Saloni Gaur Of Nazma Aapi Fame Thinks Good Humor Can Resist Politics Of Today
- IWB Post
- February 20, 2020
Who doesn’t like a good hearty laugh? Or moments of uncontrolled, sometimes even silly bursts of sarcastic euphoria that lighten up serious and nagging situations? Finding humor in the most unlikely places is, however, Saloni Gaur’s biggest asset.
From Pinky Dogra, Tumor Bharadwaj, Kusum, and Aasha Behenji to Nazma Aapi and Kangana Run-out, Saloni dons all these and more hats as she characterizes each persona with panache and apt idiosyncrasies. All of but only 20, Saloni’s observations and take on topics that range from TV serials, pollution, gossiping aunties to relevant current affairs, such as the budget, CAA, JNU, etc. clearly shows her grip and grasp on her art and skill.
An observant thinker, who finds a fun twist in the most mundane of things, Saloni got a phone only in 2017 when she began college. Allergic to dust and nabbed by curfew hostel timings, Saloni could not find the means to try stand-up, and hence the idea of trying to do something from her room itself emerged. Armed with her phone and an acute sense of humor coupled with observations, dialects and a unique element of ringing forth jokes in the most unexpected places, Saloni has definitely created a niche and mark for herself. With the likes of Zakir Khan to 45,000 followers on her social media handles, Saloni Gaur’s fan base has been increasing consistently. And though she has been making videos for almost three years, it is her character Nazma Aapi that has catapulted her into limelight and fame.
She remains herself, a student enjoying her college days, living in her hostel and chatting with friends. Yet, like the buzzing youth of today, she manages to make her opinions and voice counted through her various characters that are typical, relatable and obviously very funny.
In an interview with Saloni Gaur, who is the newest sensation on social media, and thankfully for all the right reasons.
You have played a few characters in your videos. Which is your favorite and why?
Saloni: It is Tumor Bharadwaj. There was a serial called Sasural Simran Ka, which my mother used to watch, and it was quite a toxic serial. When I used to come back from my tuition, my mother would be watching it. So I made up this character called Tumor Bharadwaj, a very ‘sanskari sort of a bahu’ who also bitches about her mother-in-law. The first character I played was Pinky Dogra. But I just loved the character of Tumor Bharadwaj because it is childhood memory sort of a thing.
Why did you decide to put across your point of view through characters? The trend is for stand-up, but you have gained more popularity as the character you play. So what prompted you to create a fictional character(s) rather than just being yourself?
Saloni: I perform stand-up too, but I live in a hostel in Delhi. People perform stand-up in clubs, and that is usually a night scene. Since I have curfew timings, I can’t go there. So I thought that if I can’t go out, I’ll do something in my room itself. It was quite a spontaneous decision.
We know you are a good mimic and that you would entertain your family. But when and why did you decide to also venture into social, political, and current affairs?
Saloni: I have different characters and each character has his or her different genre. Like Tumor Bharadwaj will speak about her husband and mother-in-law only, and KusumBhenji and AshaBehenji will bitch about every other person living in the neighborhood. Nazma Aapi talks only about current situations. I was always talking about different things. But yes now, since certain things are happening that need to be addressed, I am making more current affairs specific videos off late.
As long as there is fun regarding normal mundane topics, there is not much backlash. But there is a fine line to tread when one starts discussing political and social issues with humor. Have you consciously defined such an understanding, as to how much fun to make of personalities or situations or do you just go with the flow and do what you have to do?
Saloni: I used to go with the flow when I wasn’t viral and I had just one thousand followers. Back then I used to speak anything that I wanted. Responsibility comes when you gain followers; now if 45,000 people are following me, I have to be conscious that I shouldn’t speak anything that can trigger anybody and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to offend anyone and I think if the humor is good, no one can take offense. I do understand the responsibility, and now I write a full script first before shooting the video.
Watch Kangana Run-out reviewing Malang movie this time. Character performed by Saloni Gaur. For more follow me on Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/salonayyy/ Twitter- https://twitter.com/salonayyy?s=09
The internet and social media is a great place and has been a boon for your talent and skill. But what are some challenges that you think you face on such an open platform, where videos can go viral in seconds?
Saloni: I didn’t face any challenge as such. The only thing I think is that earlier I used to make videos whenever I wanted to, like once in 2 weeks or twice in one week. But now people want my opinion about whatever is happening. They are like you should make a video on this, or why haven’t you said anything on this? But I still make content whenever I want to, I am not dependent on anyone, I am a one-woman army.
Do you see a difference in your normal life now that you are a celebrity? In other words, what are the advantages and disadvantages of your fame?
Saloni: I don’t consider it that way. I may be a celebrity, but I am still going to college and I study every day. Life hasn’t changed at all. And again I am allergic to dust, so only three-four people have come to take selfies with me, so I haven’t really felt that feeling.
But any changes you see in the people around you, whether family or friends? Have they become conscious of you?
Saloni: My relatives have become conscious. After I gave an interview and said that I used to observe all my relatives, and then I went to my nani’s place last month, she told me jokingly that she would not speak to me or I might mimic her.
The characters you play are very typical but are they also extreme? Do you think that there is too much generalization in the kind of women characters you play? For example, Nazma Aapi is always relating to current affairs through her husband and family. Do you think this stereotyping is perhaps the biggest strength or why the character is so popular?
Saloni: I haven’t stereotyped anyone and from where I come, that is West UP, I have actually seen all these women around. My mother is also a housewife and she is educated, a graduate, but yet she is a homemaker. And her priority is her kids and so she links everything to her kids. So I have seen her and my grandmother also. And when I thought of this character, I thought to do it as my mother would react to things. All the characters that I have played so far are inspired by someone.
Nazma Aapi is a very witty character she will talk about her kids and make you laugh with her crazy sense of humour. Do give it a watch. For more follow on Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/salonayyy/ Twitter- https://twitter.com/salonayyy?s=09
You are young and are making a mark for yourself. And the youth of this country has shown a lot of courage and maturity in recent times. Where do you think young people generally get the confidence to stand up and express yourself? Is it parenting, education or social media that help youngsters to have good judgment?
Saloni: I think people have become aware and education has helped. When you read, see, observe, your senses open up, your horizon broadens, your knowledge broadens up. I think that’s why people are getting more aware and able to speak out.
Is there any personality, comedian or artist that inspires you or whose work you watched and got motivated to do something similar?
Saloni: I didn’t have a phone until I came to college, but my brother is a YouTuber, too. So I used to watch his videos only. He also got viral like I did, he inspired me back then the most.
You are still studying. So what are your future plans? Do you want to continue making videos as part-time or do you see that converting into a commercially viable full-time career choice?
Saloni: I haven’t given it a thought, but yes I want to do this; I don’t want to stop doing this. I love making videos. I haven’t really thought about doing stand-up, but maybe I will.