– Mani Prabhu

Is there anything like the rousing impact of the youth stepping out into the streets – breaking free from their cosy comfort zones – to fight for something, they consider as their own prerogative?

An unstoppable force that belies everything that the ones fishing in troubled waters thought it stood for.

An unbelievable clarity in their stand. An unflinching intent to be acknowledged. A dauntless pursuit of a lost identity.

What a sight to behold!

Michael would know. All it took was one person to start it all. But, nevertheless, it needed one.

And the man rose to the occasion.

With everything, including a prestigious foreign scholarship, a happy married life and his life at stake, he knew that the people needed him.

His frustration, and consequently the outburst, was not fueled by a triggered impulse or vengeance, but by years of informed judgement.

A lifetime of feigned comfort, under the clause of selling your soul!

And one fine morning, it all erupts into one solid form – a bulldozer of an avatar, nobody could have even imagined in their dreams.

Mani Ratnam stages this sequence brilliantly in Ayutha Ezhuthu, in the background of the rousing Jana Gana Mana.

ஜன கன மன ஜனங்களை நினை
கனவுகள் வெல்ல காரியம் துணை
ஓளியே வழியாக மலையே படியாக
பகையோ பொடியாக…

The animated mood instantly catches on. The sprawling crowd in its twenties. The gravity of their dreams. The ebullience of their voices.

We get the frenzy.

With the lines இனியொரு இனியொரு விதி செய்வோம், Vairamuthu nails their burning resolve to contest long-fed myths… to be the change, everyone wants to see.

One horde leads to another. And soon, all you could see is a sea of youngsters.

They seem to know it… the way forward. The air of confidence is conspicuous.

Their choices reflect infinite hope, crushing all doubts and adversities in a valiant struggle to be heard.

Vairamuthu is on ‘no-holds-barred’ mode here.

ஆயிரம் இளைஞர்கள் துணிந்து விட்டால்
ஆயுதம் எதுவும் தேவையில்லை!

The lyrics almost speak the visuals. You don’t need violence to unnerve your enemies. All it takes is an unshakable hold on your beliefs. And an iron will.

The aggression in the lines continues to escalate, relentlessly.

அச்சத்தை விடு, லட்சியம் தொடு
வேற்றுமை விடு, வெற்றியைத் தொடு
தோழா போராடு….

மலைகளில் நுழைகின்ற நதியெனெ
சுயவழி அமைத்து, படை நடத்து!

Its almost impossible to dismiss the earnestness, clouding the atmosphere. One glance at the thousands who had gathered and you would know.

The collective strength of a long-exploited populace, hungry for change. Almost a colossal wave.

Hundreds of youth – strangers to the moment –  thronging the movement, irrespective of societal divides.

What a triumph this seems to be, for the way the society views its youngsters, if not anything else!

நல்லவர் யாவரும் ஒதுங்கிக் கொண்டால்
நரிகளின் நாட்டாமை தொடங்கிவிடும்…
வாலிபக் கூட்டணி வாளெடுத்தால்
வலப்பக்கம் பூமி திரும்பி விடும்!

This unlikely show of solidarity… what else could have given the opposition such shaky shivers!

அட வெற்றிக்கு பக்கத்தில்
முற்றத்தில் சுற்றத்தை நிறுத்து..

Almost a silent upheaval, a single generation is heading…

This isn’t something you could buy with money. Nor with authority. And definitely not by emotional manipulation.

Neither could it be thwarted by force. Every time you crush a pack, a new one will crop up.

For it’s something that’s not only driven by logic, but also by a powerhouse of pent-up emotions.

It was about time that it happened.  A necessity. The inevitable, you could say.

Something worthy of a cheer, even if all it means in the end, is a modest beginning. A small hint to many more rebels to follow.