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. 

  

2015 in: Music

If you don’t have me on your Facebook, you wouldn’t know I’m embarking on a ‘2015 in’ series, reviewing the year in terms of five different categories. Starting today, I bring to you everything that this year had to offer- the good, the bad and the indelible. We start the countdown with the Music Industry. Let’s play a fun game. Grab a bottle of vodka. (And Pepsi or whatever if you’re below 18. Stay in school kids). Everytime you read the word ‘million’ below, take a sip. Let me get you started- million, million, million. (Now that you’re a little tipsy, you’ll probably find this article a little more bearable). 
1. ‘Pick up the Phone already’
On 23rd October 2015, the world skipped a heartbeat. When Adele said ‘Hello’, everyone listened. And responded. With 27 million views in a day. The reason I love Adele besides the fact that she’s the queen of melody is how she’s not in the news while on sabbatical. She doesn’t employ low PR tactics to stay in the news or stay ‘relevant’. She drops an album once every couple of years and slays our existence. Her album ’25’ is pitted to be the largest selling album of ALL TIME. 

  

2. ‘The Weeknd’s here!’
Call me late to the party but the first time I heard of The Weeknd was when he collaborated with Ariana Grande on ‘Love me Harder’ and then with Sia on ‘Elastic Heart’. And then ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ happened. Followed by ‘Hills’. Just those two videos, managed to get a combined total of 760 million views. It makes me happy to see critically acclaimed musicians achieve commercial success and making waves at award ceremonies. His performance at the VS fashion show was mad. It’s very rare that you have supermodels strutting in lingerie and one ends up swooning over a performer! There’s nothing to ignore, his voice, his lyrics and most of all, his hair. It’s like his weave is at war with itself. 

  

3. ‘Comeback King’
Justin Bieber has always been a magnet for attention. Ever since he broke onto the scene with ‘My World’ 6 years ago (yes, you’re really old). But the focus has always been on his love life, his off-the-record antics and his misbehaviour- whether it was peeing in a bucket (control your urges, dude) or throwing water balloons at state troopers (he could just come to India for Holi?) he’s had his share of incidents, to put it politely. ‘Where are you Now’ released but expectedly the Bieber haters were crediting Skrillex and Diplo with the success of the number. And then ‘What do you Mean’ dropped. And then ‘Sorry’ dropped. And then ‘Love Yourself’ dropped. I think I broke the ‘replay’ button. I wish he keeps reinventing himself and staying out of trouble. 

  

4. ‘YouTube Sensations’
So if you know me, you know I love YouTube. I’ve been following youtubers since 2012 and it makes me particularly happy when I see them sign recording labels. It’s like the baby bird is ready to fly into the world. Ever since Charlie Puth released his ‘Chandelier’ cover in mid-2014, everybody knew he was here to stay. He soared new heights with ‘See You Again’ and ‘Marvin Gaye’ this year, the former hitting a billion views on YT. His lip-lock with Meghan Trainor was officially the No. 1 WTF moment of the AMA’s too. What are you doing with your life if you haven’t seen it. Troye Sivan too, released his first Album- Blue Neighbourhood later this year, shunning all his homophobic bullies. He also made the most adorable appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show. 

  

5. ‘Bling and Nae-Nae’
If you haven’t heard of either of these songs, shame on you! Silentó dropped his debut track ‘Watch me’ on June 25th and I honestly don’t know how, but it managed to scale all kinds of heights with its own remixes, renditions and parodies, my favourite being the one with a trio of ‘nuns’ dancing to the song. It had ‘whipping’, ‘nae-naeing’, ‘bopping’, ‘breaking’ and a lot of other dance steps I hadn’t even heard of. Similarly, ‘Hotline Bling’ by Drake achieved stardom not for its critical appreciation (LOL) but for its impact on pop culture. The music video was initially released on October 19th via Apple and later on his Vevo channel on YT, a week later. It features Drake trying to dance but ending up looking eerily similar to a spider on a hot plate. I’m sorry but there is nothing more accurate than that. Honestly though, if I hear either of these songs at a party or on TV, I will slit my ears. 

