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HOW Do You Not Know Who Nazma Aapi Is? Find Out NOW!

Posted: April 7, 2020

Staying home is important during lockdown, but it doesn’t mean you must cut down on entertainment. Not until Saloni Gaur aka Nazma Aapi is around, anyway!

As (often) sharp tongued Indians, sarcasm and wit. These two qualities run in our bloodline. From our mothers to our mohalle wali aunty, Indian women have this unique ability that even they don’t realise. But the 20-year-old Saloni Gaur aka Nazma Appi is making sure that this sarcasm reaches every household in the form of comedy.

You might be living under a rock if by now you haven’t seen this hijab-wearing woman talking in old-Delhi accent about issues from politics to Ghar ki Panchayat. This latest internet sensation is Nazma Aapi. But if you still don’t know, then Nazma Aapi is a character created by the very talented Delhi University student Saloni Gaur.

Also, Nazma Aapi is just one of the characters created by Saloni. Who who would be better than Saloni herself to talk about her journey? So in a fun telephonic conversation, Saloni shared her journey from being a regular household girl to becoming a content creator with more than 88k followers.

From a teenager to becoming a social media star

20-year-old Saloni was born in Bulandshahar in an average Indian family and is currently studying BA in Economics and Political Science at Delhi University. She made her first social media comic appearance with the character Pinky Dogra in 2017, the time when she got her first phone.

“When I came to Delhi in 2017 I got a phone and then I started watching videos by Mallika Dua and other content creators and I felt ki yaar mai bhi kar sakti hu (even I can do this). So I uploaded my first video on Instagram which was a Pinky Dogra Rant about WhatsApp stories and since then bs characters bante ja rae logo ki pasand aate ja rae, (characters are being created, and people are ‘liking’ them),” she says.

Saloni spoke of having had a simple childhood, and about her grand-mother who came out to be her biggest inspiration to create comic content.

“Me and my brother used watch a lot of television and that kinda increased our interest in comedy. My Dadi gives out the best one-liners and I guess somehow comedy and sarcasm is in our genes,” she said.

Saloni Gaur grew up making fun of and mimicking her relatives, friends and teachers, much to everyone’s amusement. “I used to mimic all the teachers and then one teacher got to know so he asked me to mimic everyone in his class, and then I even started mimicking my Principal and then matlab appreciation mila to confidence bhi aa gaya (when I was appreciated, I began to get more confident.”

Since her first video, Saloni has never looked back. The biggest support in her journey has been her friends and family.

“My family has always been very supportive of me,” she says. “They persuade me to not leave my studies but also support my choice of doing comedy. My brother being a content creator himself has been very supportive, and my best friends have always motivated to make more content.”

Who is Nazma Aapi? What makes her so relatable?

Whether through Instagram or Twitter or Whatsapp forwards, you might be familiar to Nazma Aapi.

Yes, she is everywhere! As funny as Nazma Aapi is, she is also very unique in a sense. Wearing the hijab and flaunting an Old-Delhi accent, Saloni as Nazma Aapi has talked about issues ranging from pollution, (the video that made her go viral) CAA, Delhi elections, corona and the latest ones on lockdown. Nazma Aapi has become so famous that in just a month her Instagram followers reached from 50k to 89k.

But the question is what makes Nazma Aapi so relatable?

“Nazma Aapi is my made-up character but she is inspired by the people I have seen in my life. My brother went to Delhi to study and then he met people there, and then I got to know that the Muslim Old-Delhi dialect is an actual thing called Kharkhandari, and I learned the accent from him. Then on Eid I made the first video with Nazma Aapi about the frustration of a Muslim lady,” Saloni quips.

Inspiration comes from people

From the really general family banter in early videos, Saloni with Nazma Aapi moved to talk about more serious issues. But Nazma Aapi never lost her general household touch.

In one of her videos about CAA taking a comic take, she said “Log agar itni thand mai sadak pe utar rae to koi to baat hogi varna jada itna hai ki koi bathroom jaane ke lie bhi razai se na nikle, humare bache gae the kal water cannon se bheeg ke aa gae” (If people are willing to come on to the roads, it must be something important, otherwise it is so cold now that no one will be willing to even get out of their beds to go to the bathroom – my kids had gone yesterday, and came back soaked by the water cannon!)

Now the fun fact here is that this very line is based on a real-life incident.

“We used to live at home most of the time and like every other mom meri ma bhi bahut witty one-liners marti thi, (my mom would spew a lot of one-liners) and I have neighbours who use many one-liners so all of these real-life incidents inspire my characters,” she says.

