Koova or Koovai means an owl in Tamil. Nocturnal, the owl is famous company for the people who live in the night. With this beautiful metaphor Madhan Karky, draws a parallel between the insomniac owl with a person facing rejection. In a generation of nocturnals, Karky’s lyrics will sound like an anthem to a particular breed with wandering hearts and cubicle cages.
Coming out of his isolation, this ‘owl’ seeks patronage for what he wishes to do. Facing rejection, existential questions arise in the mind of this nocturnal dreamer. “But is there a night without a dawn,” asks Karky. Karthik’s peppy tunes belies the depth of Karky’s words that could echo in the dungeons of depression. But the outcome is ironically beautiful.
The musical video revolving around a enraged dancer who finds solace in his art concealing his identity, is equally poignant. After his rant that finds strength in number, the dancer removes his mask off. It ironically reminds me of Gautham Menon’s (also the director behind this single) strategy behind the hit single “Maruvarthai Pesathey”, where he refused to reveal the composer until recently. The video leads me to several thoughts about art and identity. How important is the identity of the artist to appreciate art? In a telling gesture, Chinna Ponnu shoos off Karthik, before realising who he is. Sathish’s moves are marvellous and so is Chinna Ponnu. What a refreshing breath of fresh air it is to see Chinna Ponnu trade her usual ethnic sarees for a ball gown and that too, on Pongal.
“Koovai” has been produced by Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Ondraga originals, an attempt to promote independent music and musicians in Tamil. Well, the initiative is off to a strong start with this number leaving us excited about what it can bring us in the future.