This show basically discusses hot topics happening in the state of Tamil Nadu in India, of which Chennai, formally known as Madras, is the capital. The show airs on STAR Vijay, but Malaysian viewers can watch them on ASTRO Vaanavil. Basically two panels will be formed by inviting various members of the society of different social backgrounds, age and gender depending on the topic of discussion.
For instance, the episode I watched last night was entitled Boys vs. Girls. The topic at hand was to discuss how both groups view relationships and the ways of coping with its struggles in daily life. At first, I was not one bit interested because I was expecting cheesy Tamil movie elements. But then, I did watch two previous episodes of Neeya Naana and it was completely mind blowing. So I thought, why not give it a try.
The show kicked-off with the host, Mr. Gopinath introducing both panels. He described the episode as a very colourful one since all the panel members were either handsome boys or beautiful girls. Now, Gopinath meant every word, but audiences at home who would expect model-like drop-dead-gorgeous hunks and chicks would be disappointed. Unlike some US TV shows where only those with good looks can appear on TV, say the reality shows that come from there, Chennai-based media have always had a more realistic approach. Looks are never an issue, even in movies.
Gopinath then continued by asking the girls how would they like if boys initiated a conversation. These girls were perfect for the panel because they would not shy to admit that girls loved to be flattered. Almost every one of them said that they loved it if boys approached them by complementing on something. For instance, a good achievement academically, like a presentation during lecture.
Another thing was no hitting around the bush. Straight forward and direct to the point. They don't find it nice if the guy tries to hide the fact that this is the first time he is meeting the girl and he pretends as if he had seen her before and only now had the guts to approach her.
Also one of the girls said that it would be best if the guys wanted to appear sincere to have a serious relationship - either a romantic one or even friendship, he should respect the space between them when first approaching. Being too near might give the impression he is being flirtatious and this may not seem to complement the Asian culture, or the Tamil culture if one may say. She also noted that eye contact is very important. Indirectly, she made it quite clear NOT to stare at a girl's breasts! Haha! This gives girls a concrete first impression whether the guy is a good person or not.
Then it was the boys' turn. If I may say, I could totally relate to most of the things they said! LOL! Great minds think alike, mates!
One of the boys noted that a girl who talks blushingly or as if she was shy seemed cute and sweet! Totally agree! And it is a complete turn-off when a girl just talks non-stop like a bullet train. Preach, man! Preach!
One boy simply said that if a girl initiates a conversation with a pleasant smile, it would be really sweet. Though simple, his statement was unarguably very true. I have had girls come up to me asking something or just simply starting a casual talk with a long face and it is irritating!
Another guy said that a formal introduction is essential for any relationship. Could be.
Not many of the boys seemed to want to say something about this matter. It is as if they never put much thought into it. So Gopinath quickly turned back to the girls and asked them what is it that they like boys to talk to them about.
Apart from being flattered, a girl made a point by saying that a guy that knows a lot about general knowledge would appear great. Also, if the guy talked about his goals, it gives an idea to girls on their maturity level. Wow!
Another girl noted that man usually only talk seriously when discussing about man-related topics, like cricket (its the most popular sport in India , I think). It is almost a must to talk about things girls like too that is not necessarily girls stuff like music, movies, relationships. Or else, it would just be a mono-talk.
One more girl mentioned that simply talking about one's likes and dislikes such as their favorite food, gadgets, cute stuff like teddy bears and so on can bring the conversation to a same level. Even gossips help too! Then I was like - totally!
Seriously speaking, the girls had a lot they wanted to say!
When this question was posted to the guys, one of them said that girls are very, very, very dreamy! Like totally! They love it when guys are there to listen to their dreamy stories. Like when you're in love, guys love to listen to girls tell us that they had a dream about them being together and her father comes and forces her to marry someone else... and it may go on and on. Sigh........ makes me want to fall in love! =)
Speaking about love, it was as if the camera had fallen completely in love with one of the guys at the boys side. The camera could not stop focusing on him. At first, one may get the impression that he is there merely for eye candy. But when he spoke for the first time, it really meant something. It was as if he was reading what was in my mind at that time if I was part of that panel. A guy loves it when a girl talks casually with such innocence. Even though the guy might not relate to whatever the girl says, it is such a pleasure just watching her displaying her innocence in her speech. Awwwwwwwwww.... soooooooooo true!
