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Men wrote lewd comments on YouTube, and repeatedly called a number that flashes on screen in Aadai teaser having nude shot of actor Amala; RJ Sarithran turned tables on them, making them uncomfortable for a change.
The highly acclaimed teaser for Aadai, starring Amala Paul was released on the 18thof June.
The teaser begins with a woman at the police station, complaining that her daughter is missing. The policeman tries to dissuade her from giving the complaint, saying that she should wait for another day. But the woman persists, saying that the last time she spoke to her daughter on the phone, she sounded drunk. A quote by Jean-Paul Sartre, “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you,” appears on screen.
A few shots later, a phone showing a mobile number for “Ammaa” flashes on screen. The trailer ends with a young woman (Amala Paul) waking up naked, alone and in obvious distress. Her body language and facial expressions are indicative of fear and confusion, and there is nothing even remotely titillating or “sexy” about it at all. The haunting background music, with lyrics like “Nee paarkkum porul aa? (Are you a thing to be seen?),” adds to the sense of discomfort.
For some men however, just the sight of a female body, irrespective of context, is arousing, and they proceeded to leave crass and slut shaming comments. Some men repeatedly called the number that flashed in screen as well.
RJ Sarithran of Big FM schooled them, and how! He prank called them, pretending to be a police officer who received complaints from a lady, and questioned them about the calls. It was enough to get the men shaking in their boots.
“Please don’t make this public, if my family gets to know it’ll be come a problem,” says one man, in a video compilation of all the prank calls. Another tried to blame his kids, who he said were watching rhymes on YouTube. While some callers apologized, others cut the call abruptly.
Hearing these men brought to mind the man who recently complained to IRCTC about “offensive and vulgar” ads on their website, without realizing that it was simply a reflection of his own browsing behaviour.
Most women will acknowledge that merely existing in a public space can be perceived as an invitation by creepy men. Most of us have received “fraandship” requests and unwanted DMs that devolve into name-calling and slut shaming when we choose not to reply. For some women whose work phone numbers are widely known, the unwanted attention and harassment often extend to text messages and calls at weird hours.
It is nice to see such creeps get their comeuppance albeit via prank calls! One can only hope that they and others like them learned a valuable lesson.
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Vijayalakshmi Harish is a book blogger and writer. To paraphrase her librarian, she is a
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