Participation review of Vijay TV s Neeya Naana

I was an avid fan of Vijay TV’s Neeya Naana talk show. I like the constructive discussions between general public. Other debates on TV focus on how well a person can debate. But, I thought Neeya Naana was focusing on facts and public awareness.

While watching the show a month earlier, my husband noticed a running scroll at the bottom inviting participation applications from women professionals So, I applied for it.

A week later, I got a call from Vijay TV. The topic was “Are men having a good time.., or are they toiling hard”? The caller was from Neeya Naana and he asked for my views on this topic. My instant reply was that I cannot generalize men. He urged me to answer it based on my general perception of men. As the discussion progressed, he asked me if I think being born as a man is fortunate and if I would like to be born as a man in my next birth. I do not believe in next birth.. and even if there was one, I am comfortable being born as who I am now. Based on this, he concluded that I think men toil hard. He asked if I can come to Prasad Studios in Chennai the next morning. I confirmed that I would be there the next day morning.

Arrival:

We drove from Pollachi to Chennai that night. We reached Prasad Studio in Vadapalani around 9.30 AM.  We registered my name with the Neeya Naana team there. During registration, the topic conveyed to me was slightly different. It was “How do women view men – are men dominating or responsible?”

There was a steady flow of participants till 10.30 AM. There were chairs for participants outside the studio. Breakfast was also served at the Studio. Most of the participants were busy discussing and debating points.   A few were calling up friends and relatives to inform of their participation in Neeya Naana. 3 ladies had already participated in Neeya Naana before. We waited outside the Studio till 11.30 AM.

Preparation:

We were finally called in to the Studio. Names were called out and participants were sorted as per their views – Men supporters on one side and Men haters on the other side. Lights were switched on.. the Neeya Naana set was there in front of us. We were allocated seats.  But, the seating arrangements were changed again and again for an hour. Reason given for this was participant’s dress colors and appearance should look well spread out when viewed on TV.

8202be616-1

The next one hour was extremely boring. We were asked to clap continuously with a smile on our faces. Then, we were asked to look straight for 10 minutes. These were recorded. This continued for around an hour while we waited for Mr. Gopinath, the famous host of Neeya Naana. Mr. Antony, the director of Neeya Naana, instructed both sides of participants. He gave us a list of points to be spoken about, and a list of points to be avoided. After this, his assistants instructed participants on the do’s and dont’s.. like don’t grab the mike, instead ask for it etc.

Starting:

Finally, Mr. Gopinath arrived. He had a brief discussion with the director, followed by a briefing with the assistants. It was past noon when the show started. Mr. Gopinath introduced the topic as “Women’s view of Men – Carefree or Suffering”. He started with the carefree side. Around 70% of what Mr. Gopinath spoke was prompted by the director.  At first, I felt strange that there was an echo for anything he says. Then I realized that it was the director prompting loudly. It looks like Mr.Gopinath or Mr.Antony had specific points in mind. As the mike moved among participants, they allowed a few participants to talk for long about specific points, but gave rude rebukes to a few participants for other points.

For Ex.., the lady who started talking about her personal experiences was rudely asked to stop. Mr. Gopinath instructed her was not to talk about personal “stories”. But another young lady who spoke of her team mates behaviour was encouraged to talk. This young lady did not use respectful language ( her exact words were “thanni adichittu mattai aagiduvanga”). But she was encouraged to continue talking.

Progress:

After 30 minutes of talking to the carefree side, Mr.Gopinath appeared stressed out. He said he was frustrated because participants were not giving answers  as he expected. For the next one hour, Mr.Gopinath picked out participants one by one, and threw questions at them on a host of men related issues. Those who could not give a satisfactory answer got harsh rebukes. At the end of an hour, most of the participants on that side were hushed up.

Only a few were encouraged by Mr.Gopinath to tell their views. These views were countered by a few ladies seated in the first row of the opposite side. Participants in the other rows kept voicing their views from the opposite side. Their views went unnoticed. Ladies in the first row appeared keen to keep the mike with them. Those who dared to shout out their views from the other rows were silenced by Mr.Gopinath. He said that  participants in the first row have answered his question and further replies were not needed.

W7VDW

By then it was already 1.30 PM. Lunch was served. Many participants in the men – supporters side were disappointed that they never got a chance to tell their views. They asked  the Neeya Naana team about this. Prompt came the reply that they can speak up in the remaining segments. A few others approached the director, Mr.Antony, and asked for a chance to tell their views. We saw Mr.Antony passing on the message to Mr.Gopinath.

