“Bhai Bhai” is a Viral Sensation. Has the Lockdown Made Salman Khan More Productive? An Investigation

Bollywood

“Bhai Bhai” is a Viral Sensation. Has the Lockdown Made Salman Khan More Productive? An Investigation

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The Covid-19-induced lockdown has left many of us with extra hours at our disposal, allowing our hidden talents to surface on social media for the rest of the world to see. This sudden spark of creativity has spared no one – not even Salman Khan, who is having an exceptionally prolific period.

Since setting up his YouTube channel in April, Bhai has channelised all his unexpected lockdown energy in creating small-screen content as he quarantines in his Panvel farmhouse. His latest offering is the brand new song titled “Bhai Bhai”, filmed on the grounds of his farmhouse yet again.

Each year, Eid is synonymous with biryani and crores at the box office with a Salman Khan release. The box office may not have earned a penny this season, but Bhai has ensured that his fans got their Eidi without fail. Touching upon the message of brotherhood, the peppy song highlights that despite our religious differences we all continue to be one: “Ramzan mein hai Ram, Diwali mein hai Ali/Message yahi pahunchana hai humko gali gali.”

The song was received with much fanfare, also managing to bag a YouTube milestone as it became the fastest Indian song featuring a Bollywood actor to hit one million likes.

Earlier this month, the actor had shared the video “Lockdown Conversations” with Waluscha De Sousa, on his YouTube and Instagram accounts. The actor and “singer” had then admitted that he had a couple of songs that wouldn’t quite fit into his films.

The revelation came only two weeks after Khan released his “debut” music video, “Pyaar Karona”. The black and white minimalistic video is dubbed by the actor as “an anthem sung […] for the fight against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.” Without the usual glamour of his movies, the actor, like the rest of us, seems to be making the best of his resources.

He has been unstoppable since.

While the rest of us and celebrities alike whipped Dalgona coffee and put out fitness routines, the actor who usually releases one or two Bollywood movies a year and proceeds to stay off the scene until next time, tapped into his musical range. Featuring his Kick co-star Jacqueline Fernandes, Khan delivered a romantic number in his second song, “Tere Bina”.

By this point one thought remains clear, hand a man an unwavering internet connection and autotune technology during the lockdown, and he will give people a reason or two not to be bored to death.

At the time of writing this, “Bhai Bhai” had already moved up to #3 on YouTube trends, a clear indication that Bhai’s lockdown endeavour had not failed him. With close to 10 million views, the message of unity put forth by “Bhai Bhai” has been embraced with much cheer as people lauded him for “using this lockdown tremendously.”

Besides celebrating Eid with a song on oneness, Khan also launched a grooming brand to draw attention to personal hygiene. Initially conceived as a deodorant and personal grooming brand, FRSH hand sanitizers is the first offering from Khan’s stable.

With that, the actor has managed to even generate a demand for disinfectant sprays. Truly #RahoFrshRahoSafe.

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In the past, Khan has always been regular with his Eid supersize releases. This year too, his movie Radhe was slated for the auspicious festival before it got shelved due to the pandemic. But armed with his understanding of the ever-changing market and acres of land, Khan has challenged the notion of what could be declared a pandemic.

The lockdown has reiterated that in all of time and space, even a pandemic, just like the goons in the movies, can’t hold down a superstar.

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