Saturday, November 08, 2008

Being a part of..

the protests of the Tamil Film Industry for the struggle (any word of the English language seems very small to describe or even be an adjective for what they are undergoing) that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are going through was unsettling. Even if someone does not want to consider the fact that the people who are suffering are ones who speak the same language as the ones in Tamilnadu, just about a few hundred kilometers away, people are dying by the lakh. How can someone not feel the angst?
If you had watched, say Life is beautiful or Blood Diamond, the heaviness lingers long our hearts long after we come out of the theater, for just the picturization of what the people have suffered. Several people I know, stopped buying diamonds after watching Blood Diamond. Quite some time ago, while I was in school, there were people who came to inform us about the child labour in Sivakasi, right before Deepavali when I was in 6th Std. And after that, most of us quit buying crackers. Somehow, maybe it makes sense to say "catch them young" because the habit broke there. Just because it is a "shastram" to burst crackers, we buy just a pack of sparklers to burn off, and that one pack is split over Deepavali and Karthikai.
To listen to the spirited way the artistes spoke at the protest was extremely tough, because I cannot stomach a lot of things and to break down emotionally can be embarrassing for me. Everyone would say it is a publicity stunt. So I started to count. Multiply weird. And keep my emotions private and hold on until I got to the confines of my own home.
I belong to Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram. And have often heard several stories of the refugees landing up there. There was a time that Mom wanted to do something for them, go and meet them. They are people. But then, what can two women do? And fear of a lot of other things as well.
We have this gut-wrenching heart-wringing feeling when you hear/read about the suffering people are going through. There is something beyond politics, beyond borders, beyond a lot of things, that which is to just be a human being. To just identify and realize within yourself that it hurts to see someone suffer. This Deepavali was dismal to say the least. India and Sri Lanka are half an hour away by air. One end of this half hour, there would be fireworks up in the air, symbols of joy, while on the other end there are missiles, the symbols of destruction and despair. Half an hour and an ocean to make a huge difference. There was nothing to celebrate this Deepavali. And we did not.
As long as the Tamil Film Industry is concerned, it is common knowledge that this is a melting pot of people from all over India. And this is where you would find a Kannadiga, a Telugu, a Malayali, a Maharashtrian, everyone protesting for the cause of the Tamils suffering in Sri Lanka.
I was there at the protest and I was not allowed to leave before speaking... I was sure I did not want to speak, there were highly respected people on stage and I was probably the youngest there. I didn't think it was my place to speak at such an august assembly. I said so and just sang Oru Deivam Thanda Poove (at the behest of Sri Ramesh Kanna). In retrospect, as I descended the stairs that led up down the dais, I thought I should have sung Vellai Pookkal instead.
This is wishing for the chirp of beautiful birds, the zing of dewy air, misty mornings, beautiful lovely evenings, calm sleepy nights, magic of nature, happy faces, joy, happiness, brotherhood and above all, eternal peace for my brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles in Sri Lanka. Our prayers, personal regards and sentiments are with them.

19 comments:

Priya said...

Heyy Chinmayee,

I've been the greatest fan, ever since I heard your voice in Kannathil Muthamittal, and my passion for listening to your songs, just kept on growing. I'm living in Canada and do watch Super Singers, and sometimes watch the show just to see you sing a few lines live! You've got a blessed voice!

I was just browsing thru ur website, and read a few things abt you :) I cud recall you mentioning something about becoming a writer, but you didnt have the drive, therefore your writing skills have only gone to the extend of personal journal writing...Well I have to tell you, writing is another field you gotta explore, beyond your singing abilities, and language skills; you've got excellent, inspirational writing skills! I was impressed.

Other than your writing skills, the content is very informational and above all as your neighbouring Tamil, I have to appreciate your support and committment that you've showed at a very personal level for my people suffering backhome. My respects to you!

Best,
Priya

Ramyah Subramaniam said...

Hey Chinmayee,
Such a thoughtful post. All that we can do is pray for serenity and peace in Sri Lanka and support our Tamilians.

Anonymous said...

What the lankan government is trying to do is not good..
What the LTTE is trying to do is not good..
Because of these wacks, Both people of both sides suffer.. No amount of justification can any side claim.. There are always 2 sides..

Kashmir india vs pakistan
isreal vs palestine
china vs tibet.. and so on.. so many of them..

The big problem is none of the leaders from both sides has the !"censored"! to stand up and say "look enough of blood"..
They never learn..

Aakarsh said...

This post reminded me of the scene in Kannathil, where Madhavan and Prakash Raj engage in a conversation about what is the cause of this suffering?
As always,people who start such turmoil are few, while sufferers are many.

Madhu said...

