Y U No Show Love To Madrasis?

Posted by - Rohit

I watched her face beam with happiness, complimented by that sinister smile. I looked at her with utter disbelief when she said..."Let's watch Student Of The Year". 
The doors opened. We were in.

Seven hours and thirty seven minutes later: 
We walked out of the exit door, with none of us looking at each other's faces.  Something had hit us really hard and made us feel small, unwanted and frivolous. We asked ourselves the same question that a Pendant hidden in Pamela Anderson's cleavage would ask itself - "Am I really wanted in this big world?". The reason this disappointment was jutting out of our faces was - THERE WAS NOT EVEN A SINGLE SOUTH INDIAN IN THE MOVIE. 

(North Indian) Student of The Year, is a movie about a rich boy, Rohan Nanda, who wins a race and comes back to meet his friends after 10 years with a tattoo on his neck. He also has a poor friend, Abhimanyu Singh who cheats him with his cheater girlfriend, Shanaya Singhania, whose Hindi was dubbed by Claudia Ceisla. That's about it. 
So, all you Nairs, Nambiars, Mudaliars, Venkateshwarans, Iyers, Gullapallis, Goudas, Naidus, Reddys, Raos and all those people who have friends who say they know their language by saying "Yenna Rascala", I feel sorry for you, but for once, let's try to empathize and try to understand what could have been the thought process behind Johar excluding South Indians (which includes Malaysians and Arabs) from his movies.

For instance, let's just say that the rich son-of-a-business-tycoon boy, who wins the race and gets cheated, Rohan Nanda was named Rohan Nandakishoran. The crux of our assumption itself lies flawed. One, a rich South Indian either works for a rich business tycoon or a software company. Two; south indian boys are not allowed to race after school, three; how could one ever justify a hot girlfriend for a guy who has that kind of a last name; four, 10 years later the guy would be an Engineer in the US and would have new friends.
Now, let's think, What if the female lead in the movie Shanaya Singhania, who cheats her son-of-a-business-tycoon boyfriend was named Shanaya Subramanium. Again, our hypothesis is flawed. Question yourself, Shanaya Subramanium...is that name Loui Vuitton enough? What couples itself with a last name like Singhania is an attitude akin to - "Mera naam hain Shanaaya...aur lagta nahi ki tumne hain aaj Nahayaa" (Meaning - You heard my name...now get going.) And as far as a Subramanium is concerned, when you think of someone with a last name as that, you instantly start debating about world economics. 

When Krishnan Iyer M.A left his legendary mark in the erstwhile Agnipath, the younger Johar had one opportunity to cast a similar South Indian character for his remake. But then, the same question arose - Is the character Loui Vuitton enough?

In movies like Kal ho na ho, what if the central character, Aman Mathur, was named Ambati Gullapallis? One would have thought that the central character died because his last name was too heavy to be carried along and would have been happy for his death. There flies the sole purpose of the movie.
I tried to dig into every character that Karan Johar has created while directing a movie and looking at the list of Khannas, Malhotras, Mathurs, Talwars, Sarans and Khans for that matter, even a Venkatsubramnaniumramakrishnan seems microscopic.

After watching Student Of The Year, I couldn't sleep without being sorry for myself. I had Karan Johar in my dreams along with Renzil D'Silva conversing about the possibility of having one south indian character for their movie - 

Renzil D'Silva (RD): What do you think of Preethi Badrinath?
Karan Johar (KJ): What baby?

RD: What about Sukumar Parmeshwaran?
KJ: No Pomeranians in my movie hun, only Barjatyas use it.

RD: Tamil Selvan?
KJ: ...could you just pass me my purse?

This went on and on and on...and then I suddenly woke up shouting out loud "Rahul Anjali ka Jhagda...Rahul Anjali Ka Jhagda...Rahul Anjali ka...". My mom came running after hearing this cry of agony and she could feel my diminished self respect. With her eyes brimming with tears she patted my head and kept on saying "Mira Nair Beta...Mira Nair...Mira Nair...". I went back to sleep.

PS: Karan Jaganmohan Jagadeeshan,  (Hah! Take that Johar!) you are just not Joy Allukas enough for us.

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  1. This has been ur best so far! Can't stop chuckling over the lonely pendant & karan johar's purse ..! Wattey writing! Tu elections ke liye khada ho ja! South ka raja ban sakta hai!

  2. hahahaha....while karan johar is about class...mira nair is class apart..i hope u dont agonise over such poor excuse of a movie ...mira nair beta mira nair..remember?:)
    -Rucha ..not anonymous ;)

  3. Good humour. :-)

    Now, to answer your question, i don't wanna brag but i can only quote myself - "If you watch a majority of the movies churned out during this time, you might well be mistaken for thinking that about 80% of Indians are and can speak Punjabi. The other 20% exist mainly for ridicule and comic relief." (http://blog.free-radical.in/2012/05/un-indian-part-1.html - I love Pollywood).

    But what else can we expect from a Punjabi-dominated industry?

  4. "south indian boys are not allowed to race after school". You got me on that one! So freaking True!! LOL :D

  5. Good won Brether! I yam Sau gllad that Karen Johar did not inglude us south Indians in his headache of a movie. Though....you have to watch this with me again...no one else is willing to take that risk.
    Honestly, thats another India he makes movies about. and Sid's right. only Punjabis, Dilliwalas and some lone forsaken Rajasthani exist there. We watch our Indian movies as well where a true blue punju boy (Abhay Deol) plays a tamil IAS officer and yes, Shahrukh as shekhar in RA.one stole my heart :)...noodles and curd man...
    And even if it breaks your heart again, just in case you forgot:) Its Mira Nayyar, modified to Nair. She no South Indian my boy. :)

    1. :D :D Shaharukham Nair Khan would have been apt in Ra.One! :P

    2. I wouldn't mind even if Nair is a Punjabi here, but then a Nair always sounds like a Nair...so.

  6. Your AdChoices ad below the post -- revealingly -- offers me some sort of free jaunt somewhere with the SOTY crew. All publicity...

    1. Oh no no no. I didn't get paid for this. But do you really want to give that offer a try?

  7. Oh man! I could not stop giggling! :P Maybe we should plead Mani Ratnam to produce a movie called "Subramanian of the Year?" :D

  8. Its a great post that captures the quintessential diversity of perception in India. While Bollywood has a huge North Indian influence, it seems pretty 'uncool' to have a traditional South Indian name. All in all, it was a great read with some ticklish quirks and one-liners!
    great job....cheers!