Express News Service
BENGALURU: The video starts with a trigger warning. Rightly so, because the disturbing visuals and the poignant rap that follow in the composition Second Wave, are a powerful mirror that rapper Hanumankind holds up to the situation many of us are going through due to Covid-19.
The 2 minute- 16 second video – viewed over three lakh times – shows mass funerals, patients desperately waiting for beds, and grieving and traumatised caregivers. It also features election rallies and religious gatherings that took place just before the onset of the deadly second wave.
Sooraj Cherukat a.k.a Hanumankind uploaded the composition on his Instagram page on May 1, and it’s a testimony to how serious things are, that the situation has remained largely unchanged in the three weeks since. “This was my way of expressing how I feel. I’ve heard of the struggles from those in my close circle. So I can’t imagine what the general public must be feeling,” says the Bengaluru-based musician.
Hanumankind insists the new work, featuring beats by Chennai-based producer and mix engineer Akash Shravan, is a composition and not a track or song.
“I didn’t put it out for any commercial purpose,” he says, pointing out that that’s the reason he’s released Second Wave on his Instagram (@hanumankind) and not even on his YouTube channel.
The idea came to Hanumankind while he was in Kerala. A short visit to be with family turned into a much longer trip due to the lockdown.
“I consider myself lucky to be able to be with my family right now. I know that if I were in Bengaluru or any other major city right now, it would be much harder to deal,” he says. The composition was then born as a result of the helplessness he felt. “I hope it acts like a trigger and gets people to act – either through donations to organisations or by sharing relevant information,” he adds.
The composition – which took all of two days to make – packs a powerful punch with its effective use of visuals. Compiled by visual artiste Bijoy Shetty, the footage took him longer than usual to put together, and stayed with him long after the work was made.
“We had seen some of these visuals on social media but not in this way where it’s all put together,” says 23-year-old Shetty, who took more than double the time he would normally take to do this. “I had multiple breakdowns because it was painful to go through all of this at once. I wanted the end result to have an impact. It’s no longer about pointing fingers about how we landed here. We now need to face the reality of the situation,” he says.