Happened to catch an ad for the magazine Kungumam on Sun TV and learned that Devayani, in her Kolangal Abhi persona, is going to answer questions from readers about issues they are facing. And before I could get over the shock of that piece of information, another ad, this time for the respected and venerable Ananda Vikatan, said Selvi Radhika would be answering similar questions from readers of that magazine.
When did TV stars become experienced enough to turn into therapists and psychiatrists? Radhika and Devayani are simply rich actresses who endure, and even then not always very practically, a series of scripted issues for half-hour a day, five days a week. And this qualifies them to advise people who are truly suffering and might require serious help and attention?! This gives the term 'couch potato' a whole new meaning!
I can think of two ways this thing is going to be carried out...
One, the two actresses are infact, really going to suggest solutions to the readers' issues. It would be the height of egotism for these two actresses if they believe that dealing with issues in a serial equips them with whats needed to tackle the problems of real people in the real world. And would reflect real badly on the magazines who are essentially preying on people's obsession with megaserials at the risk of harming them(with bad advice from two ill-equipped actresses) in the race to increase circulation.
Two, the questions are going to be answered by certified psychiatrists and the actresses' faces and TV characters are being used purely for marketing purposes. This is definitely the lesser of the two evils but still raises disturbing questions. Are we so movie- and TV-obsessed that we are now seeking answers to our problems from stars? Have the lines between real life and reel life blurred so much that people actually think the issues these stars go through are real and they are therefore well-equipped to lecture them on similar issues?
While I haven't seen Selvi, I have seen enough episodes of Kolangal to venture a guess on how Kungumam's 'Ask Abhi' column is going to look like...
Reader: Dear Abhi, my mother-in-law is illtreating me. What should I do?
Reader: Dear Abhi, my in-laws are very rude to my parents? What should they do?
Abhi: They should keep going back to your in-laws to be repeatedly insulted. And cry.
Reader: My in-laws are torturing me. What should I do?
Abhi: You could ask your parents to come home regularly so that they can be insulted and take some of the load off you. Never go to the police. And don't forget to cry.
Reader: Dear Abhi, I have discovered that my husband is infact Satan. What should I do?
Abhi: Nothing. Remember "Kanavane Kannkanda Dheivam!". Don't keep complaining or he may divorce you and marry someone else. Just keep crying.
Reader: Dear Abhi, I recently divorced my lowlife husband.
Abhi: Obviously you are a new reader. Otherwise I wouldn've have let you divorce him.
Reader: What do I do now?
Abhi: Find another lowlife who has also divorced his wife. Show off your wealth until he and his family will want you atleast for your money.