Tamil Nadu

‘Neasamani’ takes Twitter by storm

Ground zero: Screen grab of the post and comments that started the #pray_for_neasamani trend.

Ground zero: Screen grab of the post and comments that started the #pray_for_neasamani trend.  

Vadivelu fans unleash memes, #pray_for_neasamani trends worldwide

Famous Tamil comedy artist Vadivelu found himself in the midst of a tweet-storm from Wednesday evening after a Facebook user posted on a page called ‘Civil Engineering Learners’, a picture of a hammer and asked what it was called in other countries. The page reportedly originates in Pakistan and shares views on various aspects of civil engineering. The comments which followed ensured the hilarious turn of events.

One of the users, Vignesh Prabhakar, replied it was called ‘suthiyal’ in Tamil and went on to reference a famous character portrayed by Vadivelu in the 2001 Tamil film Friends, where the hammer falls on the actor’s head and he falls unconscious. The comedian portrays the role of a building contractor.

In the film, Vadivelu’s character ‘Neasamani’ often falls victim to to his employees’ (’apprentices’) antics. Mr. Prabhakar referred to Neasamani’s character without explaining the context, leading to some users believing that the hammer fell on a real person’s head. This spawned a number of hilarious comments as Vadivelu fans began commenting on the series of comical incidents that happens with Neasamani in the movie. Replying to the comment made by Mr. Prabhakar, one FB user replied that he will pray for Neasamani. “Tell them all to take care of him”, he said unaware of the side-splitting tweets that were to ensue. By Thursday, the tweets tagged #pray_for_Neasamani trended in the top three across India and at No.6 worldwide, while another #Neasamani was trending at No. 3 worldwide, after the comedian’s fans unleashed memes and made references to many of Vadivelu’s film scenes.

Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, the Chennai Super Kings, and some politicians and film personalities tweeted their prayers for Neasamani in jest.

Politics and advisories

Twitterati also began making up their own stories relating the scene to many of Tamil Nadu’s recent political developments, including that of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation at Apollo Hospitals, and the statements her partymen made at the time regarding her health condition. They also used ‘Neasamani’s situation’ to poke fun at some political leaders. Many fans also asked for a CBI inquiry into the ‘incident of the falling hammer’ and the setting up of an enquiry commission.

Not all was just fun though. A police officer made use of the hashtag to advise citizens to wear a helmet while riding a bike and ensure their safety. The Ahmedabad police too tweeted out with the hashtag carrying the advisory message, asking people to wear helmets. Nippon Paint, Air Asia, Drop Taxi, Redmi India, were some of the companies that used the craze over the hashtag and Neasamani’s tribulations to market their products/services.

Some also used a picture of Vadivelu visiting a police station in a film, to ask for the tracing of missing activist Mugilan. Ironically, someone tried to make use of the hashtag by asking people to donate to a bank account, before another Twitter user called it out as fake. On Thursday morning, as the trend gained worldwide traction, many fans changed their Twitter prefix with ‘Contractor’, just the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his party cadre, and his supporters prefixed ‘Chowkidaar’ before their Twitter names during the elections.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:19:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/neasamani-takes-twitter-by-storm/article27358308.ece

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