How to make a viral Video ft. Rakhi Sawant 

I’m such a Rakhi fan, I couldn’t resist but to have her on my blog. Who better to learn from when it comes to going viral on the Internet. When I finally contacted her after a ton of networking, RS’ response was simple. ‘This is chitting,I don’t know you and I will not help you‘. Rakhi-low key-dissed-me. But given just how much I’m in awe of her several talents, it only made sense to go ahead with the idea. Because I’m sitting alone in my room watching Netflix while my cat licks my toes. Clearly, I’m best suited to teach you a thing or two about being popular…Let’s go. 
1. Have no clue

If you’re going to know anything about what you’re making a video about, you might as well stop. Abort mission effect immediately. How are you going to be taken seriously if you don’t sound clueless and retarded? You need to sound awkward, ill informed, out of place. Add some random pauses in the camera, maybe even open your eyes wide at regular intervals. Stare into the abyss, spasm occasionally. Just don’t come across normal or sane. Pinch yourself every time you state a fact. Or just cut the footage. God forbid you actually know what you’re talking about. The horror

  

2. Don’t make any sense 

At no price are you allowed to make any kind of sense. Dumb yourself down. Rakhi will attest my words. Mispronounce words, speak illogical. Never ever are you allowed to construct a meaningful sentence. You should come across confused. Maybe just call out the government randomly or recount a personal narrative when it doesn’t seem relevant. If we haven’t established it earlier, relevance and link are not your friends. Steer clear the minute you feel like you’re being relatable or you think people can understand you. That is not the right way to go. 

  
3. Tears galore 

Okay so let’s be honest. You shouldn’t even want to make a viral video if you can’t cry on cue. You’re better off with your normal job or education. You aren’t cut out for the tedious lifestyle of a viral vlogger. If you’ve seen bae’s recent press conference you know just how comfortable she’s shedding ‘aasu‘ on camera. What helps me is always having a sad personal memory that would help me get in touch with my emotional facet. (If nothing helps, think about what you’re doing with your life aspiring to make a viral video. Your low ambitions should be enough to bring about a tear or two.)

  

4. ‘Quote’ cases

Step 4 is of utmost importance. This doesn’t need much explanation. You have to be witty, sassy and funny. If there’s one thing Queen Rakhi has taught us, it’s always bring your ‘A’ Quote game. You could use the following spurts of gold provided to us by RS as inspiration: 

Jo Bhagwan Nahi deta, woh doctor deta hai.

Sabne chitting ki hai.

– Is you make joke of me? 

– Jinka naam Google pe Nahi Hota, main unki baat Nahi karti. Next please.

The more nonsensical and bizarre, the better. You want your viewers to be disgusted, disappointed and plain sad. 

  
5. Show ‘CLAVAGE’

Cleavage is so 2009. Clavage is the real deal. Minions, please notify the Oxford Dictionary the change in pronunciation of the word. How will you go viral if you don’t show skin? Whether you’re a guy or a girl, skin show is a must, okay? Because who cares if you say something smart, solve a global problem, build a machine to reduce pollution, only your ‘clavage’ matters. You should listen to all the low life mongrels who tell you to strip to be popular because there is no other way. 

  
I hope I’ve persuaded you enough to go viral. All you need is lack of mental faculty and to own a video camera. The latter is optional. The former, not so much. 

  

Thursday’s Talkshow-Ali Haji

Child prodigies have always intrigued me. More than I’d like to admit. To be working as hard as an adult, to find yourself detached from your childhood, to grow up amidst public speculation and find the balance between different facets of your life is anything but easy. I’ve been trying to scoop up Ali Haji for an interview for the longest time, but given the busy man he is, especially the fact that he’s out with his latest directorial venture- 21 Days, it’s never managed to happen. Until now. He knows how much I admire not only his work, but him too. He’s loveable, level headed and expresses a sense of maturity way beyond his years. Join me as I host and interview the sensation of movies like Partner, Fanaa and Ta Ra Rum Pum and a ton of other cool important Bollywood-y things. We spoke about his 4th directorial venture for Squid, what’d he choose between acting and directing and how he felt this wasn’t his lead actor- Vedant Lamba‘s best performance. 
 Starting off, tell me a little about yourself. 

Growing up was fun. I was quite a patient kid, a little shy, not too much into outdoor activities, I loved interacting with people close to me but I also loved my space. I’ve bunked a lot of school because of my shoots, and so I’ve not had a regular childhood. Most kids spend their time learning definitions and playing on the school ground, it wasn’t quite the same for me, I was learning my dialogues and acting in front of cameras. Nevertheless, it’s been a memorable journey thus far. 
Have you always identified yourself with the Film Industry? 

When I was six months old, I became the face of Johnson’s Baby. After that I did tonnes of ads until the age of 5 when I got my first film which was Family with Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar. So basically I was in the Film world even before it was my dream. Gradually I did more films, I observed the actors and the directors and I realised that this was what I wanted from my life. I was a part of the industry since the beginning, but it became my dream somewhere along the line. 

