From the many mundane social media apps that we see on Facebook, only a few emerge that can captivate and entertain us thoroughly. The ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ Facebook app titled ‘Wasseypur ki Galiyan’ shocks, educates and enthrals.
‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ is a movie made by visionary director/ writer Anurag Kashyup. The film (it’s out in theatres so go watch it!) centres on the coal mafia of Wasseypur; it is one of the most anticipated Bollywood flicks of 2012. Anurag Kashyup is known for making path breaking movies like ‘Dev.D’, ‘Paanch’, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Gulaal‘, etc. and forays into commercial cinema with ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’.
Kashyup regularly breaks glass ceilings with his stark portrayals of relationships, characters and politically incorrect humour. So, for a movie that’s got a controversial edge to it and is bold in its demeanour, a campaign was required that would push the boundaries. A part of that publicity campaign is an app called ‘Wasseypur ki Galiyan’; an ingenious yet simple way to promote the film on Facebook.
We tend to learn the expletives of a new language first and this app teaches us a laundry list of ‘galiyan’ or abuses in chaste Hindi that are ubiquitous in the interiors of India. These swearwords are also recited by the characters in the movie. By making such an app, the movie not only grabs the fancy of Facebook-hungry youth, but also promotes the lingo and culture of Wasseypur where the movie is set. It is like an initiation into the world of small town India where such words pepper the languages of many. It is an extension of a process that’s been employed by ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ publicity bandwagon. A predecessor to this initiation was Kashyup’s appearance at the Cannes Film Festival this year where he promoted the gamcha, a style of cloth worn by people in the interiors of India.
With the dearth of good ideas in the social media sphere, I feel this is a great and daring way to promote ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. It’s surprising that Facebook has not taken action to get the app down. Till that happens, you should definitely learn a few words from the app putti baaz.