Thank you so much chinmayi. I was amazed by the way the film industry got together to do something like that. There wasa point when most of us Srilankan tamils thought that there is no one the outer world of SL who cares. Politics play. But the film industry had proved that there are several many who cares.

I just can't explain by words how happy we all felt for that. SOME PEOPLE REALLY CARE ABOUT US :D...and the happiness is beyond words. thanks so much for the prayers and hope at least all of you kind hearts' prayers with our very years and years' of prayers bring peace. Trust me, the tamil film industry brought tears..Anandha kanneer in every single SL tamils.
Thank you vey much :D

Chandru said...

Do what ever.. but "Ussshhhh".. all in silent mode.
becaaaaaaause, " we can also express our feelings by being silent" < Mouna Viradham > :)

anyways, lets keep the fingers crossed.
God Bless

Anonymous said...

!! first intha postay oru surprise..never thot u wud be reading a serious topic being discussed here..sec surprise
//I belong to Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram.// oray oorkarangala aaiteenga :) santhosham.

my 2 cents on this issue.

itha oru ethnic groupoda prachanaiya indiala project pannitrukom. this is an issue which deserves damning from the whole world. Jus because they speak our language we feel more emotional in ths issue n rightly so. but athukaga ithu tamilsoda issuenu brand panrathu totally unacceptable. apo bengalisoda issuesnu bangladeshi refugee issue and kashmir pandits vs Pak issue and Hindi folks vs localites in NE india nu katchi katti vitutta ethukumay as a nation we wont be able to find a solution. Y didnt any of the movie guys or politicians down south raise their voice to refugee issues in bengal. avanga prachanai namaku ethukungara mathiri thana iruku. or since we dont understand bengali avanga suffering doesnt make us emotional?? to take refuge in an alien land..being thrown away from their native is THE most degrading stuff that can happen to a person. lets not view it as sectarian. Its INHUMAN and against the norms of any civilisation. tamizhana paakama manushana paatha inum reach agumnu enaku thonuthu. Chotte mooh badi baath maathiri thonithuna..manichukunga :)

~gils

Padmanabhan said...

All said and done, I just dont think the film people really care. They will have to face issues if they dont attend such 'compulsory' events and most people dont have the guts to say what Ajith said. Anyway, I think Ganani had a good article in Kumudam about this and I sort of agree with him on this.

குப்பன்_யாஹூ said...

Hi Chinmayi

Its very pleasure to hear that you are from paramakkudi.

Now there is no wonder for your shining skills.


Regards

Kuppan_yahoo

Anonymous said...

being a srilankan-tamil
your post really touched me.

Madhav said...

Vellai pookal was undoubtedly the right song for that occasion. Oru theivam thandha is also good. Somehow, vellai pookal's lyrics gives me a sense of hope which is what fellow tamils in Sri Lanka need. Like Timothy Robbins says in Shawshank Redemption, "Hope is a beautiful thing". See it, its as godd as or even better than Life is beautiful and Blood Diamond; and with Morgan freeman as the narrator, do I need say more?

Regards
Madhav

ப்ரியா said...

Dear Chinmayi,

Very thoughtful post.
It triggered me to write this piece.
http://synapse-junctionofthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/11/blog-post_10.html

with a heavy heart,
Priya

Anonymous said...

All I could say to you and the rest of the Tamil Film industry is Thankyou, whole heartedly.

- J

MathuKrishna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You look like a saurastiran, arent you.

arun said...

Hi Chinmayi akka,

Such a meaningful post..
Let us all pray for our brothers and sisters in lanka.

And God is there to save them.,.

Vidiyatha iravu endru ethuvum illai......

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 1st post:
No one likes a war.but war is abt da only weapon v tamils had against da SL government. what u mentioned r all btw 2 governments...this one's a minority ethnic group fighting against a mighty government which has all da support of da world..
Pls listen 2 SEEMAN's speech on that day again...

n Chinmayii thanks 4 da moral support!!! hats off:-)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Hi Chinmayee,

Your post shows how you care about our fellow beings. I have been a regular reader of your post since a long time. Our family is addicted to your first song "Oru theivam thantha poove". I was almost on tears when I read that you sang that song on the stage, and walked down. Your thought of 'Vellai Pookal' at that time is wonderful. Yes, you could have sung that too. Wish you good luck and wish the fame and wealth does not change you.

Vijayan said...

Hi,
Nice to hear about your humanity in words.I 100% agree with srilankan tamilians problems.
have concerns abt sivakasi child labour as
I born and broughtup from sivakasi.
You can notice the media focusing sivakasi at the time of Diwali for attention.But crackers are manufactured all over year.
Sivakasi we have atleast 100schools
and famous colleges(10) and professionals spread all over world.
Nothing serious as media depicts.
we are your diehard fans to listen FM online & songs.

Thanks
Vijayan
USA