You’d recognise her from her amusing videos and humorous take on current affairs, politics, Bollywood, corona, lockdown, protests, Indian moms, day-to-day life — you name it and Saloni Gaur aka Nazma Aapi has a say on it! The YouTuber feat comedian has been viral due to her characters such as ‘Kangana Runout’, and has caught the attention of twitterati including celebs such as actor Sonam K Ahuja. Sonam even shared Saloni’s video on Janta Curfew, mimicking her.
Every celebrity Instagram live ever. pic.twitter.com/zcAVzc9Wbg
— Saloni Gaur (Nazma Aapi) (@salonayyy) May 26, 2020
With 171.1K followers on Twitter, and counting, this final year Political Science (Hons) student at Janki Devi Memorial College, Delhi University, says she’s “over-whelmed” with the fame. Her Twitter bio reads “I stare at people and make them feel super awkward”, so, is this the secret to her popularity? Or what propelled her digital success? “My first stand-up was in a hostel freshers’ party,” she reminisces, adding, “My friends always said that I’ll ace the stand-up comedy scene! I used to mimic my teachers in school. Unhi ke kehne se I started mimicing Kangana Ranaut, Sonam K Ahuja. My comic timing is in my genes; my grandmother is really great with one-liners.”
Been there on the social media scene for about three years now, Gaur says, “People take selfies when you go out [and you are famous], par abhi mere saath aisa nahin hua hai. Abhi toh sabhi mask lagane lag gaye hain, but I’m allergic to dust, so I always wear a mask when I go out. And nobody gets to recognise me when I’m walking on the street. But people do message me that their whole family is liking my videos (smiles).”
Kangana Runout reviews Patal Lok. pic.twitter.com/rfYnmhA3ZW
— Saloni Gaur (Nazma Aapi) (@salonayyy) May 21, 2020
“I never talk about anything that is degrading the actor. She (Kangana Runout) just reviews things. It’s nothing personal. People have impersonated stars way before me; I’m just very new.”
Being a DU student, does she keep a tab on the current affairs? “Of course yes. My father always asked us two things from us — one was about healthy breakfast, and the second was reading newspapers daily. I wasn’t a fan of reading books or novels, but read newspapers daily… You’re surrounded by everything on Twitter, and some things need to be said,” says Gaur, sharing why she isn’t apprehensive about impersonating stars. “I never talk about anything that is degrading the actor. She (Kangana Runout) just reviews things. It’s nothing personal. People have impersonated stars way before me; I’m just very new,” she adds.
Ask her about the unmissable TikTok vs YouTube row, and she opines, “There are people on TikTok who are creating good content. A few days back, someone made a video glorifying rape, acid attack. That was completely wrong… People have learned two new words in lockdown — quarantine and cringe — without really understanding their meaning. Aap ke liye kuch cringe ho sakta hai, kisi aur ke liye kuch aur ho sakta hai. Agar cringe content hai toh woh har platform pe hai. If you’re saying something aapko dhyan rakhna chahiye ki woh bachche aur bade dekh rahe hai. Body shaming someone or LGBTQI pe (galat) bolna, that’s wrong. My stance is clear: I am with creativity.”
Been there done that, Gaur confesses that the fear of being trolled did bother her initially. “In an interview, I said ‘Ki jokes se bhi log offend ho gaye, toh phir kya hai?’… I didn’t know itne zyada trollers aa jaate hain; my notifications are muted on Twitter now… My brother, a YouTuber, made me understand they are just keyboard warriors, who have cheap Internet, keyboard pe they’ll write anything.”
Author tweets @nainaarora8