Why This Kolaveri Di? – A musical anecdote

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Persuaded by the sudden leakage of the audio of numerically titled Tamil movie ‘3’ (Moondru) with Dhanush as lead and the singer himself, I had this quintessential urge of a typical twenty five something tamil homo sapien to plunge into the musical ocean and swim across the much hyped song bearing the title pregnant with a British English heavily doped with southern dialect madras slang ‘Why this Kolaveri di?’. I express my heartfelt gratitude to my friends, for the FB wall shares, who diligently leverage the social media to tout their avid inclination to family and kinship, proclaiming their consanguineal roots by listing them religiously under the Family category. The shortened URL shares on Twitter as well, did extend a warm hand to gratify my urge to reverberate my Tympanic membrane.

The song in itself is a celestial incarnation of the mythological hymn that echoed the golden walls of heaven, sung with music emanating from the holy harps and ethereal melody from the chimes, supplemented to lutes and gongs. This song promises to accentuate the very fact that, music is a form of tacit cognizance, which can be understood only by the individuals who can perceive the real nitty-gritty of such aural delicacy.

This song is purely chiselled in castrated English and is wonderfully intertwined with the idiosyncratic Tamil which has linguistic, spiritualistic and realistic references ebbing out in Brobdingnagian amounts. It non reprehensibly falls into yet to be coined new genre of Indian Music called ‘Blacks’ unlike ‘Blues’ which forms a gloomy genre of songs flavouring melancholy of various types, all the way throughout the lyrics. The Genre ‘Blacks’ flavour only sadness that seeps through the heart, out of infidelity and has a metaphorical representation of oblivion or rejection of proposal or a break up.

The singer claims it to be a ‘Soup Song’ – a new band of songs that has instinctive connotations under a pejorative ambience. It dulls out the emotional flares that wanes out the rage and amplifies the melancholy musical outburst resulting in such linguistic concoctions. These emotions can sometimes be triggered with consumption of cheap alcoholic beverages available in TASMAC outlets spread widely in the city. The song is ‘for…, by…, of…’ the ‘Soup Boys’ unlike ‘Backstreet Boys’ or ‘Venga Boys’. So this Soup Boys neither plagiarise the Amsterdam based Euro dance pop group neither simulate the Orlando based American Vocal band and hence they do not represent the band who actually sang the song, rather they represent the group of unfortunate, cursed male souls to whom the song is dedicated to – forsaken by their female counterparts who can be called a girlfriend, sweetheart, soul mate, pyaari, laadli, or even bujju-kutti. So these genres of songs stay away from the conventional way of branding the songs with their bands.

After the initial ‘verse’ setting of ‘why this kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri di’ as in pop music culture, the song drifts into a solo vocal demarcated by the ‘verses’. There is no chorus or pre-chorus or even a bridge for that matter. The song flows in an immature solo free singing style that suits the singer and the tune much better.

As said above, the lyrics amalgamate the spiritual philosophy of Vaishnava Theology – Dvaita with the melancholy.

distance la moon-u moon-u
moon-u  color-u  white-u
white background night-u nigth-u
night-u color-u black-u

which translates to, ‘The distant moon is white with the night offering a wonderful background of black’

The Dvaita philosophy stresses a strict distinction between God – the Supreme-Soul paramaatma and the individual souls of beings – jiivatma which is wonderfully metaphorized by the concept of black sky and white moon. When you see a moon, you don’t see the sky but you need a black sky to have a look into the beautiful white moon. Though they seem to be a single entity offering light in the dark, they are different in its matter and constituents. This brings in the Taoist philosophies of Yin-Yang which emphasises on the duality of the nature –God & Evil, Good & Bad and Matter & Anti-Matter and so on.

The next stanza brings in the metaphor with the analogy of a girl’s white skin and her black heart, where a skin is never white and a heart can never be black. It’s just the representation of unkind women’s hearts that ditch men easily and chuck them out of their life making the men’s future unfathomably dark. The following stanza gives the essence of such philosophy.

white skin-u girl-u girl-u
girl-u heart-u black-u
eyes-u eyes-u meet-u meet-u
my future dark

The dichotomised world as a whole is being represented in the lyrics!

maama notes eduthuko
apdiye kaila snacks eduthuko
pa pa paan pa pa paan pa pa paa pa pa paan
sariya vaasi

 If you notice this part of the lyrics ‘pa pa paan pa pa paan pa pa paa pa pa paan’ which actually denotes the sound of the saxophone, that has onomatopoeic nature of linguistic brilliance! 

When talking about animal representation of God, the epitomized dog and the holy cow which has always been the paradigmatic representation of God in animal form has also been the essence in the ‘soup song’. The following lines may have zoological denotation but the spiritual connotation that it has, is never been noticed.

lovvu lovvu
oh my lovvu
you showed me bouv-u
cow-u cow-u holi cow-u
i want u hear now-u

The concept of love and God has been clearly exhibited in the lyrics. On a romantic note, the lovers are always associated with gifting cute fluffy dogs or pups, on which the female sweethearts go ‘awwww’ on them. Also on a religious note, the Sorakaya Siddar Thatha Swami Jeeva Samadhi which is 35 kms away from Tirupathi in a village named Narayanavaram houses the Jeeva Samadhi of the Sorakaya Siddar, which is built in the form of a temple domesticates dogs and they are never pelted stones or the street boys strings 100-wala-sara-vedis in their tails, in a divine acceptance of Thatha Swamy living in them.

