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superseded; see the updated synopsis on the moving page identified in the title
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SYNOPSIS (UPDATED ON 18 JULY 2009)
(Please see page 1 for an easy listing of Who's Who in this serial)
KALYANAM is both a family story and a crime thriller. It began with two parallel tracks, one a family track and the other a flashback track involving a crime that had taken place six months earlier, but these have since merged.
Varadharajan, the owner of a kalyana mandapam, and his wife, Sivagami, have two daughters and three sons. Eldest daughter, Gayathri, is married to a rogue, police inspector, Elango. The other children are: Ganesh, who runs a travel agency, Saravanan, a doctor, Anandhi, a secretary, and Seenu, who is more keen on making films than on college.
The story begins with a search for a groom for Anandhi. A suitable boy is found ' Raghu, an accountant. All in Varadharajan's family are happy at the prospect of Anandhi's marriage except Elango, who is lusting for his sister-in-law. Elango's male ego has also been hurt by the fact that his wife has not borne him a child. He therefore tries all manner of tricks to foil Anandhi's wedding in the hope of taking her as his second wife. In the process, he antagonises her two older brothers and herself too.
On the day of Anandhi's intended engagement, Raghu's grandfather is killed in an accident. To Varadharajan's chagrin, Raghu's parents call off the wedding, convinced that Anandhi will bring ill luck to their family.
Given this turn of events, another couple, who had earlier seen Anandhi at a temple and thought she would make a good wife for their son, Parthiban, now step into the breach. Varadharajan and his family are elated at the proposal from the wealthy industrialist Rathinavel. Anandhi has still not come to terms with the cancellation of her engagement to Raghu, whom she had grown fond of, but reluctantly agrees to marry Parthiban.
Unknown to his parents, Ganesh's life is in turmoil. Initially, he had to fob off a proposal to marry Raghu's sister and then was forced to reveal that he was actually in love with someone else. Subsequently, in a conversation between Ganesh and Father James, a close friend and former classmate of his, it is revealed that Ganesh's unnamed girlfriend may already be dead but Ganesh has no heart to tell his parents the truth, especially while preparations are under way for Anandhi's wedding. Saravanan, colluding with his older brother, lies to his parents that Ganesh's girlfriend is currently in Singapore and will return soon.
The second track, the thriller, initially plays out in a flashback mode. The action takes place in Connoor six months earlier. Meera, played by actress Meena, and Ranjan are two terrorist co-conspirators who are plotting to kill Central Minister RSK. It is not clear whether their motivation is political, personal or just anarchist. To evade the police, Meera finds temporary refuge in the home of a bank employee, Aarthi, through the latter's unnamed boyfriend. Eventually, Meera, it seems, successfully engages in a suicide attack on RSK. Readers suspect, however, that a mentally deranged woman might have been trained to replace Meera eventually in the suicide mission. In any event, RSK's life is spared as Deputy Superintendent Mayavathi, who had been tasked with providing security protection, had deployed a decoy. (In subsequent episodes, when Mayavathi is transferred to Chennai as Assistant Commissioner and continues to investigate the terrorist case, it is revealed that her husband Dilipan, who is PA to Minister RSK, is also involved in the terror plot, unbeknown to his wife.)
As soon as she hears of the suicide attack and realises she had inadvertently harboured a terrorist, Aarthi panics. She fears the police might consider her guilty by association. Subsequently, Aarthi's home is shown on fire and she is presumed to have committed suicide. Mayavathi finds evidence in the wreckage that Aarthi had harboured Meera and she promptly arrests Aarthi's father and brother, who are presumed guilty as they had briefly met Meera during a visit to Connoor. The police are especially suspicious of Aarthi's brother Sezhiyan as he was found to have had in his possession books by revolutionary writers that Meera had presented him with. Later, Aarthi's father dies in captivity.
The arrests of Aarthi's father and brother and news of her suicide causes her mother to go mad. Subsequently, at a chance encounter with Ganesh and his family at a temple, Aarthi's mother, Senthamarai accosts him and accuses him of having deceived her daughter. It is now evident from Ganesh's reaction that he is in fact Aarthi's boyfriend. He is shown having visions of a fire raging in Connoor. But his family is led to believe that a bereaved woman was simply making delusionary accusations. However, Elango's suspicions are aroused and he vows to himself that he will fix Ganesh, who had previously beaten him up over the Anandhi matter.
Six months later, that is, in present time, Meena, in the avatar of Sujatha, a TV programmes executive, returns from Singapore. It is subsequently revealed that Sujatha is in fact Aarthi's elder sister, who was given away to a doctor Rajasegaran when she was young. A best-selling book by novelist Adhityan, based on Aarthi's death, had prompted Dr Rajasegaran to reveal to his adopted daughter the truth about her parentage. Sujatha's mission in returning to Chennai is to care for her biological mother, uncover the real cause of and perpetrators behind Aarthi's death, and secure the release of her brother Sezhiyan. With the help of a close friend Siva, also a media personality, Sujatha begins a search for Aarthi's boyfriend after reading several email messages Aarthi had written to a friend of hers before her presumed death. In those email messages, Aarthi had expressed her suspicions that her boyfriend may have been in cahoots with Meera since he was the one who had introduced Meera to her and had also advised Aarthi against going to the police after Meera was revealed to be a terrorist.
Soon, with the help of Siva and some clues found in Aarthi's email, Sujatha discovers the identity of the latter's boyfriend, viz, Ganesh. While Ganesh is out of town, Sujatha enters his household, pretending to be his girlfriend from Singapore. She gains ready acceptance from the Varadharajan family. Soon, Ganesh gets wind of his "girl-friend's" arrival. Suspicious of her intentions, he decides to play along with her, pretending that she is indeed his girlfriend.
Sujatha and Ganesh are now in a cosmic face-off, each suspecting the other of dark intentions. Sujatha accosts Ganesh but he proclaims his innocence in the matter of Aarthi's death and refuses to speak about Meera. It is evident that Ganesh had actually never met Meera for he would have noticed Sujatha's resemblance to her. Sujatha regards his silence as evidence of his complicity in the terrorist plot and in Aarthi's death. She notices that every time she raises the subject, Ganesh slips into his room and quietly confers with someone on the phone. In fact, Ganesh is in frequent phone contact with his brother Saravanan, who has gone to London on a medical scholarship. Saravanan in one conversation with Ganesh confirms that he had personally seen Aarthi's charred corpse.
As preparations are underway for the marriage of Anandhi and Parthiban, a secretary in Parthiban's office, Hema, enters the picture. Hema and Parthiban have had a pre-marital relationship and she had hoped to marry him. However, Parthiban dumps Hema, citing possible parental objections on the grounds of caste differences. Hema then plays the proverbial scorned woman turned more furious than Hell. She makes an unsuccessful attempt at suicide by slashing her wrists. In the ensuing police investigation, Elango suspects correctly that Parthiban was the man who had spurned Hema.
Elango deploys his wife Gayathri to tip off Anandhi about Parthiban's illicit affair but his effort backfires. Anandhi and Ganesh not only have no more trust in Elango but they also reveal to Gayathri that her husband had once tried to foil Anandhi's marriage to Raghu out of lust for his sister-in-law. The shocked Gayathri angrily confronts her husband and declares a cold war between them.
Hema now blackmails Parthiban to marry her, threatening to go to the police otherwise. Her intention is to preempt his marriage to Anandhi so that she will have the legal rights to his property as his first wife. Yielding to blackmail, on the eve of his marriage to Anandhi, Parthiban reluctantly ties the thaali on Hema at a private Registry ceremony. The following day, like a zombie, Parthiban marries Anandhi at a grand traditional ceremony. Needled by her equally unscrupulous Mother, Hema now begins to torture Parthiban, frequently insisting that he visit her at inopportune times.
It is soon revealed that Hema is a money-grubbing woman and that she was previously married to a wealthy industrialist, Narayana Swamy, from whose home she has bolted. Narayana Swamy lodges a missing persons complaint with Elango, who promises to look into the matter. However, after Ganesh and Gayathri confront him over his behaviour, Elango is intent on destroying the Varadharajan family and sees Hema as a useful tool for doing so. He reveals to a nervous Hema that he knows about her marriage to Narayana Swamy and to Parthiban and then, to her relief, promises to give her cover from her first husband.
Mayavathi is preparing to produce in court Sezhiyan and Augustine, a deep-sea diver who had seen Ranjan and Meera before the suicide bombing. However, her husband Dilipan gets wind of the matter and tips off Ranjan. As he is being taken to court, Augustine bumps into Sujatha, who had come there upon hearing that her brother Sezhiyan was to be charged the same day. After Sujatha has passed him, Augustine alerts his police handlers, who refuse to believe him as Meera is presumed to have died in the suicide bombing. As Augustine is about to be taken into the court, Ranjan manages to shoot him. Sezhiyan's live is spared. Later, Dilipan quietly gives refuge to Ranjan in a disused room in his own home, unknown to his wife.
Meanwhile, Varadharajan finds out about the rift between Gayathri and Elango and has a heart attack. Considering his condition, Dr Rajasegaran and Sujatha, who were on the verge of revealing the "truth" about Ganesh, decide to hold their tongues. The recuperating Varadharajan now puts pressure on Ganesh and Sujatha to get married. Assuming that Sujatha will panic and back off, Ganesh confidently tells his father he is ready for marriage. Sujatha shocks him by saying she too is prepared to get married, much to her father's displeasure. In a private conversation with her father, Sujatha later reasons that she is prepared to sacrifice her life in order to take revenge on Ganesh for her sister Aarthi's fate and also to ensure that Ganesh will not spoil any other woman's life.
