A song in a South Indian language groomed to become a viral hit is inspiring a new kind of “youthspeak” for a generation of Indians raised on Hindi and English fare, reports the BBC. “Kolaveri,” or “Murderous Rage,” is written in “Tamglish” — a street mix of English and Tamil that mostly involves adding a -u sound to the end of English words.
The lyrics are meant to be from the mind of a drunk boy who’s just been dumped; they poke fun at Tamglish while reveling in its accidental poetry (a sampling: “girl-u heart-u black-u”), and have become ubiquitous Facebook status updates for young Indians and their American-born counterparts.
While the song’s creators are styling it as an unplanned success that took under a half-hour to write, in fact “Kolaveri” got special treatment for a song out of the typically insular Tamil film industry. Speaking to the Indian press, an Indian-based Sony executive explained that Sony marketed the song “aggressively to become a national rage, by posting it on Tamil, Hindi and international Facebook pages” ahead of the launch. Within days, it became India’s most-searched Youtube video ever, the first Tamil film song to play on MTV India and national radio stations, and sparked articles in the Indian press on how to make viral videos.