Velmurugan: I was exploited for my singing in Bigg Boss
Singer Velmurugan talks about being part of the latest season of the Tamil reality show, Bigg Boss Tamil, hosted by Kamal Haasan
Singer Velmurugan is well-known for his enthusiastic singing and his peppy folk numbers like Oththa Sollaala (Aadukalam) and Venaam Machaan (Oru Kal Oru Kannadi). His vocal range and throw needed no microphone to get amplified. And yet, though the singer could often be seen singing in the show, he was barely seen talking to the other contestants in the Bigg Boss Tamil 4 house. Branded as a meek contestant, Velmurugan got evicted last Sunday. Here, he speaks about what life was like for him inside the guarded sets of the Bigg Boss house.
How was the Bigg Boss experience?
I had entered the house for the experience. I felt it was an opportunity to meet different kinds of people. Cooking for yourself, staying away from family, new friendships... It seemed new. I am happy that I was the same person inside as I am outside. Kamal sir, who asked many people to improve their behavior, called me, 'Makkal oda soththu'. It made me really happy. What else do I need?
A major incident in your stint inside the house was a tiff between Bala and Archana. In hindsight, do you think you could have done anything differently while it was happening?
They used me as bait for their personal tussle. I knew that, but I do feel I should have reacted more strongly. I don't know what was telecasted, but after he was woken up, Bala kept ranting to me. I had told him that this wasn't his house; this was Bigg Boss. The rules are different. The house captain had asked me to wake him up, and so I did. If he had an issue, he should have sorted it out with Archana.
However, I knew Archana would eventually get close with Bala. If she did not, she would have had to face humiliation every day. Bala made her cry the very first day, calling her a 'thalavali'; Archana retaliated with some comments about Bala as well. If he could be as brutal with someone like Archana with so much experience, what chance did I even stand? Bala's behaviour always betrayed the discomfort he felt with me. He thinks of himself as the Bigg Boss, like he were the owner of the show. It took me a while to understand that.
The word, ‘diplomatic’, has become somewhat of a diss in the Bigg Boss house. Accusations of 'group-ism' and 'favoritism' were made as well. How do you see all these?
I didn't even know the meaning of these words. How could I make the strategies they were accusing me of? When I heard the definition of ‘diplomatic’, I thought it seemed like a good word. One must speak up only when there is a need, for oneself or someone else. This is how I am outside; I can't change myself just because I’m in that house. Perhaps, had I followed a strategy, I might have stayed longer.
However, when I did speak up, like with the ‘veshti incident’ (with Suresh Chakravarthy), it was turned into a problem too. It is dubbed as 'group-ism'. Epdi ponaalum round katti oruthana ipdi panringale nu thonichu. I wanted to play fair, not hurt anyone, and do my tasks well. If I had stayed, then someone else had to go out, right? Yen ya, nalla manushana irundhadhu thappa? Idhuku poi vella anupichiteengale.
It was suggested that you, Nisha, and Somasekar were influenced by Archana and Rio, and existed together as a group.
I have no idea. If I had had a group, I would not have been evicted. I believe it was an accusation used to send people out. Archana called me 'atmosphere artist'. Nisha picked me for some negative labels in certain tasks. How could I be thought to be in their group?
There were many instances where I was treated unfairly. If it had been Bala or Anitha in my place, they would have created a huge ruckus… but I let it go. Nobody was close to me in the house. Naan colour-a irunthu, naalu vaarthai English la pesiruntha, elaarukum naan friend airuppen. They spoke to me only to listen to my songs. This is the truth. They did not include me in any of their normal conversations. After the Vijayadasami task, Ramya came up to me and apologised, 'ungala thappa purinjukiten.' Did anyone wonder why?
What would you say was your biggest lesson?
I don’t think I utilised the opportunity to the fullest. I regret that. Maybe I should have been more vocal and stronger with my opinions. I can be patient outside that house, but it is a game in there.
But then again, I made my presence felt in a lot of places. I can tell you at least four contestants who haven't done what I did. Yet, they are all in there and got higher votes too. I guess that’s because they found people to have conversations with and create content, but I couldn't do that. Show-a thaandi, en kitta yaarum pesamaataanga. I was exploited for my singing. But it is okay. I am happy with what I did.
Any three contestants from Ramya, Shivani, Aari, Rio, and Balaji.
Here's the full interview: