Since Wednesday, a hashtag took Twitter by storm: #Pray_for_Neasamani. And it reached a new high on Thursday. Tamilians flooded the micro-blogging platform with tweets, prayers and memes for their beloved painting contractor Neasamani, played by comedian Vadivelu, from the 2001 Tamil film ‘Friends’.
It all started when someone on the page, called Civil Engineering Learners, posted a picture of a hammer with the question “what is the name of this tool in your country?”.
This prompted an alert Tamil Facebook user to comment that it was called Suthiyal in his language and then added, without any context whatsoever, that “contractor Nesamani’s head was broken… with it”.
Following the hashtag, many Tamils on social media started memes based on the hashtag and the particular scene from the movie. Using the opportunity, brands have also started playing along.
One user posted, “Breaking news – FBI team has arrived in India to arrest Kichunamurthy. #Pray_for_Neasamani #ArrestKrishnamurthy #JusticeForNesamani”. Another user issued a press release resembling the one released by Apollo Hospitals when former CM J Jayalalithaa was being treated there.
And there were memes which featured world leaders talking about Nesamani. With the whole world talking about him, Vadivelu remained in his usual cool self. When contacted, he said, “this is the grace of God.”