Sunday, June 22, 2008

Films , drinking and the influence

( In this article, I am not claiming that those who drink are bad nor that teetotalers are gods. I know once's character and personality has nothing to do with his habit).

Yes- habit!! This is nothing but a dangerous habit. According to the latest statistics, Kerala tops in the net alchohol consumption levels in India. To put it bluntly, our State has the largest number of drunkards. I have personally felt that this is true. During my student days in America, I have stayed and interacted with lots of Northies. I have also studied undergrad in CET. So, I know what these stats mean. Only a very small fraction of Northies are addicted to alchohol. In CET, the scenario was totally different. At the tender age of 21, close to 75% of my batchmates were prone to drinking.People say that drinking is not as dangerous as smoking. The fact is that both are equally bad ...

Many a times I have wondered why Keralaites are more prone to drinking. Well, there are many reasons for that.. One is the unique demography that we have without a solid Hindu influence.( This is not to say that Hindus do not drink). But the biggest factor, according to me, is the influence of the media- the electronic and visual media. There are many films that openly depict heroes as outright drunkards. A typical plot of a Mallu" hit" Mohanlal movie is like this.. This guy is the best in studies, in sports, in singing, in dancing, in running after girls and last but not the least drinking..Added to that he has a battalion of friends who play stooge to him. What an impossible, unrealisticplot is this? Have you ever seen such a personality in real life? O.K agreed this is reel life.. We can give the benefit of the doubt to Mohanlal and people like Renjith who craft these movies.. The fact is that young people try to take this close to the heart and start imitating these characters. They believe that if you are a man you should drink, you should womanise or whatever..

We should understand that during the 1950s and 1960s , the heroes were potrayaed as good people. Most of the movies had some solid theme to take home.. Not a cliche plot like rivalry between two ancestral properties ( of course based in ottapalam) and how the hero crushes all the villains. Why have our movies stooped to such low levels of entertainment? The film makers should realize that they are setting a really bad precedent for the future generations. The electronic media is adding fuel to the fire..

When you are in college, there will be lot of people around you who seem like " friends". They instigate you to do lot of things including drinking.. If you don't drink, you are classified as an outcast..less of a man..After some years, maybe 5, these so called " friends" diminish by half.. At the end of 10 years, you will still have only 4 to 5 friends- which are you real true friends.. The rest are just a crowd.. This is the case with 99.99% of the people. One thing is certain.. No true friendship can be built over a whiskey bottle. True friendship is something more than that..It may not be visible, but yes, that will remain ..

In any place, there are heroes.. When you enter college, the heroes are the ones who take a bike to college in the very first semester, who is adept at both drinking and smoking and one who can command a good female fan following.. This guy is the eternal maverick., who never sits in class yet passes all exams., who has some level of political influence, who acts like the rough and tough guy. From my personal experience, I have seen that these " heroes" become big zeroes after college.. Then, all these friends and fan circles diasppear and he is left to fight his real battle alone..

I am not a big fan of Hollywood movies.. I am a Malayalee wherever I go. But our film makers should take a cue from some English movies like say," Remember the Titans". This is a truly inspirational movie. These are the kind of movies that our youngsters should watch and try to emulate.. I tell you.. drinking is a easy habit to take up.. anyone can do that.. some filmstars do that on screen..But let that be just on screen. As youngsters, pls try to avoid that dirty , dirty habit.


Ambili Jayachandran said...


I belive that smoking nd drinking- are both- very SILLY habits..people who take to it should be absolutely immature!!!

Now, about movies infulencing drinking.. I'm not sure if u have watched DDLJ - where Shah Rukh Khan - or SRK as the media calls him- plays the role of a guy who is a rich kid- boozes (tat s the character's kind of fun) and is totally care-free. This movie became all-time hit and is still one of the fav amongst almost all northies. Even then, this same boozing thing was not repeated again in his movies( atleast not as something heroic)..may b coz film makers know that ppl in north do not consider it as heroic!
In Kerala, the parents of these kids think that once they get into eng- and if they get thru later to an IT comp- they are demigods type! the day they get into eng, they get them a bike- consider it a privilege that even their under-aged son is riding a bike/ car without license..that he had beer! etc etc
So, that is the reason y such films are also popular! Simply cos the previous generation (not only the gen X) think of all this as somethin classy!!!!!

So, we should be looking ahead for a socio- cultural change. Here, I would also like to point out that - as a gal who has stayed at various places in TN, Delhi- Gurgaon, and now Banglaore- I can vocuh that no where else I ve seen so sexually frustrated men! See, i dont mean to say that women are safe elsewer.
But, still you just have to travel in a city/private bus to figure this out. Females have to undergo pinching, males pushing then ( and mind u- males of all ages) etc inside a bus. It mite be there in other states also- but none like Kerala! And no where elae- considering that TVM and Cochin are cities- is it soo dangerous for females to walk on the road after 6.30- 7 pm. I have personally ( if ever i have been later than 7 pm) prayed to god and walked! Whereas, even in a smaller city like Trichy in TN, you dont feel so dangerous- you can spot lot and lot of women even after 7 pm. Even, college experience is different. Inside engineering colleges in Kerala, you will find your own collegemates saying vulgar comments of u in the name of 'ragging' or what not.
Here again, I 'm not sayin that cases of 'ragging', rape, molestation is not there elsewhere. But, in no other place there is so much of mental molestation for a gal jus because of the immature mallu guys!( I m not sayin all of them belong to this category...but, jsu in general, this has been a lasting impression).
All these things are interlinked. In brief, Mallu guys need to be more disciplined, more broad- mined ( by not jus aping westerns in ahving drinks and smoke) but in the true sense of the word! and dont consider these useless habits with sense of pride!

And for all those, sillier gals (yes- i read recently, tat intake of alcohol by indian women increased by 10%) who take to alcohol - i dont have anythin much to say except that there are millions of other ways to achieve equlaity than by aping a damned habit!

rahul sanal said...

the comments in this blog seem to be lengthier than the original article.. Then again it could be just my imagination..