Reflections – ‘Why this – fuss about – Kolaveri Di?’

Kolaveri Di
Kolaveri DiIf you are on this page, chances are almost 100% that you have already heard ‘Why this Kolaveri Di?’ and have most likely shared it with a friend or two as well.
 
Right from Amitabh Bachchan to Sameera Reddy, the industry is talking about it in unison. ‘It is simply fantastic’ is a call by majority while ‘what’s the big deal’ is also being whispered around. It is being loved, liked to dislike but certainly not hated and definitely not ignored. No wonder, the song finds itself as a hot topic for this week’s ‘Reflections’.
 
8 million hits and still counting
 
‘Why this Kolaveri Di? ‘ – One can well assume that not more than 25% of those who have seen and heard the song would be really well versed with what does ‘Kolaveri Di’ actually mean? However, has that really made any difference to the song’s fortune? Aah, not at all. Instead it has only added to the intrigue surrounding this song which doesn’t even have a quintessential music video accompanying it but instead has a studio setting to it (more about that later). As the piece is being written, I am sure this Dhanush sung track would meet an amazing 10 million mark in a day or two, hence turning out to be a brilliant result for a viral campaign. Rest assured, even the makers wouldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams that ‘Why this Kolaveri? ‘ would actually meet such a tremendous feat in the internet world.
 
Reactions have been varied though
 
Millions are listening to the song which means the song is popular. Period. Still, the fact remains that along with those who have genuinely loved the track, there are others who are left amazed with the kind of popularity that ‘Kolaveri’ has managed for itself. For every few comments centred on ‘this is addictive yaar’, there are some who are left wondering ‘what’s the big deal really?’ ‘Is it over-hyped?’, ‘Is it way too simple?’, ‘Really, you liked it?’, ‘Come on, how could have liked it?’ – all around reactions are being heard for this song which has found it’s way into print headlines and news shows as well, hence turning out to be a track which has definitely been noticed by everyone who logs on to an entertainment channel of any kind at least once a day.
 
What really makes it work?
 
In the world we live in today, it is not just the sheer quality of a product which makes it popular, especially when it comes for free. This means that whether it is good or bad, the song is being heard once at the least by most out there. There is a curiosity value surrounding the song and the peer pressure is only adding on to frenzy. It is pretty much akin to a cave age existence for an individual if he hasn’t checked out the song so far. Lest someone questions you on the awareness quotient, you are bound to have checked the song and contributed to that (rather expansive) ‘elite list’ of 8 million hits that ‘Kolaveri Di’ has enjoyed. 
 
There are quite a few inputs that made the song as it sounds today. However the single most factor which is the biggest contributor towards making it THE most talked about song is ‘social networking’. If at all one had doubts around this form of media lifting or crushing a product, it is pretty much resolved now with the way ‘Kolaveri Di’ has managed to make inroads not just into the big cities of India (and abroad) but also smaller towns. Facebook, Twitter, other sharing mediums – the song is all over, hence making it rather impossible for you to have missed the song, unless you have deliberately chosen to ignore it!
 
The presentation
 
As mentioned at the very beginning, the song doesn’t even have a bona fide music video to it. Yes, it is obvious though that experimentation was on the minds of makers when they decided to make a video which looked and sounded different from the rest. This means that even though there is still some time to go before one sees a ‘film version’ of the song, there is Dhanush crooning while enjoying with Shruti Hassan adding to the glamour quotient despite just sitting on a plastic chair. She too is just humming it away, just like millions doing so in front of their computer/mobile screens, but is eye candy no less.
 
The hot debate
 
Is the song fun? Definitely. Is it tremendous? Aah, not really. Is it out of the world? Certainly not. Is it avoidable? Again, certainly not. However all such questions are also emerging because the song has smartly gone viral in no time. After all, this isn’t the first time when a song has been released on internet even though the film is still some time way. Just recently ‘Main Vaari Jaanva’ from Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya too was released on internet and it did find some good audience for itself. However, compare the number of hits that this song featuring Ritesh Deshmukh-Genelia D’Souza has enjoyed with that of ‘Kolaveri Di’ and the statistics speak for themselves. That song is also good but then it is the ‘unfamiliarity’ and venturing into an ‘unknown territory’ with the expression of ‘what really is that after all’ which is making ‘Kolaveri Di’ the song that it is today.
 
Herd mentality at play here?
 
Let’s also not forget that it is instances like these which bring to fore the adage of herd mentality all over again. Yes, let’s give the song its due when it comes to popularity. However let’s also not forget the herd mentality at play here. It is simple; when there 10 people in a room admitting to ‘loving’ the song, you fear being spotted as an odd one out if you make a vociferous comment on the contrary. In case of ‘Kolaveri Di’, the makers can consider themselves fortunate that majority of feedback is positive. Inarguably, social networking has proven to be a huge advantage here and there are reasons for all involved to celebrate.
 
This could have backfired as well though. Make or break in the age of such viral networking happens during the first two-three days of release. Either you are on or you are out and frankly, a handful of people could well decide that fate as well on the very release of a product. A few thousand people like it, talk about it and spread it and you are ‘on’. A few hundred check it and if they are indifferent towards it then the game is almost over. On the other hand, a few thousand people check, largely spread an out and out negative campaign around it and you have a Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag at your disposal.
 
Was I immune to this phenomenon either? Not at all. No wonder, even though ‘Kolaveri Di’ has nothing to do with ‘Bollywood’, there is quite some ‘Hungama’ it has managed to create in this space as well.
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