  

6. ‘Swift-ie Swirlie’
I don’t know why Taylor Swift isn’t the president of the world or anything equivalent to that. She became the highest followed person on Instagram with 59.5 million followers, dethroning *drum roll* Kim Kardashian. Onto more accomplished achievements, she released three singles- ‘Style’, ‘Bad Blood’, and ‘Wildest Dreams’ from her ‘1989’ album. She popularised ‘Squad Goals’ but let’s be honest, we can’t even compare our squads with hers. Not when there are four Victoria’s Secret models, two platinum musicians, a reality star and most importantly, Ed Sheeran. My ‘squad’ eats at McDonald’s, discusses fan fiction and calls each other fat. But why I love Taylor Swift is because she’s taught all of us to reach out to people in our field of work. She’s never afraid of making friends with people she’s competing with, she’s always supportive of the people she’s associated with. 

  

Those were the most memorable moments in Music for me! I’m pretty sure I’ve left out a lot of things, and I targeted the Pop genre. No hard feeling so. Tell me what I missed, and what moment you felt was most memorable! Please rememeber you don’t need to be a WordPress account holder/blogger to leave behind a comment! I’ll be back to tomorrow with another category. Feedback always appreciated. 
You can check my last post where I wrote about skin shaming: https://akashakumar.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/whos-the-fairest-of-them-all/

Who’s the Fairest of them All? 

The preparations had come to a halt. Everybody was dressed in vibrant traditional attire. Fresh peonies were neatly arranged in a vase on the centre table. Piping hot snacks were being dished out straight from the fryer. Some of the toddlers tried sneaking the oil-dripping Pakoras, only to be silently reprimanded by their mothers, with enlarged eyes and a swift nay nod of their heads. 
Yes, arranged marriage proposals in India are a big deal. As big as it gets. Anisha was dressed in a beige kurti and red chudidaar. The light embroidery on the edges softened the silhouette, adding ethereality to her feminine stature. She sat in front of the mirror, while she applied Kajal under her eyes. She could never match the intensity on both the eyes. Was she the only one? She hunted for her coral lip gloss. She’d wanted to go for something bolder, but her mother felt it might intimidate the boy. 

‘You don’t want to scare him off, do you?

Honestly, she didn’t see the fuss. The pandemonium surrounding her didn’t convey sense to her. The pretence, the artifice was almost off putting. She carried on. 

After half an hour she was ready. Everything seemed perfect but understated. Subservient. If only her eyes sparkled

“Anu are you ready, they’ll be here any minute”

Muthachi walked in, her stance expressing just how overloaded she was with duties. But Anisha got along with her grandmother. Like she did with no one else. She looked at her.

“Do you not want to do this, Anu?”

“I do but I don’t know what to expect. There are just so many things I haven’t considered Muthachi. I just got a new job, what if they ask me to quit? What if they don’t like me? I’m really worried and everybody…  everybody taking so much tension isn’t really helping”.

“Beta, look. You’re just meeting him today. You can ask him whatever you want to, get to know him. It is your decision”. 

Anisha eased up. This must be as stressful for him as it was for her. She’ll ask him a few questions, get to know him and take it from there. 

Her thoughts were interrupted by a resounding door bell. She stayed in her room. She had to wait for them to summon her.

“Please come in, no don’t bother. Leave your shoes on! Did you find our house easily?”

Mr Murthy was a puny man, with a fuzzy moustache and a short nose. He let in the guests, saying all the right things. His enthusiasm could be sensed from a mile. 

They sat down. Small talk commenced and everybody took turns to speak. Forced laughter ensued

“Where is Anisha, we’ve been excited to see her!”

She was called. 

As she entered with a tray of cookies, the potential groom’s family shared glances at each other. They weren’t subtle. As Anisha took a seat, he introduced himself. 

His name was Harish Shetty. He was tall. Quite tall. He had hazel eyes, a crew cut for a haircut and beautiful cocoa complexion. She was attracted to him. 

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Murthy couldn’t help but notice the grim faces.

“Is there a problem Mr Shetty?”

“I don’t know how I should tell you this… But we were expecting her to be fairer. The pictures didn’t make her seem so… Dark“. 

Mrs Shetty interjected. “I mean it shouldn’t be a problem, there are a lot of treatments and fairness creams, we see advertisements on TV”. 

Anisha’s face was flushed. She looked at Harish. Surely, he would say something. 

“She should have applied some cream since childhood, uncle ji’

The tension could be cut with a knife. 

“Please have these biscuits, they’re freshly baked”. Dadi was an angel. 
“Okay we will never force you to see a guy, is that fine?”

“No it’s not. You wanted me to marry someone like this”.

“It’s done, we don’t have to see him again”.

“He should thank God I won’t see him again, I’d put a hammer through his head”. 