  
Now you’re only 16, right? I’m curious, how do you manage the personal, academic and professional aspects of your life? Is there compromise? 

I just turned 16 a couple of months ago. Well it’s tough to balance everything at the same time, there is most certainly a compromise at every step. The people around me always feel I’m not doing enough. If I give my all to my academics, I won’t be able to give my all to my short films. It is hard to juggle, but at the end of the day I think my close friends and my family understand my plight and they know that my academics and my work can’t adjust, but they can adjust for me. It’s a tough compromise to make, but in the long run its for my benefit and I’m blessed with people who understand that.



Most of the people you work with are all a part of your friend circle. How comfortable are you directing people that you know, do you feel like you need to be more wary? Explain to me the dynamics. 

It’s not easy directing people you’re close to. It’s not just about being comfortable. For example, in 21 Days I directed one of my closest friends, Vedant. He’s given a good performance but I know that it’s not his best performance, there’s a lot more I could have got out of him, I felt comfortable while explaining my vision to him, the tough part came in when I had to correct him over and over again, that’s when I feel I need to be careful. While directing someone you share a closely knit bond with there’s always the fear of having a tiff. There are creative differences, and sometimes there can be an ego hassle as to who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s a tactful job, and yes, I have to be wary, the whole idea is to get the best out of your friends without seeming authoritative or bossy. 

  
You’re active on social media to a very large extent. How much of that is planned? Do you think it plays an important role from a commercial point of view? 

None of it is planned really. I don’t believe that having a fan base on social media is a great thing. I find people who feel they’re popular after crossing a thousand followers to be very shallow. I am active on social media only for myself and of course because it’s a great platform to promote my work. It’s practically free and yes it’s important since all my work is online. Being an online creator I have to keep up with social media and the current trends so that when the time comes to promote my work, I can do so successfully. 
What’s the hardest thing about making a short film? 

The writing process. Now it often happens that people end up praising the visuals and the performances and the script tends to go unnoticed. But what many people don’t realise is that writing a short film is as difficult as writing a feature length film. You see you have to compress your story and say it in approximately fifteen minutes which is harder than saying it over a span of two hours. Writing a short film is a challenge, you have to say more in less time and you have to try to be out of the box and off beat. Once you get your screenplay in place, everything else tends to pan out properly. Not many people get this haha, but it is by far the toughest part, you have to rack your brains to get the formula right. 

  
I have to congratulate you on your latest presentation, 21 Days. I recommend it, very highly. Tell me, how much of it was based on personal experience? 

A major part of it was based on personal experience. I wouldn’t want to get into the nitty gritty, but I had suffered a heartbreak of sorts and one of my confidantes told me about the 21 Day theory. I wrote a screenplay revolving around the theory and practiced it myself. Turns out it worked for me and for the film. 
We saw your two-bit cameo in the short film too. Is acting a part of the dream? What comes to you, more naturally? Acting or directing? 

Acting is most certainly a part of the dream. I’ve acted previously and I plan to act ahead as well. I want to have the best of both, acting and directing, whatever comes my way first. For me it’s about identifying myself with a certain character. If I see myself in the character than I’d do anything to play that character. I don’t believe in preparing too much for a role, to a certain extent its necessary, workshops to polish your skills and dialect for some roles are acceptable, but most part of expressing comes from within. I love acting. 

As we are on the subject of Bollywood and films, did you find a difference in the scripts that we witness on the silver screen? Do you think writers are getting more creative or are film-goers getting more liberal? 

It’s a two way process honestly. Writers are experimenting and movie goers are accepting. We’ve seen some good films in 2015, however none that have stirred me. The thing here is that producers need to be more encouraging towards different subjects, a lot of good writers end up writing cliché scripts because of the fear of not being accepted. But that is changing now, and I’m glad it is, Bollywood is opening up, viewers are broadening their horizon, there’s no better time to experiment with ideas than right now!

  
To wrap up? What’s 2016 looking like on the professional front? What can we look forward to? 

We’ll definitely be making a good amount of short films this year and I will be acting in some of them as well. We’ve got improved on the technical front and now it’s time I we improve on our stories as well. There’s a lot of good stuff we plan to do in 2016. Let’s see!
I hope you guys liked that. Ali is humble, mercurial and charming. You’ve probably checked 21 Days out but if you haven’t: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YoRHukDhHsI

All pictures have been sourced from Ali’s Instagram account with permission. 

Also, if you’ve already broken your New Year Resolution, you should check my last post out: https://akashakumar.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/resolution-2016/

Take care fam. 

