I had face-un-booked myself last week but when I couldn’t abstain any more, I jumped right back into my account, and came across a link shared by a couple of blogger friends. The title was ‘kolaveri’ and I opened it with very low expectations, as I am not that big a fan of Dhanush. But guess what? We have been listening to this crazy, silly song (in loop!) for the last three days, with even my 5-year old singing it. I definitely did not see that coming!
First, click HERE to view the song on Youtube.
Second, tell me what you thought of it?
A small section of the audience have expressed undisguised disgust at the song – for its poor lyrics, colloquial language, etc – and simply don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
Okay, I’m not ashamed to say I loved ‘Kolaveri’. It is perhaps one of the worst songs ever, but it certainly is the most played song on my phone. It gets dangerous at times, though. Like yesterday, I was on the phone with my son’s school teacher, and there was this line ‘Cow-u cow-u … holy cow-u’ blasting away in the background. Ahem…I might need to look for a new school soon.
But hey, what makes a song/film a hit? I watched a Hindi film called ‘Dhobi Ghat’ the other day, and loved it. It was serious, sensible and left an impression (not to mention stellar performances by Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra and cute Prateik Babbar). Now Ra One, in comparison made absolutely no sense whatsoever. However, as you might have already guessed, while Dhobi Ghat was a below-average-box-office-hit, Ra One despite not being critically acclaimed, was supposedly a ‘hit’ in India and a ‘superhit’ overseas (so sayeth the great Wiki!)
So what makes something like ‘Kolaveri’ a global hit? The video has apparently grossed 3 million views on Youtube, and more than 8 million shares on FB.
Well, to me, it is very simply, what I can connect with.
Kolaveri is a song that EVEN I can sing. Take any aspect of it…words/tune/lyrics…it is all so colloquial that even a layman can understand every nuance of the song and totally identify with it. To give a background, this is supposedly a light-hearted song sung by a young boy who has been jilted in love. Ah! What better reach to an audience than an average loser being dumped by a hot (and fair-skinned) girl. The lyrics are very simple. One need not break his/her head to understand the meaning of ‘white-skinu-girl, girl heartu-black.. eyes-u eyes-u meetu meetu, my future darku’. As for the tune, I loved it. The background score is fresh, and very cleverly infuses a trace of folk music into a trendy beat, making it a peppy number. Add to that an immensely talented bunch of young stars (Dhanush, Aishwarya Rajnikanth and Shruthi Hassan) that are evidently enjoying the foot-tapping number even during the recording, and one finds it hard to not like this song.
More importantly, the world-wide success of this song (the latest video on FB is a group of Chinese dancers choreographing a routine to Kolaveri) has made me realise one thing. While perfection is great, being ‘real’ is far more attractive. Something that is technically perfect and outstanding, may not really be something I can relate to. For example, I simply do not enjoy authors who use ‘big words’. Blame it on my limited vocabulary, but I’d rather go for something simple, that I can enjoy.
I suppose this is the reason why authors like Chetan Bhagat are so popular. (Allow me to hastily clarify that I am NOT a fan of his!). I now understand why Bhagat, despite being far from the best writer around, has certain mass appeal. Another example would be the runaway hit programme Kaun Banega Crorepathi. The programme is not merely about ‘knowledge’ or ‘trivia’ but about the fact that an ORDINARY man or woman, like you or me, actually stands a chance at something so magnificent. It is also why chick-lit (I truly find the term demeaning) is extremely popular, despite scoring low on the literary count.
One could argue that art that is too colloquial actually lowers standards. That is true to a certain extent. But don’t our standards change as we evolve as a society? Modern art, chick-lit, colloquial songs like DK Bose and Kolaveri for example. These too, are a part of our culture now. While at one time, classical dance forms was what India was famous for, today Bollywood dance is a dance form by itself, and has many takers around the world.
These new, simplified forms of art, may or may not be the best. They may not be perfect. However, they are accessible to you and me.
The success of art, therefore is based on the ability of viewers to connect with it. So as times change, our standards change to an extent too.
As I see it, ‘perfection’ itself is over-rated. Anything less than perfect is not so bad after all. Kolaveri is far from being perfect. And therein lies its appeal
So, my dear soup-u – boys-u and girls-u, now-u you tell-u me, ‘why this kolaveri?’
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