 girl on his appan veetu motorbike. –> This is my friend’s hilarious narration.
Following and harassing a girl will make her eventually fall for the guy
Even Mani Ratnam is at fault to perpetuate this concept in Alaipayuthey. Madhavan follows Shalini and subsequently, she falls for him so deep, she tells him to marry her secretly. From Alaipayuthey to this recent Bahubali, Tamil movies forward an impression that vida muyarchi in stalking a girl will sooner or later make her develop the hots for the stalker. But, machas don’t follow this vida muyarchi in education and career. In all the Tamil movies, the girls that the boys follow do fall in love with the boys eventually and machas think this formula works. This concept is even applied in a Malaysian Indian Tamil short film. A karat macha follows a young schoolgirl until she falls for him only to get raped later. She is prostituted by the karat macha.
That drinking and smoking is cool and it doesn’t make a guy bad but if girls do it, they’re not good girls
Although there’s caveat at the beginning of Tamil movies – smoking and drinking is injurious to health, word is cheap. Visual is expensive. When there are visuals showing guys drinking, glorifying drinking like the Open the Tasmac song in Maan Karate, making butt jokes and give new thattuvam about Indian girls being sordid, the tiny warning that drinking and smoking causes cancer at the far corner is damn easily dismissed (If you manage to find the warning in the meme above, saya kasi lu satu kuchi mittai). It’s a fact that Rajinikanth is the motivation for many Indian guys to take up smoking as it’s deemed stylish. In the movie Siva Manasule Sakthi, when Aniya walks into the bar to talk to a drunk Jeeva, guys look at her like an abomination. In Osthi, when Richa walks into the bar to bring her father home, Santanam makes a crude joke about her bar entry. But, there are Tamil movies which show girls drinking and no one judges them and in fact like it – Thuppaki, Malini 22 Palayamkottai, Villu and Raja Rani. In Sandaikoli, Meera Jasmine asks Vishal, “Thanni, dhammu ungelukku than ezhuthi vechirukka?” There’s a licence for Indian guys to demean the character of Indian girls who drink – even if they enter a bar but not necessarily drink. In the movie Unnale Unnale, Raju Sundaram says, “Evelo ya beer kudipangge? Sathyama soldren, athungge ponnunggale kidayathu.” This brings us to the 3rd point.
The definition of ‘pombele’
The most famous definition on how a woman should be is sputtered by Rajinikanth in the movie Padayappa at the headstrong Neelambari. Then, it was Dhool – Sorna Akka and then Thimuru – Eswari. It’s followed till today by the famous quote, “Yenna ma, ithellam oru ponna ma?” May I ask, what’s the definition of ambala? In a world increasingly blurring gender disparity, the definition on how a woman or a man should be shouldn’t be an issue. There are male nurses and female astronauts, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams for example. Anger, guts, rebellion, gentleness, compassion, capacity, astuteness, etc don’t come by taking gender into consideration. Anyone heard of Elizabeth Bathory or Bloody Mary? They’re women serial killers.
The categorization of ladies based on how they look
This is rife in Tamil movies – super figure, summar figure, sappe figure, attu figure, mokka figure. The first Tamil movie that introduced this concept is Kadhalan. Sutte kuchi karuvadu Vadivelu describes how to categorize girls solely on how they look. It was followed by Padayappa and nowadays in Tamil movies, if heroines reject the hero for whatever reason, the hero’s friends will go, “Sappe figure macha athu. Avalukellam feel pannathe da,” even if the girl is beautiful – seen in Anniyan, Poojai and Mahabalipuram. And, average/dark skinned Indian girls are mocked – Anggavai, Sanggavai, Seetha in the movie Goli Soda while average looking heroes get defended when a girl insults his non perfect looks – in Muthu, Rajinikanth advises Meena when she makes a mockery of Vadivelu’s looks. Most heroes in Tamil fall in love at first sight = based solely on how the girl looks. In real life many machas put too much emphasis on physical attributes when searching for gf/wife. Because, “Hey look if Vijayakanth, Rajini, TR, Dhanush, Vimal, the obese Arvindsamy and the deformed I Vikram can get super girls than I am entitled to one even if I have a pot belly and a face like Kathal Thandabani.” Super looking girls accept average looking machas as their better half because they’re indoctrinated by Tamil movies that they shouldn’t give too much importance for looks in a guy or his money – azhaga, panathe paakathingge. Manase paarungge which brings us to point no 5.