Not just eye candy....
Now for the fun bit. What things that may seem like a small mistake in the eyes of guys, but is a huge offence in the world of girls!
Some cheesy stuff mentioned were forgetting important things like the date of the first time they met, teasing a girl in front of your boy mates, telling lies unnecessarily, not saying it out loud that you love her, making her wait like on a date, making fun of your girl when it actually offends her deeply and so much more. I've heard this time and time again. Sigh...
When it was the guys turn again, this time, the guys seemed to have a lot to say!
One boy mentioned that it hurts when a girl ignored you completely when she is angry with you. His own personal experience was when he had some misunderstanding with his girl, she completely ignored him and gave him the silent treatment for months. That made him full of emptiness.
At this point, the discussion took a serious turning point where Gopinath asked the other guys how they felt when girls gave them the silent treatment. And may I say I personally hate the feeling of it each time a girl pal of mine does that to me. It hurts deeply... very much. And that was pretty much what every guy on the panel had experienced.
The eye candy dude said he would feel as if the whole world had stopped. Nothing can be done... he cannot sleep, eat or study well. As dramatic as it may sound, that is exactly how I would feel.
A great emptiness....
If you think that was dramatic, you have seen nothing yet. The guy next to him said he had a terrible experience when his ex left him after giving him the silent treatment for months. He had no idea if she still wanted him or she had dumped him. He was left with lots of questions, not knowing what the real problem was, or what was it that he did to deserve this silent treatment. No matter how much he tried to cover up the tears flowing down his cheeks with a smile, the poor guy finally broke down into tears and started to weep.
A young man crying on national TV... that's how serious the effects of a silent treatment can actually have on a guy... T.T
Host Gopinath allowed the boy to say what he wanted to say to his ex out there watching... and there was no anger... just lot of pain... lots of it...
As a guy, I could feel the pain that poor guy was experiencing, even when he was calmed down and talked directly to the camera. However, perhaps some girls might find it cynical or even fake.
This girl might have found the boy's speech fake and rolled her eyes while applauding for him later on... Grrrrrr....
Apart from the deadly silent treatment, other things that guys said that girls did that was offensive to them was when girls make silly excuses to avoid them, and make the effort to make the excuses seem clearly and obviously stupid just so they can send the message that they are very, very upset! That's a good point. Another thing that was already mentioned a few times earlier was the bringing up of old feuds and problems by not letting bygones be bygones.
Next, when it seemed like the show can no longer get more exciting, Gopinath asked the girls what was it that guys did that showed they insensitiveness. The answers were rather interesting.
The cynical girl made a good point. According to her, girls feel bad when they don't get any complements when they take hours and hours to get dressed up, do their hair and put on make-up. Not only do the boys not notice any of this, they even scold the girls for taking so long to get ready and make them wait for so long. Ouch!!!
Another personal experience from one of the other girls was that she was having a meal with the boyfriend. While eating, she told her boyfriend about something important that happened at college. Instead of listening to her, the boyfriend seemed to be busy enjoying his meal instead. That was completely hurtful.
Lesson of the day: Don't tell you boyfriend something important while he's enjoying his food!
Another girl was hurt deeply when her boyfriend was mean to her while they were out shopping. Not only did he fail to help her choose clothes to buy, he told her that going shopping with her is the most tiresome task a guy can ever do because he has to wait for hours just so she can choose one miserable blouse or jeans. Ouch, once again!
Now, guys are not the only ones who are insensitive. I of all people should know that =D.
Here is what the guys had to say about girls being insensitive.
When guys are waiting for them, that is when girls start talking a lot. It is as if they don't care that the poor guy is waiting for them. Oh dear... tell me about it. Sigh.....
Another guy said that girls want guys to tell them that they love them every time. It is almost compulsory for them to expect guys to remind them over and over again. On a personal note, he added that his girl was once angry at him for not saying good night! What the....? He had to cut the conversation via hand phone because there was a traffic police up front and he was on his bike. He had no choice, but his girl went all temperamental. Now that's crazy!
