Monday, December 19, 2011

Kolaveri about Kolaveri...

You know what they say about opinions. Opinions are like the "waste disposal orifices of the homo spaiens"; Everybody has one and they all stink. They don't say it exactly in those words but I try to maintain some parliamentary decency in the language of my posts while trying to convey the whole meaning of what they say. The bottom-line is that opinions stink no matter who is expressing them. And opinions cannot be right or wrong. They are just opinions. Before someone tries to point out the obvious to me, it is not lost on me that this is my opinion and the same rules apply. With that out of the way here are my two 'stinking' cents.

The first time I heard the term "viral" was in connection with some infection I was down with as a kid and was made to swallow gaudily colorful tablets which looked like Cadbury's Gems (for the americanised reader, think M&M's) but tasted like concentrated bitter gourd. The next time I paid attention to that term was quite a few years down the line. I had been introduced to computers by that time and computers with "viral" infections were all the rage ... I mean, they were in the news and classrooms a lot. I was initially confused and later amused at the use of a biological term to describe the fate that had befallen a demonstrably non-biological entity. That was a good 10 years or so back. Fast forward to today and virus infected computers have become so much a part of our regular lives and lexicon that the usage hardly causes a pause. Now, suddenly out of the blue (if you are color-blind, just take my word for it!) we start hearing the word "viral" being associated with a whole different type of entity. One that has no connection whatsoever to biological life forms or even to physical forms. Videos, songs, fashion, games, trends ... you name it and it has probably gone "viral". If we take into consideration what happened in Egypt and in other parts of the middle east a little while ago, you could probably say a revolution went "viral" too! I guess the use of the term in this context is because of the way something spreads across a huge set of people across geographies via the internet which is similar to the way a virus spreads in the body and between bodies via a carrier.

There is one charecteristic which is common to the things that go viral on the net. A huge volume of people seem to like it (not the FB variety of like, though given how 'FB'ised people are becoming that day isn't too far). Why they like it, on the other hand, is not so easy to discern. "Why this kolaveri di" is a case in point. It is supposed to be the first song from south of India that went viral, not just in India but around the world and that is good news (I guess!). Why it went viral worldwide ... now that is something I cannot start to figure out. It is not an outright tamil song. Neither is it an english song. The makers call the language 'Tanglish' which I think is their convenient way of saying all of this - "The song has a few tamil words and made up slang interspersed among a lot a english words used with a total disregard for the grammer of either language, all of which are pronounced with a funny accent" - in a single word. The singer is not a regular singer. Having said all that, do I like the song? Oh yes. Why? Because I found it to be extremely funny. It has got references to things like "soup boys" and "soup song" and "bouvu" which I have no clue about but what the heck. You can figure out the meaning for these based on the context of the song. As it says - "empty life-u, girl-u come-u, life reverse gear-u". Indeed!! :) Others might have found it funny too and yet others might have connected with the theme of heartbreak that the song tries to portray.

However, and this is me finally getting to the point about opinions, people seem to have a problem just accepting that this song is popular. There are some (like this person) who take the song title too literally (Why this murderous rage, girl) and argue that in a case of heartbreak, the murderous rage is usually exhibited by the guy and so the song and its title are not representative. For these folks who can't seem to enjoy something just because it is, without going into the various existing or non-existing pros, cons, whys and whynots, all I can say is "Wake up and smell the coffee" (if you are Kesha, you should smell your bottle of Jack). Then there is the other type (like this person), who don the mantle of the purist. They diss and dismiss it as not even being a song. For these folks there is nothing I can say. I will just keep laughing at their opinions because they exemplify what I said about opinions in the beginning.

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