At James' advice, Ganesh goes to Conoor to gather evidence in his favour. Ganesh discovers that Ranjan used to regularly meet with a deranged woman. A clothier tells him that Ranjan had bought the woman many clothes and had also once ordered two sets of identical women's clothes. The mad woman was reported to be missing for some six months. James deduces from this evidence that Meera may in fact be alive, guessing as readers have that Meera and the deranged woman had swapped places in the final minutes. Ganesh has hopes that this could mean even Aarthi is alive. He shares his view with Sujatha, who pooh-poohs the idea, assuming that Ganesh is pulling a fast one to save his life. Nonetheless, Sujatha suspects that the courtroom shooting may have also been intended to bump off Sezhiyan, who is the only remaining witness to Meera's identity. She reasons with her friend Siva that if Meera were really dead there would be no need for anyone to try to bump off the only witness to her identity.
Some weeks later, Elango sends a divorce petition to Gayathri but Sujatha waylays it. She persuades Gayathri to reconcile with Elango and to submit herself to a fertility test. Gayathri agrees reluctantly and is pronounced capable of bearing children. Using the medical test result, Sujatha later convinces Elango that he may be the one who is impotent and forces him to rescind his divorce decision. To avoid embarrassment, Elango reconciles with Gayathri.
Anandhi, meanwhile, is happy that she is being well treated by her in-laws. They have even given her a position in Rathinavel's company. But Anandhi senses that Parthiban is maintaining a distance from her. Egged by Hema, Parthiban even forces Anandhi to take contraceptives.
Hema and her Mother now stage a threatened eviction from their rented home and then force Parthiban to buy them a new home. Parthiban reluctantly agrees and dips into the office till.
Soon, Rathinavel discovers that his son had bought a new house registered in Hema's name. Digging further, he discovers to his shock that Hema and Parthiban are officially registered as man and wife. He then cuts off Parthiban's access to the bank account and later practically severs all ties with him. He demands that his son officially register his marriage to Anandhi as a condition for reinstating his rights. Helpless, Parthiban moves in with Hema.
Rathinavel confronts Hema and warns her to back off. He also approaches Elango for help in forcing Hema to leave town. But Elango plays a double game, ostensibly agreeing to help Rathinavel but telling Hema she has a strong case as the official first wife and should stand her ground.
Rathinavel reluctantly reveals to his wife that their son is a two-timer. Anandhi also soon finds out about the affair from her mother-in-law and confronts Hema. She asks Hema how much she wants for the return of her husband to her. Hema names her price: Rs50,000. Not wanting to upset her parents and knowing that Rathinavel will refuse to pay the price, Anandhi turns to Sujatha, who manages to raise the sum. Together they go to Hema and pay off the money. Hema then releases Parthiban, who in awkward silence accompanies the two women back.
Elango returns from Conoor, having gathered evidence on the terrorist plot. He has learnt that it was the deranged woman who had taken Meera's place in the suicide bombing and that Meera is in fact still alive. Sezhiyan is then taken to a computer graphics lab to try to electronically sketch Meera's image but he has problems of recall. However, he remembers that he had left a digital camera image with a photo studio in Connoor and believes the studio will still have the image saved on a disk, as he had instructed. Elango immediately activates the Connoor police station. Soon, the photo arrives and is handed over to Elango, who is shocked to learn that Meera is none other than ' Sujatha.
Are Sujatha and Meera one and the same person? Is Sujatha leading a double life? Or does she have a twin? Or perhaps a split personality? Is Aarthi really dead? If so, how did she die? Will the marriage of Sujatha and Ganesh take place? What is Ganesh's relationship with Meera? And, how does Saravanan fit into the picture? Sit tight and wait for the suspense to unravel.
18 July 2009
(Note: this synopsis will be periodically updated to help old and new viewers alike keep up with the story. Please also view the "Who's Who" on page 1 for easy reference.)
Ganesh: Saakshi Sivaa
Varadharajan: Delhi Kumar
Gayathri: Brinda Das
Sivagami: Shanthi Williams
Anandhi: Lata Rao
Rathinavel: Mohan Ram
K. S. Jayalakshmi, Rajkamal, Vandhana, Rani, Nesan, Aswin Kumar, Vasanth Gopinath, Bhavani Shankar, "Auditor" Sridhar, Ramanujam
Story/screenplay: Pattukottai Prabakhar
Creative Head: T. G. Thyagarajan
Background Music: Kiran
Title Song: Ramani Bharadwaj (sung by K. S. Chitra)
Producers: T. T. G. Thyagasaravanan, Selvi Thyagarajan
Sathya Jyothi Films
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