All girls are insincere in love, go for looks, are cheaters and money minded
If a girl rejects/dumps her bf because of the jerk he is, she’s a bitch. If a girl rejects a guy’s proposal because she thinks of him as just friend, she’s a bitch. If a girl breaks up with her bf coz she couldn’t go against her father’s words, how many of our machas will scold the girl and then tell her to go on and marry the guy her dad chose for her and live happily like Thalapathy Rajini? Many would release the girl’s private pics/videos on internet to ruin her life. If a girl wishes to get a bf like Surya, all machas would be like, ‘girls always go for looks’ and then go on to share pics of Andrea/Samantha with the caption ‘kattuna ivala kattunum’ on Facebook. For many machas, girls should choose jobless, gallivanting, aimless machas as their maama sayang. Never mind that after marriage, they can’t afford Dumex milk and Pampers for their baby coz of GST 6%.
It’s okay to insult girls because they wear makeup and nighties
The trend now is to insult girls that they’re beautiful only because they wear makeup. In Raja Rani, Santanam says, “Yellam makeup-u. Beauty parlour lam close pannita, ellam ponnungalum otte orusala therivangge.” It’s true that makeup makes one, not only ladies but gents also more good looking. But only girls get insulted. How does Rajinikanth look like without make up? Like a Greek God? If girls wear nighties, they’re chided. But lungis are glorified as a fashion statement – it is even a dance incorporation.
Sexism on age base
If actresses get married then they’re called ‘aunty’. 36 Vayathinile. Jyotika hasn’t aged a day and yet she’s called aunty. If she’s aunty then Rajinikanth is taata. Anushka calls salt and pepper haired Ajith the most handsome man in Yennai Arindhal and goes on to say ‘Enukku unna pudichirukku.” Tamannah falls in love with the grey haired Ajith and her dad, Nassar, calls him thambi in Veeram. I am not talking about actresses who puffed up after marriage – I’m talking about those who maintain like Sridevi, Nathiya, Jo, Madhubala, Nazriya, Amala Paul etc – they’re aunty just because they are married. In that light, Vijay, Ajith, Surya, Dulquar Salman, Sivakartikeyan are all uncles. Baru adil. Even actresses who are in their 30s like Trisha, Shreya, Sameera, Anushka, etc are being called aunty. I haven’t seen Malaysian Indians taking life lessons from this cinematic liberty, yet.
Girls who can’t stand on their own feet
In most Tamil movies, girls are shown as weak creatures, always waiting for a macha to sweep them off their feet – falling for the guy who captivate their heart by stalking. Girls who consider a man purely based on the size of their wallet, as though it is a career aim. Romeo Juliet where Hansika resigns as she thinks earning on her own isn’t needed anymore because Jayam Ravi is rich, content to be dependent on him. I hate how girls are depicted in Tamil movies nowadays because I am the exact opposite of the depiction and many women I know. Many Indian girls these days don’t consider love and marriage as priorities as they are financially independent. They can sustain themselves and their families and most end up marrying lesser guys due to parents’ and society’s idea of the ideal life and then suffer due to their lesser husbands’ inflated ego and insecurity. The same may be true in machas – Sivakarthikeyan not willing to leave his job for love in Kaaki Sattai. I love his gethu in this.
