Can you believe Parasite winning all those awards, flying the subtitled flag high in the prissy LA haunts, happened at the beginning of this year, just 10 months ago? Since then theaters were shut, the outdoors were/are taboo, and the internet became our holy guide and saviour. While this meant Twitter trolls were doing overtime, it also meant some great content that made this rather angst ridden and isolated year, bearable. The memes kept up the spirits from Seema aunty telling us to compromise to people cutting themselves up to realize they are made of cake, we have seen the gamut. Here is a list of things on the internet this year that, as Marie Kondo would put it, sparked joy!
1) Rasode mein kaun tha?
This question took the internet by storm in late August, when 24-year-old composer Yashraj Mukhate uploaded a video of him remixing this frivolous dialogue of Kokilaben from the 2010 Star Plus soap opera Saath Nibhana Saathiya. Mukhate didn’t anticipate its viral destiny- being shared by Prateek Kuhad, Rajkummar Rao, Taapsee Pannu and Varun Dhawan, and then being DM-ed by Anurag Kashyap himself.
2) Bahubali Singing “Kiss Me”
If you think the possibility of a crossover universe between Baahubali and the mushpot Cadbury song ‘Kiss Me’ doesn’t exist- we are sorry to burst your bubble. Ajmal Sabu did a mashup of the two disparate worlds so well, we can’t now imagine this scene any other way.
3) Diljit Dosanjh VS Alexa
What started off as an Instagram meet and greet with fans while making a protein shake smoothie turned into a war of words between Dosanjh and Alexa. Unable to understand his Punjabi request to play his own song ‘Clash’, Alexa played everything from the Beatles to classical piano music.
4) Thu! Bevarsi Kudka
Danish Sait is the true lockdown rockstar, who brought in his unique brand of Bangalore characters- Jaya, Bro 1, Bro 2, Machaan 1, Machaan 2, Ramamurthy, Didi madam- all in conversation over the phone, where the phone itself was sometimes a comb, a lemon, a tissue box, a vodka bottle, a cockroach repellent, or a cat. Thu! Bevarsi Kudka used in one of his earlier videos, caught on and has now a pan-Indian resonance.
5) Kangana Runout On Dalgona Coffee
This was one of the early videos of Saloni Gaur (salonayy) that propelled her to massive meme-dom. Its sly references (“Shut up Justin!”) and dense packaging- making all its points within 1 minute- landed Gaur her own comedy show on SonyLIV, Uncommon Sense.
6) Bhai Mannat Bikti Nahin
How could Shah Rukh Khan’s charm not find a place on this list? His song, ‘Sab Sahi Ho Jayega’ came early during the lockdown, in the I For India concert. Later, he did the AMA when in his classic wit and mystic charm he replied to snarky questions about selling his house, Mannat.
Bhai Mannat bikti nahi sar jhuka kar maangi jaati hai….yaad rakhoge toh life mein kuch paa sakogay. https://t.co/dh3gJTVnOu
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) October 27, 2020
7) How to wash Nikker?
Sankaran, a 9 year old from Thiruvananthapuram, is a social media darling. His videos, under the YouTube channel ‘Sankaran Vlogs’, have been shared by Malayalam stalwarts like Kalidas Jayaram, Aashiq Abu and Muhsin Parari. His first video is about how to wash one’s knickers which he adorably spells nikker. Mid-way while washing it, his knicker tears, and he tells his viewers to be careful while smashing it against the washing rock. Sage advice.
8) Black Eyed Peas’ ‘Action’
In early August, the band Black Eyed Peas put out the video for their latest earworm, ‘Action’- a stitched tapestry of action sequences from Indian films- the most bizarre, and most fun as an ode to “India and Bollywood”. Sequences from Rohit Shetty’s Singham (2011), SS Rajamouli’s Maryada Ramanna (2010), Shankar’s Robot (2010), Sundar C’s Aambala (2015) were used. The video is no longer available on the official channel due to a copyright claim by SunNetwork, but its virality lingers.
9) Niharika’s EEEDIOT Friends
Early on the lockdown we were wondering if it was the age of the TikTok stars. Then the government banned the app, and Instagram changed its features to accommodate the “Reels”. These 20-25 second videos are catchy and funny in an ephemeral, addictive way.
This reel of Niharika with her Tanglish accent mixing mannangatti and kakkoos into the influencer aesthetic of a perfectly powdered face explains the millions of views her reels get.
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10) CRED Ads
Advertisements are a menace, and especially if they are singularly aimed at making you buy the product. But ads like those of CRED (Tanmay Bhat and Ayappa KM were the creative directors) come along once in a while- witty, charming, nostalgic- and that gap between the IPL matches doesn’t feel so strained. The jerk of nostalgia was brought about by how they lined up 90s icons for their ads- Madhuri Dixit, Bappi Lahiri, Anil Kapoor, Govinda, Daler Mehndi, Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik.
11) O Sanam Revisited
Peddling in more nostalgia was the Lucky Ali video that surfaced recently. In a skull cap and trimmed white beard, he is 62, but yet his sandpaper voice retains its power to turn the listener to mush. Recorded during an interview with Hamad Al Reyami, it was shared by Saad Khan, a photographer, on his Instagram and YouTube pages, which was later shared by the singer himself on Instagram. Lovers of Ali fixated on the naughty smile when he plays a chord wrong.