She took a deep breath. 

“At least I can keep my job”. 
Over the next two years, Anisha had gotten over the disturbing experience, but a little part of her always remembered how it had made her feel. How those people had made her feel. It had hit her confidence. Her personality was shaken. But the one thing that kept her head above the water was her job. She’d worked tirelessly to reach the position she had. She was now Vice President of the Human Resources department. Her salary had compounded and so had her reputation. She’d been particularly busy, given that it was recruiting season. She had a list of interviews to be conducted, and her assistant who usually conducted those was on leave. Again. There was a wedding every three weeks in the family. 

“Anisha, they’re ready for you, can I ask the first gentlemen to come in?”

“Yes please, send Shukla ji with a glass of water and my iPad too”
“Hi. Have a seat”. She extended her hand to shake his. He had graduated from the IIM at Indore a year ago. 

“How are you doing?”

“I’m doing great. Though, I’m a little disappointed with the reduction of lending rates and I think the stock of inflation was inaccurate and the marginal cut in the rates doesn’t affect the common man as it does industrialists”. 

“What do you eat for breakfast”, Anisha asked with a smirk. 

“Almonds. Oh actually the prices of almonds over the past three years have been following a certain pattern…

Forty five minutes hence, Anisha had died a little on the inside. 

“Thanks for coming”
“How was it Ani?’

“I’d rather swim with paper cuts on my face than talk to him. Raveena, send the next one in and make sure he isn’t a robot“. 
As the next gentleman walked in, she recognised the face. She recognised the height. The broad shoulders. The hair was slightly longer. It was Harish Shetty. It all came back rushing to her. Her palms were sweating. She couldn’t manage to speak. She took a deep breath. He was browsing through his résumé when he walked in. 

“Have a seat”.

“Anisha, right! Hey! How have you been?”

It’s Miss Murthy. I’ve been good, thanks. How are you?”

“I’ve been good too. I just want to apologise for the whole thing, that happened you know”.

“Oh don’t be. It was no one’s fault”. 

“Yes, so should we go on?”

“Yes, so tell me. How many fairness creams have you used since childhood?”. 

He was about to answer it when he realized what was happening. He froze. Squinting his eyes, he responded.

“I don’t understand… I thought you were over me”

Don’t flatter yourself. You turned me off the second time you opened your mouth to speak.. Also, don’t stop looking for jobs“. 
I honestly don’t know how that turned out. This is something that I feel very strongly about. Skin shaming is brutal. If there’s anyone who tells you that being dark, fair, olive or tanned is abnormal, inferior or wrong, you shouldn’t want anything to do with them. 

You can get in touch with me here:

Email- akashkumarexistence@gmail.com

Instagram- @akashkumarexistence

Twitter- @AkashKExistence

You can check out my last part of Collab Fest with a the brilliant Tanishq here: https://akashakumar.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/boggled-bloggers-w-tanishq-quraishi/

A Bad Omen 

Manali, 1967


“Dadi, you’ve got to stop dropping me everyday. I’m a big boy now, and school isn’t that far!” 

“You don’t tell me what to do Guddu, I’ll come dropping you all your life wherever you go”, saying which she gave him the wettest kiss on his cheek. 

“Dadi, Krishna and Rajan can see. And don’t call me Guddu! You’re embarrassing me!
Despite their little squabble, Dadi knew Guddu loved her. Loved her more than anything else in the world. And so did she. After her son’s demise owing to tuberculosis three years ago, they were all they had. Guddu’s mother had passed away after labour. Dadi was his ‘de-facto’ mother, but their relation had strengthened since his father’s death. Guddu was growing up, and Dadi could comprehend all the signals. But she didn’t mind. Barring his teen outbursts, he was growing up to be a mature and sensible young man. All of 13, Dadi saw glimpses of a gentleman in the apple of her eye. 
“Have a good day Beta”.

“Bye Dadi, I’ll come back by myself, let me!”

He walked a few steps. Turning around he saw his Dadi pondering over what to say. He hugged her.

 “I’ll be fine. Love you”. The peck he gave her on her wrinkled cheek, livened up the old lady. She smiled. Her grand-son knew exactly how to get what he wanted. 
She couldn’t be late, she had to get home. She couldn’t miss the special episode of ‘Bahu Ka Ghar‘. She paced on. A few metres after progression, she stopped. In her path lay a familiar Object. A feared object. It was a combination of a lemon and two red chillies attached to a thread. She prayed Guddu wouldn’t step on it, on his route back. She reached home, in a matter of minutes and settled into her mundane routine.
The door bell rang. Dadi looked at the clock. It had struck sharp 12.45. How had Guddu reached home earlier than they used to? Oh yes, he didn’t have to wait for her to catch her breath every 5 minutes. She made her way to the door. There he was! He’d reached home safely!
“Dadi, I have a surprise for you!”

