The 312: The truth about this week’s viral, super silly wedding proposal video
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A viral video proposal is nothing new, but what is new is that Chicagoan (and University of Chicago grad) Kabir Iyengar proposed to his girlfriend by rewriting the lyrics to a popular rap song by an artist who goes by the name Bobby Shmurda.
He set up a video camera, asked his girlfriend to come out and then performed — complete with props and a ring box. And after all the on-camera shenanigans, she laughed and buried her head in her lap, but not before answering: “I need to think about it.”
The song’s title is not suitable for printing in a family newspaper, but the “clean” title is “Hot N****.” It was pretty popular over the summer because it sparked off a “Shmoney dance” craze that, just last weekend, was perfectly orchestrated by the US basketball team at the FIBA World Cup finals.
The video has garnered about 1.2 million views, largely courtesy of Buzzfeed, Worldstarhiphop.com, NDTV.com and cable news. Iyengar, 28, an economics major who says he took a few classes at Second City and now specializes in making comedic Internet videos, swears it’s a real proposal.
Earlier this week, he was happy to chat about his “big, fat Indian wedding,” planned for New Delhi in 2015, but he wasn’t comfortable giving the name of his mystery fiancee. He says he wants to protect her.
“A lot of people have asked whether it’s a genuine proposal,” says Iyengar, who adds that his “main focus” right now is on his videos. “It’s 100 percent genuine, but is it the whole proposal? No. It’s a small part of a much larger thing.”
The “much larger thing” apparently is the rest of a 15-minute proposal that, he says, includes getting on one knee. The rest? Iyengar just wouldn’t divulge. “There’s a reason that part is not in the video,” he says. “She wouldn’t have said yes just to [the rap.]”
In part, Iyengar rapped:
“Forget black card, I can get you a green card … Bought this ring about a week ago/We could go return it/Or you could keep it ho/Keep it ho/Still got the receipt but you can’t see it though/Peep it though/Sales tax was egregious though …”
And he finishes with:
I just want you to marry me/You a firework/Katy Perry me/This is getting weird/Just say you’ll marry me
The responses to the “Hot Finger” video range from viewers doing the happy dance to some wondering why Iyengar uses the word “ho” frequently in the song. Some comments even suggested that the young lady said “I need to think about it” because of the use of that word.
The engaged Iyengar has a word of explanation about that and it has to do with cultural competency or the lack thereof on the part of some viewers. If you saw “Slumdog Millionaire,” then you heard the 2011 song “Jai Ho.” The second half of that phrase loosely means, “It shall happen.” So, in reference to telling his girl that they should be married, the addition of a ‘ho’ kind of means “let’s do this.”
“I’m Indian, and this is actually use of the Hindi word ‘ho’ or हो meaning ‘shall happen’ or ‘let it be,'” says Iyengar. “Again, it is not the commonly used derogatory term.”
Sadly, the future Mrs. Iyengar, though easily recognizable from this Youtube video and who seems to already be rocking rings on both ring fingers, was apparently not open to talking about this proposal. But Iyengar’s baby sister, Karnika, was. She says the family wasn’t surprised that her brother proposed and captured the event on video. He’s got his own Youtube channel and has some items on funnyordie.com.
“He’s always been the clown,” says the younger Iyengar, 25, who works at the University of Chicago and appeared with her brother in another video that deals with their hometown NBA team, the Oklahoma Thunder.
“It wasn’t a surprise to any of us. I think this one definitely caught on a little more because of the topic. People are excited to see a proposal.”
And yes, the girlfriend did, in fact, say yes.
Watch it all go down below.