Post lunch, Mr.Gopinath’s focus was on the men – supporters side. Mr. Gopinath raised a few points spoken by the opposite team. He asked participants to counter these views. One of the participants in the first row  was a lawyer. She was a voracious public speaker. She fiercely guarded the mike, answering loudly in English for every single question. She ensured that no one else got a chance to talk. Many times, Mr.Gopinath had to remind her that this was not a fierce debate, but a public discussion.

By then, other participants had been waiting for long. They loudly demanded for a chance to tell out their views. Mr. Gopinath used the same approach again. His question was about health problems faced by men. He pointed to a lady aged around 45 years to answer this. She said  men were responsible towards family commitments and that she wanted to talk about family related issues faced by men. Mr.Gopinath replied in a stern and harsh tone that she had raised her voice asking for a chance to talk, but when he gave her that chance she is not talking sensibly. The poor lady had tears in their eyes.

Mr.Gopinath continued the same with anyone who dared to raise their voice asking for a chance to talk. After an hour, all the participants were silenced. Either they were afraid to speak out, or were tired and had lost hope of voicing their views. After that, it was mostly a discussion between 4 – 5 participants and Mr. Gopinath. But, even this discussion was not interesting or sensible.

Discussions:

A participant in the first row of Men supporters side said that her husband was coming home late due to work, and their sexual life was miserable. This was countered by a young girl in the other side who said that in the fast life today, sexual happiness should be compromised, and it was not really a problem for men!

Another lady who had impressed Mr.Gopinath earlier on was given a chance to speak. She said that if both the husband and wife were working, they never had any interest in sexual happiness. The next half an hour was spent listening to this discussion. Mr.Gopinath and Mr.Anotny appeared quite pleased with the discussion between the 3 ladies. They sat in silence listening with a contentment written on their faces.

After half an hour, Mr.Gopinath was prompted by the director to applaud this discussion. He promptly claimed that he was proud of this discussion. He also proudly announced with this discussion proved how intelligent Tamil women were!

Conclusion:

The show was nearing its final stage. Mr. Ram, Tamil film director, was the special guest invited for this episode. Not sure why no psychologist, or thinker or writer was invited to preside over this.. instead, it was a film director. By then, I had a splitting head ache and could not take any more of this. So, I decided to leave during the next break. It was 4 PM when I left.

 

neeya_naana_vijay_tv_show

Review:

To summarize the show on one sentence – it is completely mismanaged. Most of the arguments and discussions we see on TV are edited and tailored. Actual shooting happens for 6 hours. This is edited and tailored to a one hour episode. So, the show aired on TV is not a genuine public talk show. It is a highly tailored and edited talk show.

Host Review:

Mr.Gopinath’s reply to lady participants is harsh and insulting. A talk show is one where participants engage in constructive discussions, not one where the host keeps bringing down the participant’s self respect.

Social Concern:

Tamil Media and Film industry has a section of people who project themselves as intellectuals. They acquire knowledge about social issues through books or movies. After this, they showcase the same issues in their films and shows. Then they become intellectuals overnight.

In addition, if this issue is related to Eelam Tamilians, or about Fishermen problems in Tamil Nadu, or about Marxist ideologies, etc.., the person is sure to be branded as an intellect in Tamil Film Industry. These intellectuals treat others who are not focusing on these issues as inferior common men.

A Participant’s Anguish:

I understand that the Neeya Naana team has the right to decide whose views to edit and whose views to broadcast. But do they have the right to invite participants and finally do not let them speak a word. Do they understand that participants travel at their own cost (many participants were not from Chennai), spend their time (it was a working day and women professionals were participating).. and finally get insulted by Mr.Gopinath?

Mr.Gopinath and the director appeared angry and tense throughout the show. At one point, Mr.Gopinath yelled out to the crew members, loudly shouting at them to lower the ear piece volume. It took him a minute to recover his pose and talk in a normal tone. Similar incidents kept happening through out.

If this show is well planned, organized and managed more efficiently, it would be a better and enjoyable experience for  Mr.Gopinath, the  Neeya Naana team and for the participants.

Looking Back:

My participation in Neeya Naana turned to be a very bitter experience. I took almost a week to forget the bitter memories. Why invite 50 professionals from across Tamil Nadu, shout at them and insult them, encourage senseless discussions for the sake of TRP, falsely propagate a sense of Tamil pride, include comments that degrade women and alienate migrants in Tamil Nadu, etc?

It has been 2 weeks since this happened. I have not watched Vijay TV since then… I will probably not watch Vijay TV at all in future. It is better to be at peace, rather than to be lured by such senseless media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A father’s anger, fuelled by caste

A cheerful morning dawns… it is wedding day for the lovers. Both are students studying for their engineering degree. Both are from the same religion, but from different castes. The boy hails from a lower caste dalit family, while the girl hails from a relatively upper caste thevar family. The girl’s family oppose their daughter’s choice of a lower caste man. Against their wishes, the lovers enter wedlock.

Post marriage, the girl’s family continues with their opposition. They relent their daughter’s life in a lower caste family. They bring her away and try changing her mind. But she returns back to her married life. They continue threatening her and her husband. But of no avail. Police complaints are lodged.. but no sign of the threats abating. Finally, after 8 months of marriage, three hooligans stop the couple in the center of a busy street in broad daylight. They hack the boy to death, and beat the girl up. Before the surprised city people could understand if this was a cinema shooting or a political rivalry, the boy’s breathing stops. This happened two days back in a western district of Tamil Nadu.

honour-killing1

Are we talking of a socially or economically backward region? No.. Tamil Nadu is a socially and politically progressed state. Tamil Nadu’s fight against caste oppression began more than 50 years back. Even before India got its independence, there were social movements questioning the caste system in South India. Marriages devoid of religious ceremonies are legal in Tamil Nadu. It is common to see socially progressive women remove their mangal sutras for convinience. Successive governments have strongly encouraged inter caste marriages.

Art, Literature and Movies have also encouraged thinking beyond caste and religious identities since decades. In fact, Tamilians spread across countries since the days of rajahs have followed this culture.

A socially forward society is suddenly walking backwards… shedding its rational nature, and embracing caste identities.

What has led to this downward turn of events…? Is it political vendetta of caste based outfits.. or is it a trend in tamil cinema towards caste based pride… or is it just fate?

I see this as a consequence of the celebration of heroism and honor.While many sections of the society actively move towards rational thinking… other sections have been moving towards hero worship. Post independence, there have been many heroes in the Tamil society. These heroes create an image of a generous, righteous and god like character for themselves. Cinema and / or caste movements give a helping hand here.

Once a hero attains this status of a protector and benefactor of the society, anything and everything he does is worshiped and praised by the masses. Emotional surges are visible throughout society at the very mention of his / her name. These emotional surges wipe out reasoning and common sense.

A decade of films portraying village chieftains and local dons paved way for this trend to take on local caste based identities. A common Hero for Tamil Nadu… was replaced with many heroes, one for each caste. A common collective identity and pride was replaced with caste identity and caste pride. This effect trickled down to politics too… Now many arenas in Tamil Nadu, from politics to movies are populated with local heroes with strong caste identities.

Society has now reached a point where an angry father can demand his daughter’s life if she becomes the wife of a lower caste man. This is  helped by the presence of influential political leaders of the same caste..In addition, it is fueled by movies glorifying the caste’s identities and culture. Men and women from this caste, spread across Tamil Nadu, might unite to protect the father… and empathize with him.

Youngsters and students who should be empathizing with the slain man and his wounded wife are busy with fun and frolic of college life… or they are busy with placements and examinations.

Men and women from the man’s lower caste are busy bringing good income to the government run liquor shops. While, there are a handful of demonstrations and agitations  from the lower caste questioning this… There is no sign of a mass movement urging the government to take strict action.

Elections are round the corner. The continuing string of honor killings should influence election results. But, schemes that promise free rations, free electronic appliances, free wages, subsidized housing etc have a stronger influence on election results.

Humanity, and the right to live have taken a back seat… Desire for easier ways to accumulate material wealth is of high social priority now. In fact, that seems to be the biggest collective priority.

Am I too a part of the same society..? Apart from being a silent spectator to this, what can I do? I can vote. I can clean my mind of hero worship and caste identity before casting my  vote.

your-vote-counts

Do I know the policies of the party and person I am voting for..? If not, I will also bear the consequences of his / his party’s faulty policies.. my family and future generations might be affected.

Did I favor him because of his caste or creed or religion..? If yes, I am risking my right to a dignified and peaceful life. A false sense of pride will not help me or my family’s progress.

Data Entry – Making Work from Home possible

Data Entry means entering data into a computer. Most data entry jobs involve converting paper documents into soft copy documents. It can also involve entering details of undelivered mails, entering answers from handwritten questionnaires, converting numeric codes into descriptions, etc.