Guddu stepped aside. There it was, the messiest cat Dadi had ever lay her eyes upon. It had bright green eyes, purring away to glory. The stench was off-putting. But that wasn’t the problem. It was black. It was a black cat

“Guddu, what is this doing here? Get it away! Away from my sight, I demand!”

“But look at her, she’s beautiful! Take a closer look at her eyes. I want to call her Crystal“. 

“Put it down now! Do you want to be cursed, get inside!” 

Dadi was hysterical. 

“No, we’re keeping her. I’m getting her in”. 

Guddu calmly turned around, lifted the stunning Himalayan cat in his arms and took her to his room. 

“She needs to be bathed”. 

“Are you not hearing me?”

“Dadi I know they’re supposed to be bad luck but this is so regressive. Besides, Biswa keeps bragging about his pet puppy, now I won’t have to nod in superficiality. I’ll make sure she doesn’t leave my room. She won’t even cross your path or whatever that ridiculous jargon is”. 

Dadi felt helpless
The remainder of the day was relatively uneventful. Guddu bathed his discovery and took some milk upstairs. Dadi’s usual visits to his room had abruptly and understandably terminated. Guddu tucked himself to sleep that night. He knew Dadi would come around eventually. Would she? 
Early next morning, Guddu woke up. He looked to his right. Yes she was still there. He petted her stomach before realising he was 10 minutes late. Dadi would be fuming! He showered, 

descended the flight of stairs and made his way to the drawing room. Ever since his father had left them, the two-fold family saw no reason in sitting around the table for meals. 

“What’s for breakfast, Dadi?”

“I haven’t slept too well, Guddu. Is a toasted slice of bread sufficient?”

Dadi entered the room. She seemed worried. And tired. It was as though she’d aged ten years, over night. 

“On your way to school, drop it off. You must have bathed it. I think that’s enough compassion for some time”. 

Guddu was stationary for a minute. He took a modest bite of his toast.

You know what, you’re psychotic! Crystal is going nowhere! And I don’t want any breakfast

He picked his satchel and slammed the door behind him. This time too, he’d left his Dadi speechless. But not helpless. She knew exactly what she had to do. She almost sprinted to the kitchen. 
Yes, there it was, in the topmost shelf. Marked LIQUID RAT POISON. In bold. Perfect. Dadi looked around for a platter. Where were things when you need them most? Never mind. She could just pour some milk in a glass, and take it up to Guddu’s room. Or she could bring the cat down. That would make it easier to kick it out of her house. She poured out a glass of milk, followed by an entire bottle of the feared poison. Dadi had a diabolical look in her eyes. She kept the glass on the mantelpiece, making her way to the room inhabited by the wretched. Over the years, it’d become extensively strenuous for her to climb stairs. But she had to do it, this time. 
“Where are you?”, she yelled.

She looked on the bed, under the sheets, inside the wardrobe, around the attached washroom. Guddu had left the tap running, but that wasn’t important. She heard a ‘purr’ Only if she knew where it came from. She closed her eyes. Was it under the bed? She would bend over, if she didn’t fear her spine would crack faster than a well baked biscuit. She had to get the glass of milk upstairs. She quietly left the room. As she reached the last stair, she was mortified.
She saw Guddu, on his knees, with a napkin, scrubbing the floor. She didn’t understand.

“There’s a washcloth in the kitchen Guddu, have you ever seen me scrub the floor with a hand napkin.

Dadi froze.

“What are you doing here? And what are you cleaning up?

“I was hungry, I thought I’d come back. I was about to drink the milk you’d kept for me, but Crystal was hungrier than I was!”

“What do you mean?”

“I was about to take the glass, when she pawed at it. Now don’t worry, I’ll clean it up. I can’t give you another reason to hate her”. 

Dadi could see Crystal licking the milk, spilt across the floor, milk that Guddu was yet to clean up.

“Stop her from drinking the milk. Take her upstairs”. 

“So we’re keeping her?”

“Yes, she’s lucky for us”. 
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds- Edmund Burke