Updated: December 13, 2021 3:03:42 pm
The weekend episodes of Bigg Boss Tamil season 5 was singularly dominated by the debate over the kind of relationship that contestants Pavni Reddy and Abhinay share in the house. For the uninitiated, Abhinay’s fondness for Pavani was interpreted as a blooming romance by the housemates even as both of them have denied that they were anything but friends. But the nature of their relationship always tickled the curiosity of the other housemates and of late became a subject of serious gossip in the house.
All the murmurs from the various concerns of the house came to the forefront on the show last week, when other contestants, especially Priyanka and Raju, openly debated about Pavni and Abhinay. Pavani lost her cool and asked other men in the house to back off telling them in no uncertain words that it is none of their business to debate her relationships in the house. The conflict seemed quite clear and it was easy for others to take a stand on the matter, including Kamal Haasan.
The issue here was Raju, Imman Annachi and a few others behaved allegedly in an indecent manner by poking their nose into Pavni’s personal life. Kamal, drawing on his own experiences of being subject to such gossip, slammed all men who were itching to peek into Pavni’s personal affairs. “Don’t try to look into someone’s bedroom,” Kamal said.
Up until this point, the issue was easy to grasp for everyone. There was no space for ambiguity and nuances. It was easy to judge and take a stand. On Saturday’s episode, the reason seemed to be winning. And by the end of Sunday’s episode, the tables had turned against Pavni and Abhinay, leaving both of them in a pretty tough spot than they were before.
On Sunday’s episode, Kamal offered Raju an opportunity to add something to the debate. Raju said, “I will seriously think about what you said. And I will try to change.” Kamal appreciated it and asked if he had anything else to add. He said, “Pavni earlier today told me that even she was confused whether Abhinay has any feelings for her like everyone in the house suspected.”
Kamal shuddered as if a bomb exploded under his feet. He did not even take a few seconds to contemplate what seemed like new information to him. He turned to Pavni and asked her to explain herself. And there was a kurumpadam, which is Tamil for a short film, where we were shown discussions leading up to Pavni’s talk with Raju that turned the debate on its head.
In a nutshell, Pavni had told Abhinay that his extra caring attitude towards her is making everyone talk about them. So she had asked him not to be so kind to her. It was later revealed that it was Amir’s counsel that prompted Pavni to confide in Raju.
What Kamal missed to point out during Sunday’s episode is the power of gossip and how it ruins people’s mental peace and even relationships. Immediately after ‘kurumpadam,’ Thamarai Selvi with a lot of authority asked Pavni, “You could have avoided him, right? Nobody would have spoken about it.” And Kamal was quick enough to see the problem in her question and asked her to keep quiet.
Thamarai represents the conservative thinking that dominates our day-to-day discussions. At the end of the day, it is easy to hold the woman in such a matter accountable as opposed to considering other factors that contributed to her predicament.
The likes of Thamarai fail to see their own contribution to the issue. Maybe, Pavni would have been able to fully appreciate Abhinay’s gesture, if she had not to worry about what people said? Maybe, Pavni would not have felt the urge to explain herself to everyone, distancing herself from Abhinay, if she were not made the top subject of the in-house gossip? Maybe she would have dealt with her situation with Abhinay in a different and kinder manner had she not been subjected to such scrutiny.
Abhinay, on the other hand, seemed mature enough to share the responsibility for the situation. And he continued to maintain, he had no ill intentions and he genuinely cared for Pavni. It is also reasonable to expect that he should have cut back on his chivalry if Pavni had told him that it was causing her trouble.
Pavni also had the option to ignore all the gossip and maintain or break relationships on her own terms. She also had the choice not to explain her position as she doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone.
And all these intricacies and nuances were lost in the din when everyone mounted their high horses and began to pass judgements. Sunday’s episode demonstrated how much we hate a little ambiguity in life. We want a person’s record to be squeaky clean, should he or she be worthy of our sympathy and support. At the sight of the first contradiction, we drop the anchor and jump the ship.
Pavni’s dislike for Abhinay’s chivalry doesn’t absolve the other housemates, who never stopped gossiping about them, forcing them to tell harsh things about each other and destroying the friendship between them.
Kamal Haasan kept telling other housemates not to talk about this issue any further. But, what he should have talked about is the mindsets that make the lives of other people difficult. It doesn’t matter who has the upper hand morally in the case of Raju and other housemates vs Pavni and Abhinay. In the end, it would have benefited everyone if the issue was used to make people more empathic, humble, and human.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. All it did was embolden some conservative and problematic thinking in the house.
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