License to Trivialize?
Just something I need to get off my chest...
I was listening to songs from Kanaa Kanden during my drive to work today. The first song is Chinna Chinna Sigarangal... , which is currently in some trouble since the censor has objected to its lyrics. The song definitely has a lot of double entendres and its lines are quite naughty but my problem with the song(actually, just one of its lines) is of a different nature. The line in question goes
En Aadaigal Kalaiya Varum Nee Enna Tsunamiyaa?
This line jumped out at me and really irked me. Ever since the tsunami hit our coast in December 2004, the word 'tsunami' has become fodder for our filmmakers. When I was in Chennai in January, I saw posters for a movie being launched with the tagline Ivan Sooriyan Alla, Tsunami. The recently released Mannin Maindhan(scripted by Karunanidhi, no less) has a comedy scene where Vadivelu tries to get a share of the money being distributed to survivors of the tragedy. And a song in Ajith's Ji has the line Naan Ooru, Nee Ennai Adithu Pogum Aaru.
For me, the line in the Kanaa Kanden song was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. It gave me the feeling that the tragedy is being trivialized by its usage in such scenarios. Its one thing to, say, use the word to illustrate the magnitude of a personal tragedy or even a person's affected state of mind. But comparing it to a guy who wants to disrobe his lover and using it in a line that rhymes with Kaamachaami seems outrageous to me. Have the songwriters become completely desensitized to this particular tragedy? Will the word and its irresponsible usage not trigger horrific memories for those affected by the tragedy so recently? Is there any limit to the poetic license songwriters can take on real-life events?
Its been 4 years since the 9/11 happenings in the US. But you still will not find any jokes, skits or songs trivializing the incident. And anything that degrades the memory of the day is greeted with widespread outrage(Bill Maher's comment and subsequent retraction and apology is an example). But the situation is different atleast in Tamilnadu. There seems to be no reaction from either the Tamil press or the public to our songwriters referring to the tsunami in any way they can.
I know the word 'tsunami' by itself refers to a natural disaster and not the tragedy in December. But the fact that Tamil cinema has never used the word before kinda links the word rather closely to the recent tragedy. So what do you think? Does the use of the word 'tsunami' really trivialize a tragedy. Or am I overreacting here?