Machas harping on ‘deivigha kathal’
Machas think deivigha kathal is the threatening/committing suicide when their gf wants to leave/left them. This scene is liberal in Tamil movies. Many guys would rather threaten/commit suicide and call it the epitome of true love when it’s just epitomes of laziness, cowardice and escapism from the real world. If not suicide then it’s trying to win the girls’ heart by doing things that kill their self respect. If a girl rejects a guy based on his non satisfactory financial status, instead of boozing, growing a beard and singing, “Inthe ponnunggele ippadithan purinji pochi da,” he should improve his financial position and show to the girl that he got what it takes and that she’s the loser. Ideally, Jayam Ravi in Romeo Juliet should’ve said, “Sarthan podi,” when Hansika intentionally makes him pay for her splurge but no, deivigha kaathal, never mind if he looks like a man who has no dignity. But, machas were saying that the movie is a slap for money minded girls – see how they take the easy way out, not wanting to develop themselves to put such girls to shame. Bunga bukan sekuntum. Kumbang bukan seekor.
That all girls will ditch guys halfway hence ‘kanne kallangga veikkum figure vena da, namakku kanneer anjali poster otture nanban pothum da’
This point has been reiterated in so many Tamil movies and Tamil songs that our machas believe it to be a vedha vaaku which they tell each other over a quarter thanni – vena macha vena inthe ponnungge kathal. Say like that then go send friend requests to random girls on Facebook. When she accepts, start messaging, ‘Hi dear, how are you? Saptiya da? Ucha poniya?” Million dollar question, “Got bf arr?” If she says no, then he’ll try to become her bf. If he proposes and she rejects for whatever reason, then he’ll go ‘inthe ponnunggale ipdithan ejama,’ and then try another girl. If don’t want love, rightfully they should become ascetics = sanyasi. I went to the hospital the other day and spotted a macha wearing a t shirt with the caption ‘Natpu mattum, kadaisi vareikkum’. (Only friendship till the end) On tow were his 2 children and his heavily pregnant wife. Macha Does’nt Walk His Wear. In Briyani, Premji says, “Kalti vide naan onnum un girlfriend ille, friend.” Shall I tell stories of guys who kalti uderan their gf once ‘matter’ is over?
What we should emulate in Tamil movies?
Tamil movies teach us tech, history, new ideas and even business acumen. In Endhiran, there are many things to learn about robotics and traditional way of childbirth. In Nanban, there are some basic engineering stuff to learn and also what happens during childbirth which will make anyone respect women. Vishwaroopam, Unnai Pol Oruvan and Thuppaki elucidate many things about terrorism. Thalapathy is a movie that is high on reality instead of the usual Tamil film dogma – the hero doesn’t get the girl he loves and he accepts it without blaming the girl being untrue in love like most Tamil movies taken now. He eventually ends up marrying a widow and says he’s just protection for her. This movie broke many stereotypes – a man accepting a rape victim as his wife and her past – having an illegitimate child. He doesn’t only accept but supports her and even tells the illegitimate son that he is there as a father for him. Thalapathy is inspired by Mahabaratam. Baasha teaches us to stay out of trouble – that violence is not the answer for anything. Priyamana Thozhi narrates how a guy and a girl can be just friends. Sathuranga Vettai shows us how scams work, yet so many Malaysian Indians fell victims to the online investment plan scam. Tamil movies like Manathil Uruthi Vendum, Aval Oru Thodarkathai, Indra and even the Ramya Krishnan character in Bahubali teach women how to be independent, breadwinners, sustaining, have great leadership and brave. Kaakka Muttai teaches integrity, honesty and hard work – the kids could have easily stolen money to buy pizza or settle for the pizza brought for them by the rich kid but no, they wouldn’t. And, see how the kids see business opportunities in everything – to their puppy dog, “Dei, naaye vitturulama?” How many of us see Tamil movies in this perspective? Solli vaaye moodale, athukulle Puchong GSC IOI Mall le machas broke the glass of the theater because Maari tarak Maari. Evident what machas exemplify when watching Tamil movies.
I got the idea to write this after watching Papanasam which teaches us to use our thinking skills to the max. I hope machas don’t get inspired on how to cover up a murder scene after watching this movie and instead learn that without much education, one can come up in life the straight way and that one can learn about life by as well as gain knowledge that’s useful when watching Indian or Tamil movies.