Many of the audience and panel members found this amusing!
It is a norm that girls love to be praised. They love complements very much. The panel members were generally not feminists and were not ashamed to admit this. When asked, the girls admitted that they like it when guys complement on their clothes, their talent, their courage and even their cooking! One girl particularly felt as if she was on cloud nine when the boys at her college praised her for being brave enough to question their student council's authoritarian vice president!
Another norm is that girls always mean something else when they say something. Guys were asked first about how much they know about this. Most of them were absolutely clueless. Well, what do you expect? We won't be guys if we know what girls mean when they something when the mean something else, right?
But one guys said that each time his girlfriend put a smiley after typing good night while chatting, it meant she is angry over something. Over what you might ask? Only God knows....LOL!
Since the guys were so clueless, the girls were questioned instead, since they are the experts. One said if they say 'yes' to something fairly quickly, it means 'no'. Then why not just say no? Confused..........zzzzzzzzzzz.........
Another one said if they say 'your wish', it literally means never do that!
Another girl also talked about chatting and SMS-ing. If a girl just replies 'K' to something, it may mean 'OK'. But that does not necessarily mean she's OK with it. It actually means she does not like it one bit! What???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At this point my head was spinning. Girls are such a confusing species....
According to another girl, if a girl and guy have just had a fight and have not spoken to each other for sometime. The girl may just decide to call the guy up and ask him if he had called her. After he had answered no, she would quickly put down the phone. Though this may appear as something random to the average guy, it has an important subtle message. The girl actually want YOU to call HER and make peace! Wow!
Next, Gopinath had two guests to come on the show and share their point of views on the differences between boys and girls in relationships. One was Dr. Shalini, a renowned psychiatrist and writer in the city. She made a very simple point that the best way to describe men are that their minds work like that of a hunter. A hunter is not supposed to show emotion despite being human. If he does, he will not be able to kill animals for food to make a living.
She also added that language is not part of men's field. This limits their ability to show emotion. This does not apply to women, which is why they can talk all day long since they are naturally emotive. So, when a guy does not talk much or say much, girls misinterpret this as something insensitive. But it is they who are insensitive because men are not emotionally tunned.
Another was Dr. Venkatesh, a senior psychiatrist. He made it clear that men struggle, and have to struggle to be on the same emotional level as their female peers and spouses.
Dr. Venkatesh was frank when he said that the first thing boys look for in girls is beauty, or sexual attractiveness. This is not because boys are highly sexually driven but that is just the way we are tuned. Every boy has their individual preference when it comes to to their choice of girls' appearance. The next level is their talent, let it be music, art, humour, cooking or anything it may be. The following level, when the boy and girl are together, the boy looks upon the girl as a homemaker. She is suddenly expected to be on the same level as his mother!
Because of the strict Asian values within the Tamil household, most boys would expect their wives to follow the rules of their homes. The girl may come from a liberal and westernized background, but the boy would expect her to behave in a conservative and religious way just the way he was brought up by his traditional parents!
After about more than an hour, the show finally came to an end. Gopinath concluded the show by saying that both men and women are different but are also equals.
Concluding the show...
Well, what can I say? There was much to process. The female mind is not just complex. It is very complicated. So complicated that I still have lots of unanswered questions despite learning so much. I would have liked it more if each panel was asked to identify their own weaknesses instead of just talking about the opposite side's flaws. Also, the part on the silent treatment was truly haunting.
It is sad that this show has no subtitles since most people of Tamil Nadu do know Tamil and it is their people and the members of the diaspora who watch it. Nobody else generally does. A few of my friends showed some interest in watching it but sadly they might not understand a thing. Anyway, here is the link....
(P/s: If you don't see it, just move your cursor randomly around this small area below and it will pop up...tq)
A simple message to anyone, feminists in particular, who might have have found this entry offensive. I apologize from the bottom of my hear. This is merely the thoughts of an immature 20 year old who is a feminist himself and is yet to understand the female species. Nothing personal, please.