“For my video on CAA where I said bache bheeg jate hai (kids get soaked), that actually happened. When my mom saw the news on TV about water cannon being used on students, her first reaction was Arey bachao bache bheeg gae! (Help, the kids have got soaked!) and that gave me an idea to make a video on CAA from a mother’s point of view.”

In her recent video about the lockdown update giving the message about staying home and helping people, she said ‘Ghar pe rukna zaruri hai, apni jaan ki fikar nahi hai to dusro ki jaan ki to kar lo ye sabke lie bina holiday homework wali vacation nai hai’ (It’s important to stay at home, even if you don’t care about yourself, at least care about others! This is not a no-homework holiday!).

https://twitter.com/salonayyy/status/1245623947141378048

How discussions about serious issues happen in an average family household, how our mothers, bagal wali aunty will react to serious issues is what Saloni brings out through her characters. Major credit for her videos being so viral goes to her witty one-liners like ‘extra saman haanton mai jam jaega’ (the extra luggage will weigh my hands down) for panic buying, and ‘Modi ji ko apni speech ka time change karna chaiye mera 8 bje wala station choot jata’ (Modi ji should change the time of his speech – my programme is at that time) on the lockdown announcement.

Opinions of the people

Now although Gaur’s content is very relatable, it also raises the question that whose opinions do these characters represent? “My content is always very balanced I don’t tend to give my political opinion in my videos,” said Saloni while explaining how her videos represent the opinion of the character. She mentioned that her content is for everyone and hence she talks about everything.

Apart from Nazma Aapi currently Saloni does many other characters too. Asha Behan and Kusum Behan are like any other neighbourhood gossiping ladies, Tumor Bhardwaj is inspired from daily soap ‘bahus’ and the Mother-In-Law too. She also mimics celebrities like Kangana Ranaut or as popularly known on her page as Kangana Run-Out and even Sonam Kapoor – in fact one of her videos mimicking Sonam Kapoor was shared by Sonam herself.

Saloni says, “After I put Sonam’s video on Instagram she messaged me that she laughed so hard after watching it, and she also showed it to her mother-in-law. So I believe that until and unless I don’t disgrace a person, mimicking is a really good form of comedy and is even liked by the masses.”

‘Don’t feel like a social media star’

Although Saloni’s character Nazma Aapi is now a household name and she has a massive social media following but so far she hasn’t felt like a stereotypical star.

She says, “I always wear mask when I go out because of pollution and dust so no one so far has come to me for selfie and stuff, so abhi to sab kaffi normal hai (things are normal now). But I admire the love I get on social media in comments and my DM. It just inspires me to make more content!”

Still, she is often asked by people to do Nazma Aapi for them live on-demand, and at times she has been asked by people to mimic them. “When people in my college got to know that I am Nazma Aapi, many of them asked me to mimic them. And then there is a thing always that yaar agar bura kar dia to ye log kya kahenge! (what if I mess up!)”

Who inspires Saloni?

Other than Mallika Dua whom she mentions earlier, Saloni is most inspired by content creator Kusha Kapila.

Kusha Kapila is my personal favourite, and the day she messaged me I was on cloud nine. Even Dolly Singh is my favourite because the content that they create is very similar to mine,” she says.

But her most favourite content creator so far is her brother. “Before even watching any other content creator I saw my brother’s content, who also started his journey in comedy through YouTube content creation. So unko dekh ke lagta tha ki agar ye hkr sakte hai to mai bhi kar sakti hoon (After watching him I felt that if he can do this, I can, too),” she said laughingly.

A little tip for everyone

Now creating content and putting it out on social media can be tough for some. Your minds can be full of questions surrounding log kya kahenge. It can be a step full of anxiety but a little tip from an already established content creator can help.

Speaking about how to not be anxious when putting up content for the masses, Saloni said, “If you are anxious in the beginning then keep your account private and let only your friends see it. If they are good friends then they’ll give you an honest review. Also if people are liking your content then there is no harm in posting more videos. When I got around 1000 followers I made my account public, and now I have become pretty confident meri marzi wali cheez ho gai hai (what I wanted has happened!)”

Videos will not stop

Apart from creating content, Saloni has also tried her hand at standup comedy which she likes a lot. Talking about her future she said that no matter what, she is not going to stop making content.

“I don’t want to study further right now as I want to pursue stand-up comedy. Baki aage jo aaega dekha jaega (Will see what happens next) but this video making will never stop.

So in this lockdown time if there is one thing that you should watch to entertain, educate and inspire yourself, then it is Saloni’s videos. From Bulandshahar to being world famous, this girl has come a long way. Also hey, a little laughter can go a long way at this particular time.

You can watch Saloni Gaur’s content here on Instagram and Twitter.

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