Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tamil TV serials I watch: Anandam, Geetanjali, Kalki, Roja, Kettumelam, Engirindhol vandhaal

Every evening, I watch six Tamil TV serials, each one more absurd than the other. That should actually be seven serials but two run simultaneously on different channels. The common USP (unique-selling proposition) for all seven is that the protagonists are strong, silent women who keep putting the villainous men in their place. And it's not that all seven channels are associated with shakti power! Granted, Jaya TV screens four of these strong-women serials. However, two are telecast by Jaya TV's rival Sun TV and the seventh by Raj TV. In the Sun TV serial, not just the heroine but even one villain is female!

Sun TV kicks off my evening at 7 pm with a serial called "Anandam" ('Happiness'), all about two women, one very good and one very bad. The bad one Abhirami has ingratiated herself with her business-tycoon father-in-law to an extent where the logical heir, her hubby, has been cast into the outer wilderness. It is left to good girl Shanti to set right things. Which she tries to do in every sequence! Sun follows up 'Anandam' with 'Kolangal' (ËœRangoli') where Abhinaya separates from Bhaskar whose pal takes revenge by implicating her in the murder of the next woman her ex-hubby plans to marry. Abhi's good friend Tholkappian is also arrested and stabbed in jail by those who want to silence even someone whose cell-mate is a Che Guevara admirer! Abhi is tipped off about the attack but, instead of ringing up the police commissioner (PC) whom she knows, she takes a rick which stops by for petrol en route to the jail. It is only after the stabbing that she rings up the PC who arrives with an ambulance!

At 8 pm, Raj TV starts telecasting 'Geetanjali' where the protagonist gets into a series of scrapes but survives out of sheer force of character which manifests itself in reactions like banging a bucket on the head of a seemingly-recalcitrant spouse who then turns into a fully-committed hubby! Raj TV has changed the visuals for the theme song but Geetanjali is gong strong. A few minutes after Geetanjali has swung into action, Jaya TV starts showing 'Kalki' who is so good at everything she does that the director keeps heaping misfortune after misfortune on her.

Kalki's first hubby dies of leukaemia and she marries her brother-in-law Dharani who is beaten up and needs an operation to recover the use of his limbs. Kalki's bete noire is Pooja, who was engaged to Dharani and decides to take revenge after he gets married to his sis-in-law. Lurking in the wings is another villainess called Sheila who wants to take revenge on Kalki's sis Anjali who has married Karthik, the doctor Sheila loves. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Shakespeare would have said!

At 8.30 pm, Jaya TV moves on to 'Roja' where both the protagonist and her rival Sneha love the same person Mahesh. Roja has the inside track since she is married to Mahesh and has a son by him. All of which does not deter Mahesh who has an affair with Sneha and a daughter by her. Mahesh wants to do the decent thing by Sneha by marrying her but she refuses because an astrologer has stated that her mom Vaidehi will kick the bucket if the wedding takes place. The stars have actually told mom that Sneha will pop off but wise, old Vaidehi realises that her daughter is just the kind to bash on regardless if her own life is at stake!

Roja is followed by Kettumelam' (Wedding Beat') where a good guy agrees to marry a good dame but his pop dies in an accident when the boy's side is leaving the temple where the engagement has taken place. The good guy says he will marry the good girl but his mom and sis say enough bad luck has happened and there is no need to tempt fate. The good dame' brother works for a strong young granite-exporteress whose dastardly sibling tries to screw up her peace of mind and business. Kettumelam' is followed by Engirindhol vandhaal' where no one knows what's happening, appropriate to the title which means ËœWhere did she come from!' Akila is a physio to Kausalya, a tycoon's wife who is recovering from a major accident. The tycoon forces Akila to marry him since the physio's fiancee is in jail and can only be released if the tycoon testifies that a murder has been committed by someone else. And so they all live unhappily together ever after or for as long as it takes for the director to sort out the mess!

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