[Features] Asvini Kanan’s Naduvan Fever


This article/review was written by Asvini Kanan in her blog Ash Said What? –http://ashsaidwhat.blogspot.co.uk/. Thus, this article does not belong to us, but we have obtained permission from Asvini Kanan to post her review in this portal. It is an awesome piece describing Naduvan and also, she did an interview with Dr. Burn. Awesome stuff! If you want to know some trivia about Naduvan music video, you must read this!

Naduvan Fever!

This is a review on Naduvan, a song by Dr Burn. Keep reading and I promise u a little surprise right at the end.
Naduvan, the one word that has been creating an internet sensation amongst the tamil music listeners of our country. This would not be an over exaggeration as the music video which was released on the 12th of June, as of now has gathered more than twenty four thousand views. The song was released a few months earlier as a track in the album, Pranavam – The Devotional Album. It was one of the many songs by various local artists in the compilation. Upon release the song received good reviews from both critics and fans alike. And now Dr Burn along with Ugly Duckling Studios has made a music video for the song.
The song is written, composed and performed by Dr Burn featuring Michael Rao, Samuel J Dass on Sitar and MC DV on guitar. It is an ode to Lord Shiva who is revered as the Supreme Being in Saivism. It is about one’s attachment to worldly possessions and what becomes of them when a person dies. It is evident the song has a dark feel to it due to the recurring themes of death and salvation. But unlike the gothic western counterpart idea of death, here it is more to the role of the creator as a mediator between death and afterlife. It definitely is of the religious genre, but does not come off as preachy and that is what attracted an atheist like me. The lyrics have a poetic, upper crust Tamil feel to it which is kind of new to our local music scene. It speaks in great length of Saiva Siddantham. And as usual Dr Burn’s diction is flawless and brings a certain oomph to the lyrics.
Naduvan – Dr Burn
The music video chronicles the life of a young boy brought up by a single mother who grows up with, shall I say, a certain hatred towards God. He  sinks deep into the dark realms of a decaying society such as gangsterism and drugs. And ends up beaten to a pulp tethering on for life. Towards the end of his life, when death is imminent he is visited by a cloaked figure who is revealed to be the Creator. He accepts the Creator as his salvation and is released of his agony by the granting of death.
The video has several high points such as the scene where Dr Burn is shown to be buried alive which is a very brave attempt. One that is technically and physically challenging. The actor who plays the main protagonist is Ganesan Manogaran and the role of Lord Shiva is played by Ravi Shanker of Asthana Arts. Both did justice to their roles. Ganesan with his menacing eyes was a perfect choice and Ravi Shanker did a beautiful job on the Rudra Thandavam, though I personally feel it lacked a little bit of intensity. The video is directed by upcoming director JK Wicky. A young talent who is a force to be reckon with.
Now, enough of me ranting. It’s time for the surprise I told u earlier. As I was thinking what to write for the review, I had a light bulb moment and I immediately called up Dr Burn and requested for an interview (Yes, I do know him!) . And he being the good friend that he is, agreed to it. So here it goes: A short interview with none other than Dr Burn himself on Naduvan.
Dr. Burn
           What does Naduvan mean and why this specific choice of a title?
Truth be told, literally Naduvan means the God of Death, Eman or Kaalan. This is the meaning in Tamil dictionaries. But in today’s society, central government is also called as Naduvan Arasaanggam. Thus giving the word an alternate meaning of a supreme leader who is capable of passing judgment, and making decisions. An authority figure. A middleman. So, I interpreted the word Naduvan as creator. The middleman between death and afterlife. As to why I chose the term is it is mentioned in a song by a Sithar called Kaduveli Sithar. A verse in the song loosely tanslated means: when a woman of beauty and grace is ogled by another man, her brother enrages and threatens to kill him. But when she dies and is nothing but just ash, will the same man accept her ashes? (this part, I translated from Tamil to English, so pardon me if there are any mistakes).
Can you give us a brief explanation on Saivism and it’s history?
Saivism is now mainly practiced by the South Indians, namely the Tamilians. It is said to be 5000 year old and is even speculated to be present in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa during the Indus Civilization era. The finding of a three horned figurine called the Pasupathy which represents the Mummalanggal(Karma, Illusion and Ego) corresponds to this theory. We have shown this in the video with the three guys in white who represent these three things. These are the three things that tortures the soul entrapped in the body, a mere tool, even when death is near. Only to be salvaged by the Creator who releases the soul of all worldly attachments and ends the agony. This is what we have tried to show in the video.
Can you tell us about the contributing artists for this production?
This was huge teamwork which was definitely necessary for success. It is produced by Ugly Duckling Studios who I have known for quite some time now.  The stills and art design is by Haran Photography. And then there is Asthana Arts. I’ve been following their efforts for a few years now. Michael, Ganesan and MC DV, who are friends and good artists. Finally, Samuel J Dass who is a prominent Sitarist in our country with numerous International recognitions and awards. I’m a big fan of his and he was a supportive pillar to this project.
How was the Music Video shooting experience, give us some trivia?
It’s shot in Pantai Kelanang, Banting. This is the place that most Hindus in Malaysia come to dissolve the ashes of the deceased. We felt this would be a very apt place to shoot the video. The video was shot with four different types of digital cameras. Especially, the slow motion sequences were shot with a camera called NEX FS 100 which has never been used to shoot any local Tamil productions before this.
Any ideas on releasing a making of video?
Yes. As of now we have twenty five thousand views in two days, as per my calculations it should hit fifty thousand in two more days. When it hits hundred thousand, we will release a making of video. And I think this would happen in ten days. Let’s see if the fans make it happen.
What’s next for Dr Burn?
We are working on more commercial projects retaining the same team. Once that is done, there is an idea for another taboo subject like Naduvan. It’s a Pattinathar song.
So what is the bottom line, why Naduvan now?
Dr Burn five years ago and now are two totally different people. I am used to making music as per the want of the producer and composer. Now I am at this point of life where I want to share my ideas and messages with full creativity freedom. Thus Naduvan was born. There is more to come.
That was all I could ask Dr Burn as my cheapo phone didn’t have much credit. Hope it was informative and enjoyable. I’m waiting for more interesting and quality projects from this wonderful team. Here is to wishing them all the best.
மேல் என்ன கீழ் என்ன
நீ என்ன நான் என்ன
உயிர் போகும் தருவாயில் ஈசனே சரணாகதி
P.S. : Pictures courtesy of Haran Photography
Thank you very much Asvini Kanan for giving us the opportunity to share this!

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