Most data entry jobs require good typing skills, Prior experience with the computer and clerical work is an added advantage.  Academic qualifications are not mandatory. Payments are either fixed amounts for a set of documents, or fixed amounts for every 1000 words entered.

Many companies employ Data entry clerks to work from the company premises. An increasing number of companies have started to out source the data entry work, instead of employing permanent employees.

data entry

Where to find online data entry jobs

For International readers, websites like Craigslist, Monsterjobs etc have frequent posts for data entry jobs. For readers from India, Freelancer.in, MonsterJobs, Naukri etc have data entry requirements. Government of India regularly posts openings for data entry jobs in this www.IndiGovtJobs.in

A search in Google with terms like “Data Entry jobs” or Data Entry jobs in <your country> will bring back lots of websites with a wide variety of online data entry jobs.

Types of Data Entry jobs

If you are new to data entry jobs and would like to understand how it is done, You tube has many videos that demo data entry jobs. Reputed companies, Agents, University students, Research scholars etc often post requirements in these websites for data entry jobs.

Data Entry jobs are of many types:

Direct data typing jobs involve typing words directly in to Notepad or test editing softwares like MS Word.  Companies usually mandate a typing speed of 30 words per minute for this type of data entry jobs.

Form Filling jobs includes migrating data from filled up forms to files or vice-versa. This job involves typing huge amounts of data in already filled up forms into text files.. , or filling every field in the form according to data from text files.

Image to text conversion jobs involve typing text displayed in images, like captcha images.

Copy-Paste jobs can be found all over the internet. This would involve copy – pasting activities, like copy pasting a given advertisement text into many classifieds websites and forums.

Medical Transcription is one of the highly paid and reliable data entry jobs. This job involves referring to medical documents that are in the form of images.. and typing the same into text documents. This job is difficult because the documents involve difficult and complex medical related words.

Check

Beware of fradulent sites

It is important to identify fraudulent sites while searching for online Data Entry jobs. An advertisement for online data entry or Copy-paste jobs with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes is a sign of caution.

Go with sites that look professional, and display information about the company. While calling toll free numbers to sign up for data entry work, inquire about the company, its roots, frequency and mode of payments.

Ensure you pay a visit to the company (HQ or branch office) before making payments or signing contracts.

Try out a short term membership before making long term commitments.

If a trust worthy company is identified that makes payments on time and the payment amount is satisfactory, it would signal the beginning of a stable income. Happy Data Entry!

Image courtesy: All Things Clipart

Practical guide to losing weight

What does the word weight loss bring to your mind? Crash diets, Gym and personal trainers, Machines for home exercise, etc. The list is endless.

On deeper thought, weight loss is not a quick one month activity. It is a 3 step activity –  start losing weight,  tune the body to retain correct weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle throughout life.  In other words, weight and health go hand in hand. If a person is active, healthy and balanced, she is bound to have the correct weight.

In today’s world, a hectic life style is the main reason behind weight increase.  Women’s lifestyle involves running around taking care of several things together.  It leaves little time and energy to care for one’s body and mind. This hectic life style leads to insufficient or unbalanced food resulting in general weakness. Or it leads to mindless snacking and eating, resulting in obesity or high fat intake. But how then do we take care of responsibilities without compromising on weight & health.

Take things one at a time.Concentrate on the current work, without thoughts of rushing off to the next work. This comes in useful while handling busy morning hours. Boring household work like bending down to tidy the house, reaching high up the kitchen shelves, climbing stairs, heaving your laundry are all not just house hold chores. They are active exercises to keep you fit. Indulge in these activities eagerly.  
 
Spend time outdoors. Play with your kids. A game of run and catch or hide and seek will keep your body and mind young and fresh. If at work, use the stairs several times a day. It works your muscles and improves your stamina. Going to the neighbour hood shop or park is a good opportunity for a family walk. Rather than taking your car or two-wheeler, have a fun filled walk with your kids or a quite walk with your spouse.

An active life style is about consciously working your body. Feeling hit, active and healthy physically is the best way to retain correct weight and prevent diseases throughout life.

kondapalli_toy_cooking

Is it only exercises that tone the body and keep us fit. Apart from this, What we eat adn how we eat is the key factor to keep us active and fit for many long years. Sad enough, most of us have let our hectic life styles ruin our eating habits. You may be a busy home maker, or a responsible mother, or an active career women. Inspite fo these roles, every woman needs a balanced nutritious diet to keep herself fit and healthy.