On a co-incidental note, in an untouched theory of Uttalakadi Vadagiri euphemism, reading ‘dog’ literally in reverse may unveil ‘god’ (Whoa!)

Also the cows are considered holy and they are being affectionately agonised by bringing them into the house for Housewarming ceremonies and their by-products of milk and other ‘backend’ products are considered to be holy and are used for sprinkling, cooking fuel, and sometimes for consumption in infinitesimally smaller concoctions called ‘Panchagavyam’. Cows in temples and houses are considered to be pure and holistic in Indian culture.

‘you showed me bouv-u’ is actually the onomatopoeic representation of a dog (Bow-bow!).

i want u hear now-u’ is the plea that the boy makes to the cow which is having godly representation as said above, after being ditched by the girl.

God i m dying now-u
she is happy how-u? 

Finally his plea is submitted to the God as well!

The song ends in a very distressed note ‘this song for soup boys-u, we dont have choice-u’. These ‘soup boys’ do not have any other choice than to rant on their love fiasco because they are destined for such emotional excruciation.

Though the song being exorbitantly philosophical and powerfully persuasive, only the lesser crowd can really digest the essence of such lyrics. Tamil has never been a source of discouragement in the lines of musical innovation. From the realms of Carnatic, Classical and folk songs, the generation shift brought in more innovative genres of Tamil songs namely ‘Koothu’, ‘Gaana’ in the movies which were sung mostly in the privileged class of Madras Tamil with Deva being the incumbent Mozart . The recent generations suffered more autopsies with Rap and Hip-hop in Tamil with Yogi B, Natchatra and many other esteemed kavithai gundars doing their honours as a part of Tamil Hip-Hop culture. Now the new age Tamil music is slowly getting traumatised with such cacophonies like ‘Otha sollala’, ‘Kadal En Kadal’, “Voda Voda Voda’ and ‘Why this Kolaveri di’ songs!

I’m not sure if the markets of renowned singers like Ilayaraja, ARR, Shankar Mahadevan, SPB, Yesudoss, Unni Krish, Srinivas, Karthik etc will die, but I’m damn sure that Tamil will dismantle itself from its already exploited customised version in every region of Tamilnadu and one day the apocalyptic version will try to emerge from the ashes and bring ‘Order from Chaos’

Tamizh ini mellla saagum!

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32 thoughts on “Why This Kolaveri Di? – A musical anecdote

  1. Dissection. Interpretation. Opinion.
    Good that you wrote this. I was really wondering what is this phenomenon of Kolaveri? Well written. KUDOS!

  2. HonestCritic

    Though your take on the song was supposedly sarcastic, the language is too dense for sarcasm. Honest criticism, the blog post doesn’t read well. For a topic such as this, where you talk about something in jest, please leave your thesaurus alone.

  3. Janaki

    good sarcasm. I liked this post. and well about the song, i hated it. upfront hatred! disgusting to the core. tamil nijamave sethundruku..illa illa sethe pochu.. inime TN la yevanavadhu tamil ah vazha vekaren nu sonnan na asingama thitta poren!! :P

  4. @HonestCritic: haha….thanks for the opin!!

    Well yeah I did want to keep the solution little diluted, but in an inertial flow of emotions, I had to get little high in few places!!! Couldn’t help myself!!!

    But anyways….point noted!!!

    In my humble opinion, inda post purinjavanukku ‘Pudhayal’ puriyathavanukku ‘puthir’ ;) :D hehe….Sorry for the bad humor!!!

    Keep visiting!!!

  5. @Janaki: hehe….wat to do….innovations are there everywhere..there is a need to find and try new styles!!!

    //inime TN la yevanavadhu tamil ah vazha vekaren nu sonnan na asingama thitta poren!!
    Already its sethupoing over that u r asingama thittufying using the same damaged tamil…..hehe!! chill…!! watever!! :D

  6. Archana

    wanted to read d whole f d blog but cudnt make it thru the entire post..do me a favor and please embed a dictionary along with it

  7. Sri

    Kally- i understood the Dwita philosophy more than the Kolaveri Di song from your post. Just kidding!!!.. its refreshing to see ‘Cho’ type of elucidation about a movie song.Tamil is not going to die nor going to grow because of movie songs. Perhaps it will grow more because of “Kolaveri Di”!!

  8. @Sri: Thanks for your words!!!!

    The Song was haunting me more than the movie…so had 2 put down my thoughts in my dear blog!!!

    //Perhaps it will grow more because of “Kolaveri Di”!!
    Yeah after encountering such kolaveri-s I can assure you that it goes viral with sucha lyrics and song!!! :D

  9. Bol Bacchan

    LOL LOL LOL. He he he he he he he he he he . Why “Kolaveri” with such humorous posts? Really liked the way you write your blog. After listening to this great song the great MGR and Shivaji Ganeshan must be turning inside their graves.

  10. @Bol Bacchan:

    //Why “Kolaveri” with such humorous posts?
    hehe….all becoz of that Kolaveri only!!! :P

    //Really liked the way you write your blog.
    Thanks man….a lott of!!

    //After listening to this great song the great MGR and Shivaji Ganeshan must be turning inside their graves.
    LOL :D :D :D

  11. Oohhhmaaaaaigaaawd, why why why. First of all that song is ONE song and this post . . . what do I say? Speechless, tongue-tied, dumb-stricken and MAD.

    How much time did you spend on this post BTW?

    Ingenious. Bravo.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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