Monday, December 6, 2010

Whose side would you take?

We are going to have entertaining weekends this December. Cultural organizations of twin cities( Hyderabad and secunderabad) like SICA(south Indian Cultural association), Kalasagaram, Sharada cultural trust, Desika Sabha of twin cities, Sri chandrasekarandra music academy have organized music concerts, Dance, dramas , harikathas lined up for the lovers of music and fine arts.

It is difficult for us to attend the weekday schedules and so far we missed the concerts of T.M. Krishna, Nityashree, Ranjani- Gayathri sisters.

Last week end, we happened to watch the play of Kathadi Ramamurthy titled ‘ Neenga yaar pakkam’ (whose side are you?).

It is the story of a retired man ( sivaraman) and his wife lalitha. Their only son is settled in the USA. After retirement, The son wants his parents to join him in the USA and help him tide over the cooking problem while his wife is posted in another city for 6 months.

Sivaraman refuses to go to USA telling that one becomes a prisoner in an alien land and has to wait for their children’s approval to go out whereas he is free at his native Mylapore and can keep himself engaged and active and can visit temples, take strolls in the local parks with friends and do as he wishes.

After a series of arguments, Lalitha his wife decides to help her son and so travels to USA all alone with out her husband. While in US her son tells her not to talk to or smile at their neighbours since they would take offence. With no socializing /outing and her son also busy with work, Lalitha turns a mental wreck.

Doctors in the USA declare to her son and D-I-L that she cannot be cured.

So she returns to India with her son and DIL and the son accuses his father of being too strict, principled and selfish.

Meanwhile, Sivaraman calls up a friend and he comes home and narrates her the neighbourhood happenings and gossips. She hears the gossip of ‘edathathu alamelu’ telling the neighbourhood that Lalitha has fought with her DIL in America and has returned. This does the trick and immediately Lalitha springs up from her seat and jumps to defend.

Every body is surprised by the cure and her dil finds this unbelievable since the efficient American doctors found her uncurable. Sivaraman says Socialising and gossiping helped her maintain sanity and Here they had their own lives too lead and the short quality time they interacted each day kept them bonded, here too if they were thrown together all the time watching each others face, they would have ended up with frayed nerves. The visit to Niagara, Disney world and other US attractions pales in comparison to his & Lalitha’s social life In Mylapore.

Sivaraman says all retired people should stay in their own place and should not become a puppet in the hands of their NRI children, besides in old age it is the familiar people and surroundings that is reassuring. If children cared , they should find jobs in their home land and support their aged parents.

Lalitha says there is no harm in helping their NRI children and so one can travel abroad when they require their help.

Their son suresh says, children move out for greener pastures and parents have to support their children.

Another friend suggests that there is no harm in parental migration to US.

Now, Whose side would you take?. NEENGA YAAR PAKKAM?.

I side with Sivaraman.

A relevant to times play, not preachy ,not judgemental but let's the audience to ponder.


  1. wish i knew more on this subject music..

  2. Naan definiteaa Sivaraman pakkam dhaan!

  3. I am with sivaraman.indeed a nice play i will watch it with my parents if it comes to my city

  4. Interesting drama and an excellent write up.

    "her son tells her not to talk to or smile at their neighbours since they would take offence."

    This may have been added in the drama to move the story ahead. But, in reality, it is not the truth. Take it from me. I have lived more than half of my life in USA. Neighbors are very friendly. A lot of people have block parties during July 4th, Thanksgiving, and New Year. Strangers smile at each other in grocery stores, departmental stores, etc.

    I have started to read your back issues. I like your style of writing. Simple and direct to the point.