Set aside time for your breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and needs to be high in calories. If you are an early waker, who is busy in the mornings preparing breakfast for the family, this is for you. Ensure you have a quick cup of cereals or oats or atleast a cup of coffee or tea before you start preparing breakfast. Ensure meals in the family provide for variety and nutrition. Fiber & carbohydrate rich foods like rice, wheat, vegetables etc need to be balanced with nutrition rich foods like egg, pulses, nuts and meat.
 
If little bites of snacks give you the much needed energy in between meal times, opt for fresh fruits, salads, boiled eggs or sprouts. Make dinners a time for relaxed family discussions. A warm glass of milk and easy to digest foods are  the best dinner combos. 
Sprouts salad

Image courtesy: Madhus Indian Recipes

An active life style and good eating habits ensure a healthy mind. But staying active, and fit also needs a healthy mind. Stress or sedantry mindsets are the biggest enemies in fighting weight increase.

Breathe easy… Consciously check to see if your breathing is fast and irregular. Slow and deep breathing ensure rhythmic activity of the lungs and heart.. thus ensuring a longer disease free life. Rest well and sleep long. Sleep is the key to a healthy mind. Do not let late night TV shows come in the way of your peaceful sleep. 
Let things go.. leave the past behind you. Brush aside disturbing incidents. Focus only on the present moment. Be determined to lead a happy life.

An active body and a happy mind are the key to health and long life. Turn your life style into an effective weight loss mechanism. This is a time tested guide to weight loss and healthy living.

Joint family – the delicate balance

Grandma’s, aunts, in-laws, cousins, kids,… and you have to find your place among these many people who live under one roof. Joint families are heaven for many, and a living hell for many. What makes it a heaven or hell?

The obvious answer is people and relations! Having one nagging sister-in-law or an interfering mother-in-law can make the joint family very difficult… Yet it is possible to lead a peaceful life in every joint family.

Kahani-Ghar-Ghar-Kii

Image source: TopYaps

Problems:

1. How do I retain my individuality, when I am expected to play the role of the perfect daughter-in-law?

2. How do I continue my hobbies / work / career when I am cooking and doing household chores all day?

3. How can I plan / delay having kids without answering questions?

4. Is it possible to retain my personal space and privacy ?

5. Can I protect the personal life between my spouse and me?

Causes to these problems:

Not one.. but many 🙂

The most common reasons for these problems are immature people in the family, very delicate relationships, etc…

saas bhi kabhi bahu thi 1

Image Source: The Sunday Tribune

Yet, there are ways to deal with these problems:

1. Take heart; you are not the only person facing problems. There are so many others in other families and in your own family too, who face problems. Many have found ways to deal with their problems and lead a peaceful life. So can you, if you have the patience and strength.

2. Watch, understand and accept people around you…. If you have an interfering aunt or mother-in-law, accept the fact that she has been an interfering person even before you entered the family. Interfering in other’s life  is her Nature and character. Protect yourself from her interfering character.

3. Keep away from people whom you have problems with. If you have to stay in the same joint family, then try avoiding having frequent conversations or personal discussions with people whom you have problems with.

4. If you are asked questions about your personal life / personal finances / career etc.., keep your answers short and simple. Giving lengthy answers and trying to defend your self will lead to unnecessary discussions / arguments.  You do not have to justify your personal matters to anyone else!

5. Keep yourself occupied with your hobbies / career / social activities. Focusing on your family will wipe out your talents and self -esteem.

6. Keep doing what you are good at… It is the biggest boost to your self-esteem. For example, if you are good at something (business / administration / teaching / sewing / cooking etc..), do not give it up for any reason. 

7. Protect your personal life with your spouse. Have personal intimate discussions with your spouse on matters that concern you. Of course, this requires co-operation from your spouse as well.

Happy peaceful women

Image source: Examiner.com

There is a Tao saying:

Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard

The bottom line:

It is quite natural to have likes and dis-likes. We can like members of our family, we can also dis-like them. But considering someone as our enemy will make our life difficult. It is better to retreat or keep away from people we dis-like. Why waste precious time in fighting or arguing… why involve in mind games?

The secret to a peaceful life is to ignore silly minded people. Focus on more important things. Keep doing what you are good at. Become financially independent. Do not lose your self-esteem or peace of mind at any cost! 

— These observations are based on my own experience and from other’s close to me. Your additions to this list are most welcome.