Whether we admit it or not, that we love to witness the woes of those around us, is a fact. Understanding this psychology only too well and playing to the gallery, are our tear-jerkers on television. Not just soaps but also reality segments that thrive on sob tales of their guests on the show. Solvadhellam Unmai, serves spicy helpings of the trials and tribulations of others, week after week. “ SU’s reach is unbelievable! Its audiences include the educated and the less literate, the young and the old,” says actor-filmmaker Lakshmy Ramakrishnan. “The credit should go to the entire team — especially Saravanan, its witty and perceptive director, and the diligent reporters.”
The show, garnered more attention after a murder case was solved right in front of the viewers’ eyes some months ago! The police swung into action and the news made it to all the dailies and magazines. Nirmala Periasamy was the host then. Her studied reactions, command over the language and self-confidence had made her a perfect anchor. Does comparison with Nirmala worry Lakshmy? “It’s inevitable and I take it in my stride. I don’t possess her adeptness at speaking Tamil. The scenario is new to me and many of the gruesome true-life stories shock me out of my wits. SU is recorded without rehearsals. I don’t know my ‘dialogue’ or that of the person in front of me. But my sincerity makes up for everything. And viewers have already accepted me,” she says.
Lakshmy is appalled at the audacity and apathy of some of her guests on the show. “You can’t dismiss such folks as belonging to a stratum we don’t relate to. We could have such cases amidst the sophisticated lot too. Only that these people are willing to speak out.”
Does she feel emotionally drained after shooting for SU? “Not exactly,” she says. “I’m empathetic, that’s all. I have three daughters and the cries of agony of young girls on the show disturb me. But the awareness SU creates should help many and I’m happy that I’m contributing my mite to it.”
Initially, Lakshmy’s husband and children were quite against her taking up the assignment. “But I love challenges,” she laughs. “When I turned director people tried to dissuade me but I went ahead with Aarohanam. I take things that come my way as fresh experiences which help widen my horizon.”
How does she react when women prostrate before her at the shooting spot, saying “You have to save us?” Responds Lakshmy: “The other day it happened when I got down from my car. I’m unprepared for such situations.
They are so naïve and I find their gullibility disconcerting. Otherwise would they believe that as a host of Solvadhellam Unmai I can solve their problems?”
The show is aired on Zee Tamil, Monday to Friday, 8.30 p.m.-9.30 p.m.
The murder of an anti-mafia policeman in 1909 had remained unsolved until dozens of arrests in Palermo, Sicily, this week seems to have dragged up the truth.
Italian police arrested 95 people on Monday following a two-year investigation into historic mafia organisations. The charges relate to extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking.
However one of those taken for police questionings, Domenico Palazzotto, 33, began bragging about how one of his family members had killed Italian-American New York policeman Joseph Petrosino.
“My father's uncle, whose name was Paolo Palazzotto ... was the first to kill a cop in Palermo ... Joe Petrosino, an American cop,” he admits while wiretapped, Reuters reports. “We have been mobsters for 100 years,” he adds.
Lieutenant Giuseppe “Joe” Petrosino had gone to Palermo on a mission to gather more evidence to help the arrest and deportation of mafia criminals in America, but he was gunned down as soon as he got there.
He had been led to public square Piazza Marina under the false pretences of meeting an informant, but was assassinated on the orders of prominent Mafioso Vito Cascio Ferro.
Details of Petrosino’s visit to Italy had been leaked to the American press and published prior to his arrival. He was an Italian national who had emigrated to the US as a youngster.
His murder was considered one of the great unsolved mysteries… until this week.
Police named the huge operation Apocalypse, raiding in on two Cosa Nostra families in the west of the Sicilian capital Palermo.
“There hasn't been a dragnet on this scale in many years,” finance police Colonel Calogero Scibetta said. “These arrests have wiped out two entire mob families.”Reuse content