Tamil Twitter had a party of its own on Wednesday as #Pray_for_Neasamani and #Nesamani took over the internet, and everyone not clued in was left wondering what was going on.
The NewsMinute has a great explainer on the iconic nature of Neasamani, a character played by actor-comedian Vadivelu in the 2001 film Friends.
The Tamil film starred Vijay, Suriya and Devayani and was the remake of a Malayalam film of the same name.
The film featured a scene in which Vadivelu’s Neasamani, a contractor, is injured after his clumsy assistant drops a hammer on his head.
TNM’s report says the #Pray_for_Neasamani trend began in response to a post by Civil Engineering Learners, a Pakistan-based meme page.
One user added an example to his answer and it all just took on new life from there.
People responded to this with jokes, memes and faux prayers, and #Pray_for_Neasamani took a life of its own on all social media platforms.
There were running jokes about the progress of Nesamani’s treatment at the hospital.
On Thursday, the outpouring of tweets and memes remained strong. Nesamani was trending worldwide and was the second highest trend on Indian Twitter.
People began to point out how #Nesamani was trending higher than tweets on Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, particularly gratifying for a state that would trend #GoBackModi every time the Prime Minister visited their state.
People added ‘Contractor’ to their Twitter handles, not unlike a certain ‘Chowkidar’ campaign.
“In Tamil Nadu, people take a lot of pride in their culture - in standing apart and being different. This is also an assertion of identity. The rest of India doesn’t understand us - we walk our own path,” Sowmya Rajendran of The New Minute told BBC.
Actor Vadivelu told The NewsMinute he had no idea the character had gone viral on the internet and had not seen the phenomenon online.
“What? It has become famous across the world? Oh god. It has gone to America and everywhere? Thank you,” he said.
He was, however, very amused by it and wanted to see the memes.
You can watch the clip from the film below:
And don’t forget to pray for #Nesamani.