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Shopping mania and a relook at Chittiyan Kalaiyaan song in elaboration

August 13, 2015 3:19:02 PM IST
By Nalin Rai, Glamsham Editorial
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It is that time of the year when the world of shopping is going to unleash its miasma and try to entice the young and happening crowd, as also the mellowed ones with myriad forms of offer, to cajole them, coax them to open their purse, drop their pretences and go on a shopping binge. The shopping mania is going to be the predominant motif this week and a keen tussle is on the card between the offline and the online world to catch the eyeballs and convert it into a sale.


There is no better song in the recent times than the song from ROY Chittiyan Kalaiyaan (CK), that underlines and emphasizes the emergence of shopping as the favorite pastime of all and sundry in the country. One is going to hear this song across all the music channels, till the shopping mania continues to make its presence felt one way or the other.

Apart from the fact that the song from ROY, which incidentally continues to scale the music charts, and for the generation which is drooling on to it, it is a refurbished version, with a Punjabi twist morphed as the new age gori hai kalaiyaan of Jaya Prada and Big B of days of yore from AAJ KA ARJUN- the original being set up in a Rajasthan background. Similar in aspirations, trying to conveying identical emotions but with a twist- factoring in the changing dynamics of the times, the dynamics of shopping defining the contours of the cupid. Twist in the sense that the aspirations from beloved of providing bangles in a metaphorical sense but taking it to another surreal level of shopping mania, manifest from collection of shopping bags from best shopping destinations of the world as shown in the song, thereby also conveying to the world that yes cupid has stuck but it would be given a definite shape based on the satiation of the urge of shopping spree.

Same traceable mitochondria of Lucy yet as diverse as the Caucasoid to the Negroid, shopping now the yeast and being the benchmark for lady to assess whether the man has the ability to fulfill her yearn for the goodies and whether he has deep pockets to keep her pampered through various shopping jaunts- underlining sense of materialism that has now become the stepping stone for graduating into a relationship?.

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We will miss out the pattern if not the words. But then I am not delving into the semantics and shayari of the song. The new age is more about the beats than the nuances, more flashy than being subtle. Of course why shouldn't it be? It's the- I-m- my generation brought up under the neon glares of the sitcoms which it reflects.  I wonder if the HD TV generation would be flashier and then what about the curved and the 3D ones! Let's leave that aside and focus on the music else the visuals, the words, the choreography, the backdrop will require a time consuming thesis. And in any case in this age of instant gratification life cycles have shrunk and so has been the retention power of a song- but with a difference this song would continue to resurrect itself with each new shopping season and would not be pushed into the oblivion along with the thesis on the song, which by the time it meanders and struggles to evolve into an argument, and though after it a million songs would have passed into the golden sunset, would continue to rise like a phoenix underlining the spirit of materialism that dominates the world of the present times.

Generally it's the vowel which provides the texture to the song, yes till the time Chittiyan Kalaiyaan made its debut, and the purists must be chafing at the paradigm shift that the lyrics are gravitating to. As a matter of convention it was the vowels that gave the space to the notes to glide from one consonant to another and form the word and the movement of poetry in a musical composition. But no, as it is with the rest of the things, the operating system of this generation is also being re-invented; even these rules are getting molded. The consonants, the rs the ts the qs are the backbone of CK. Move over the vowels it is the new age consonants that are taking over- perhaps Urdu as a language for expression of love is taking its last struggling gasp to continue to maintain its façade of being an expression of love- may be the language of love need to start singing paeans to shopping and bring in love as an oblique reference to it.

The t of the chittiyaan is stressful. The t is sharp dental than being the soft alveolar. The tongue doesn't glide over the teeth. It doesn't caress, rather it lashes out, hits on the teeth giving it a pronounced effect.  It is a fixated stare and not the lazy long lost glances of the besotted lover, perhaps stare, a by-product of processes of lives being reducing to shopping in one form or the other. It is not merely a touch it's a vigorous push. The same is repeated and carried further in “glit glit glitter”.  Even the use of white instead of safed or any other word makes room for the t effect to grow to the point of familiarity. It adds on to the foot tapping tempo of the composition, always edgy bundle of energy- underlining the I-me-mine syndrome of the present times.

Check out the r in request paaiyan.  The tongue again! It does a back flip rolling summersault Nadia Comaneci style making me wonder how long it will keep its poise doing this oral gymnastics.  The elongated roll over and the clicking with the hard licking trill over the palate makes the r arresting.


Same goes over the k of the picture. The stiff-lipped -tea with a speck of cream types would raise their discerning eyebrows hearing the sound. The Britons, though crisp in their pronunciation do have certain roundness in the k while pronouncing picture. The picture for a puritan will be more t than k. But here it's the k which stands out. It is stronger, fuller bodied, buxom!  It is ostentatious, blaring and that's how it gets recognized by the I-me-mine types. It is what they themselves would love to personify.

Check out the p of shopping kara de or of the picture. The p forcefully seals the lips. As if the first love denies the kiss to the lunging bundle of testosterone, enhancing the longing, increasing the agony of the boy. At the same time it makes the dual more enjoyable more satisfying more pleasurable once when the actual event happens.   The sh of shopping sashays across making a statement on the ramp. Its presence is overwhelming. Its identity is distinct and just comes across. The I-me-mine individuality of sh -drowns the neighboring shopping.  The p makes a valiant effort but it is masked over. 

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The q of the request is no less different. Its guttural epiglottal note comes from deep down as if conveying the sincerity and earnestness of a child. But it's a honey trap. It stabs the eardrum and pushes its way through and covers the senses. Even the golden jhumke has g and d standing out which normally otherwise are round and jagged free. It's more common to find the d eaten up, as a silent bystander, blended in the background in many instances. Here they thought ‘why blend in the background when you can come out with flying colours'!, and highlighting the golden jhumka- who knows the decline in price of gold could be owing to this urge for shopping. The g and d are segregated and distant so that they don't encroach in other space. The mythical creature space which I fail to recognize and the I-me-mine always laments about the lack of it is indeed a manifestation of the changing paradigms of times.
These sharp tones provide the crisp tonality of the song. It gives the edginess to the song like the playful flirting repartee of the lovers. The music is calypso and kind of reggae providing swaying rhythm. Both these styles have emerged from the marijuana lovers. The rhythm provides similar intoxicating effect - euphoria, relaxation and enhanced sensation. As if in its weedy backdrop the sharpness of the stressed consonants are more insistent and impelling. The new age techno trance provides the contemporary flavor and also vigor to the choreography. It blends well with the I –me-mine who is always action oriented. Something should keep on happening. The eye balls to be glued to the movement, action. Never look at scenery outside the bus/ train while travelling, always glued to the narrative of a controlled perspective displayed on the handled screen of various size.    

It caught my imagination and it's my flavor of the ‘now'. I am too in I-me-mine mode. Keeping up with times becoming selfish, asking for more, dreaming of more, why can't even yeh dil mange more! So what if there are ample strands of grey.

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