The much anticipated Tamil reality show which had actor Arya look for love, Enga Veetu Mapillai, aired last night. The show that commenced in February saw 16 contestants vying for the title of Arya’s lover.
Elimination after elimination has left him with the final three contestants, Susanna the single mother from Toronto, Seethalakshmi, the lass with an adorable Malayalee-Bhramin accent, and Agatha, the manja queen.
Having watched this show from day 1, we expected Arya to make a choice based on his needs as an actor, and hailing from a conservative Muslim family. Nobody saw what was coming. Arya refused to make a decision, on the basis that he will not only be letting down two ladies, but also two families, as the women had already gotten into the wedding mood, mehendi and all.
Host Sangeetha also seemed surprised at this turn of events, and probed him for an answer.
Arya continues his rant, telling everyone that he felt helpless after eliminating Abarnathy and Swehta, and that was one of his biggest regrets. He says that he is unable to reject two of the three girls and their families.
He says he has been troubled by these thoughts since he woke up that very morning, and he cannot bring himself to halt the wedding of the two women whom he does not pick. He goes on to say that he cannot break two of these women’s hearts, and he will not be able to make a decision today.
Sangeetha then asks the ladies what they think. Each woman just replied with different versions of “It’s okay, Arya.” The microphone is then passed on to the parents of the girls. Agatha’s father, after having what appears to be an episode of hiccups echoed his daughter, and said he empathizes with Arya’s situation. Seethalakshmi’s father said that he will stand by his daughter’s decision no matter what.
Susanna’s father, on the other hand, asked Arya a pertinent question. “My daughter came all the way from Canada, taking time off from her job, and spent a good three months here with you, what happens now, will the show go on?” To which Arya replies, “No, the show will not be extended but I will need some time to make my decision off camera,” Susanna’s father then asks the million dollar question, “When will that be?” Arya repeated his answer that he needs some more time to decide.
Arya also makes a bizarre statement, “The world will ask who is rejected, and forget about the person I pick,” Nope, we won’t. Because we have the mental capacity to know that life goes on. AND WE WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU PICK.
And if we go along with his logic, what will the world say about the 13 other eliminated contestants?
His friend, Kalaiarasan, makes a point when he advises Arya to rip the band aid off now and not prolong his and the ladies’ anguish. To which Arya repeats himself, saying “I can’t make a decision today,”
His perception towards the girls has changed since he visited them in their homes, he says. And yet he eliminated Shweta and Abarnathy with ease at the end of the week of home visits.
It appears that Arya is trying to portray himself as the bigger man. He doesn’t realize that he is making himself the bigger fool, and us, the audience who have followed him throughout the 82 day journey, the biggest fools of them all.
In the studio where the finale was recorded, there was one soul who was overjoyed at this turn of events. And that was Abarnathy. “It was only because he had to eliminate me, that he feels this way. I couldn’t be happier” she says in the post-show interview.
Susanna is heading back to Toronto, according to her Instagram profile. It will be interesting to see how Arya makes his decision ‘off camera’ when one of the contestants is in a completely different time zone.
This turn of events has made us question the entire concept of Tamil reality shows. Was Enga Veetu Mapillai a farce from the start? While Arya did look perplexed on stage, he wasn’t very convincing, and it is helpful to remember that he isn’t a very good actor to begin with. Also, if he felt THAT bad after the last elimination, why would he dance and look like he’s at the pinnacle of joy in the previous few episodes?
It is also interesting to note that Arya’s family was not present at the grand finale. When the girls visited Arya in his family home, his mother was not present. It is common knowledge that he hails from a conservative Muslim family, and when the show began, rumours were afloat that there is no way he would end up with a non Muslim girl, and most definitely not a wife he acquired from a TV show. Looks like there was some truth behind those rumours.
This acts a reminder to us, the viewers, that no matter how strongly we feel about any reality show, it is a show that is made for people to watch it and to garner ratings. And it raises an important question. Was this decision made by the producers because they felt that the Tamil audience is not ready for a reality show culminating in something as serious as marriage?
Could it be that Arya just didn’t like any one of the final three ladies? Or was the whole thing a sham from the start? Either way, the finale left a sour taste in our mouths and we have lost all faith in Tamil reality tv shows. By the way, does anyone know when Bigg Boss Tamil 2 starts?