2015 in: Bollywood 

Ever since I’ve been blogging on here, I’ve got tons of requests to do a full fledged Bollywood post. And I don’t know why I haven’t done anything like this, before. Hindi movies are my absolute favourite things in the world. For those of you who aren’t aware what Bollywood is, the Hindi movie Industry is collectively called ‘Bollywood’. I decided to do a review of everything our movies had to offer in 2015. I won’t be delving into the private lives of our celebrities, there’s a reason why they’re called private. We’ll be discussing only on-screen moments). Let’s go. Who needs friends and family when you can go live in a parallel universe every weekend. No really, I’d much rather be in a dark room for 3 hours than talk to people. (Akash creepy level: KRK)

1. ‘Debuts’
Given how besotted and crazed we are by movies, it isn’t a surprise that there are millions of people who set out on their paths to achieve super stardom in Bollywood. Probably this year’s biggest Debut was Sooraj Pancholi’s. Considering his tainted personal life, there was an air of mystery and intimidation surrounding him. Sadly he didn’t live up to expectations and ‘Hero’ tanked at the box office. Special mention to his co-star Athiya Shetty who also made her debut. Darling Athiya has fewer expressions than my goldfish. This year was particularly stellar for TV celebrities who made the switch to bigger pay checks. These included daily soap heart throbs Karan Singh Grover and Gurmeet Choudhary who made debuts with ‘Alone’ and ‘Khamoshiyan’ earlier this year. Karan starred in the erotic thriller ‘Hate Story 3’. While they’ve yet to achieve critical acclaim, their legions of female fans have kept them in the buzz, thanks to their aesthetics. I wish them all the very best, all hail new talent. 

2. ‘Bhaijaan impressed’
Over the past five years or so, we’ve come to expect a certain image of Salman on-screen. He’s always playing the self-righteous good guy roughing up the villains and ripping his shirt open or have Special effects do him the favour. But this year was a little different. Not very different, only a little. I was recommended Bajrangi Bhaijaan by a close friend, who knows how much I’m not a fan of his ‘brand’. So it meant something. I was pleasantly surprised after watching the movie. Yes there was drama, action, unnecessary violence and lots of bruises. But it had a message- an important one. The medley of ‘seeti-bajao’ histrionics along with the delivery of a comminuqué made it one of the most endearing movies of the year. 

 3.’Webisodes’
How can I have any post without mentioning YouTube? I mean, you guys know me by now. 2015 made our Bollywood celebrities a little more accessible. If they weren’t a part of our living rooms, bedrooms, television screens and our dinner conversations, they’d now be on our laptops and iPads as well. Web-series like ‘A Man’s World’, ‘Bang Baaja Baarat’ and ‘Permanent Roommates’ aired on a weekly basis. What made these webisodes more relatable was the absence of censoring- of cuss words and more importantly of ideas. I’m hoping to see more of these, they’re a clear departure from stereotypical issues. 

4. ‘Femme Fatales’
The common perspective that people share about Bollywood is that it is coordinated song-and-dance and protagonists getting cozy behind a quivering flower. This isn’t 1950, dear Americans. This year was supportive of female artists. My favourite of the lot was Piku, for more than one reason. (Read: Deepika Padukone). It was honest, relatable (no I don’t have constipation) and raw. It was fundamental and brilliant, both at the same time. Kalki Koechlin’s Margherita with a Straw was her best movie, till date. She played a young woman suffering from Cerebral Palsy who after earning a scholarship at NYU, embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Kangana Ranaut starred in the sequel of ‘Tanu weds Manu’ where she played a double role of two women with polar-opposite personalities. Few others included NH-7 and Angry Indian Goddesses, both of which I am to watch. It’s great to see our movies bring the essence of gender equality to the forefront. 

5. ‘Shahid Kapoor’
Now I know I promised no talking about personal lives but this is just such a positive, happy moment I can’t help myself y’all. (Surprise, I have a heart). Shahid Kapoor married the drop-dead gorgeous Mira Rajput in a traditional ceremony in Delhi. Now Mira is no ordinary girl. She’s a graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women with a degree in English. She’s not some ditzy blonde who’ll end up being a washed up interior designer star-wife. Sorry, Gauri

6. ‘Bajirao Mastani vs Dilwale’
Ever since Sanjay Bhansali and Rohit Shetty announced the release dates of their respective films, one couldn’t ignore the clash. It was engraved in stone, come December 18th, the King would face the Prince. Sports cars would blow up, melodies would be meted out, millions would be spent on a two-minute song, Priyanka Chopra would steal the show and Varun Dhawan would once again make a fool of himself on-screen. Yes, the stage was set. The target audience for the two films was very distinct, and I honestly don’t think the box office collections of either were affected by the clash. Someone who liked Dilwale would not like Bajirao, and vice versa. I’m personally a ‘Bajirao’ person. Nevertheless, it was one of the highest talking points of the year and both films have made more than some of us will earn our whole lives

So that was my review of Bollywood in 2015. There are so many exciting movies to watch in 2016. There’s Gangajal, Wazir, Airlift… Trailers have been released and I’m drooling already. Comment below what you felt the best Bollywood moment of the year was! Or if I missed something. Please realise that this was a light hearted post and nothing personal against any of the celebrities mentioned. It’s all in good spirit. 
I’ll be back tomorrow with another review. You can check my last review where I put my loner binge-watching television knowledge to good use: https://akashakumar.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/2015-in-television/