Ashok…indha naal un calendar la kurich vechikko. Innayilarunthe un azhivu kaalam aarambamaayiduchi (Ashok…mark this date on your calendar. Your downfall begins today).
The iconic dialogue was delivered by a furious Annamalai, played by Rajinikanth, in his 1992 Tamil film Annaamalai, to his friend-turned-foe Sarath Babu. Ashok had demolished Annaamalai’s hut and this irks a broke Annaamalai to issue the explicit threat. Then begins a five-minute inspirational song, by the end of which Annaamalai becomes a business magnate.
But leave that alone. Around two decades later, Tamizh Padam (Tamil Film, 2010) directed by CS Amudhan, spoofs the famous Rajinikanth song in a parody song titled Oru sooravali kilambiyadhe (A cyclone has started), which shows the protagonist Shiva (played by RJ-actor Shiva) rising from a run-down neighbourhood in Chennai to a zillionaire — not a millionaire or billionaire.
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Strikingly, the song bears strong resemblance to what many say could become a reality, thanks to the announcements of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with respect to private participation in public sector.
While announcing the fourth and fifth tranches of the ₹20 lakh crore-worth economic stimulus package for the COVID-hit economy, Sitharaman said more public sectors would be opened up for private participation. These included allowing private players to use space technology, private participation in power distribution in Union Territories and development of six more airports.
In the Tamizh Padam song, we see change of fortunes in Shiva’s life in just about two minutes. Being a jobless man, Shiva is challenged by his lover’s father to become wealthy. He then goes on to do all kinds of menial jobs, from delivering milk at doorsteps to selling peanuts on the beach, and becomes richie rich — that too at the flip of a one rupee coin that he picks from a smashed pumpkin on the road (smashing pumpkins stuffed with coins on roads during Dussehra is a tradition in Tamil Nadu).
Then, he is suddenly shown to be owning the Chennai Airport, Chennai Central Railway Station, Marina Beach, Water Supply & Sewerage Board, Electricity Board, a prison and even a mortuary, all of which was and are totally unimaginable and even dismissed as over-exaggerated, despite it being a parody film. All that the song and movie intended were to draw a laugh from everyone. But now, the lines between reality and reel seem to be blurring. That this is coming from a spoof makes it all the more uncanny.
Watch the song here: