South Indians are a pretty sordid bunch. Generally, merry-making is scowled upon, and any kind of revelry involving loud laughter is treated with disdain. Stares on such occasions can get a pouncing tiger to stop mid-air, and tuck its tail between its legs and retreat in shame.
Comedy is a joke. If you’d like proof, I would just like to direct your attention to one of two avenues:
1) The evening ‘entertainment’ that clogs up the average Tamil household. Hard hearts weep, children weep because they ask for Tom & Jerry in between and their wishes are not granted. Who has time for a cat chasing a rat when Leela is being beaten up by a goon of a husband, and one’s heart is wringing in sympathy?
2) Or attend a Brahmin wedding. While selecting the marriage, please make sure you pick a wedding where there is at least one oldie who prides him/herself on being pious. It is easy to identify. The pious oldie will have been removed from society and placed on a chair with close proximity to the priest, thereby allowing him to frown on the frivolous pair chatting during the solemn process of getting married. There is no merry-making – you could refresh yourselves with wedding chronicles again here
Not to be outdone, Tamil movies have gone ahead and created a genre that has yet to obtain a classification. One might call it fantasy, but fantasy is enjoyable, and the first paragraph categorically proves one cannot enjoy. There is a doctrine that is liberally preached in Tamilian homes, usually by the aunt who has had her laugh genes snapped off cruelly by the dances of fate. ‘Don’t laugh too much , for one will cry later, if one laughs now.’
Therefore, while watching the “Tamizh Padam” movie, I tried stifling my laughter for a while. I did not want to cry later. I forgot to check the latest psychological journals for ratio.
Do you cry for the same amount of time you laugh?
Do you cry as hard as you laughed?
The movie was a brilliant spoof of Tamil movies, and I must say I haven’t laughed like this in a long while. I have my box of tissues ready.