Yo Yo Gujarati
It’s a regular day at work when a friend sent this video that had a scene from Fast and Furious 7. I thought well okay, must be some regular amateur trying to instigate humour in a lame attempt with too many cuss words. My cheeks hurt by the time the video ended. I hadn’t laughed that hard in days and the video had no cuss words. “Who made it?” I messaged my friend. “Some group called Yo Yo Gujarati”, he replied. And that was that. I knew I had to know their story. What is the thought, the sheer brilliance and the idea behind the hilarious script that has been entertaining Gujaratis all over the world lately? I kept wondering.
I finally got to have a word with the owner of this concept, Brahma Raval and what he told me is nothing short of Awesome.
“How did it all start?” I asked.
“Yo Yo Gujarati is my brain child. You know, I used to watch these television shows where Gujaratis are projected as the fafda and jalebi eating, crazy community and it angered me somehow. Gujarat and Gujaratis are so much more than that. Even if you see a Gujarati character in the films, it’s very typical. The look, their business, the way they interact, their priorities, how crazy they are; it’s all predefined for a long time now and I really wanted to change it. That’s not how we are! That’s definitely not how we function. I used to day dream about how I could probably bring about a change in this mentality and that’s how Yo Yo Gujarati was born. The tagline is
. I have a basic knowledge of social media and marketing. I thought why not start a community wherein people can enjoy sensible, cuss free humour and spread the happiness? That very night I made the first video and things started rolling since then.”
Spreading Gujjuness Globally
It’s so inspiring already. Most of us probably just look at the video and laugh. But the purpose behind these videos is so novel and unique! It’s not just about spreading the joy; it’s about making a point, about telling the world what Gujaratis are like.
“Picking up a movie scene and giving it a Gujarati touch is extremely difficult. How do you manage the logistics, scripts, deciding what scene to work on?” I ask.
“It’s a difficult question.” He smiles. “It’s more about what my heart says. Secondly, I always keep the viewership in mind. What is it that could tickle people’s funny bone? As far as the logistics are concerned I have a very small studio. I use basic software attached to my Macbook that is attached to a cell phone mike cord that helps me with the recording.”
“How many artists record for the video?” I ask.
“This one’s the bummer!”
It’s only me! Every voice in the video is mine! I can speak in any Gujarati dialect and use voice modulation in the software when I want to insert a female voice.
I am stumped! Totally! The way passion drives people to do absolutely genius stuff is just so motivating!
He tells me about how he doesn’t let anyone enter the room while he is recording and how the other three members stick to their defined roles to boost maximum viewership and spread the joy.
“It hasn’t been too long since Yo Yo Gujarati started and it has already gained a lot of love and popularity. How does that make you feel?” I ask him.
“May be it’s because people do like sensible humour, but there was no one to do so. With this group, people now have a place to look for sensible and yet hilarious Gujarati humour. I take very basic Gujarati names and problems for my videos that most people can relate to and that helps me create the magic.”
“What’s the story behind the name?” I was the most interested to know that.
“No story in particular. It was a mutual decision by three team members. My wife Binal (page analyst – manages page members), my close friend Nilay Modi (Graphics Designer- handles posters and ads) and I. Later, I added one more Admin named Maharshi, from Rajkot, gives me daily inputs and most importantly feedback from people.”
“What do you think lies ahead for Yo Yo Gujarati?”
“I just want it to redefine Gujaratis. I want it to raise questions and change mindsets and impressions the world has about Gujaratis. If it keeps doing that, I will be more than happy.”
“Is there any message for the thousands of viewers who enjoy your videos and join your group daily?”
He smiles. “I want to thank all my brothers, sister, fans and elders for supporting us so much. Most of us know that Gujaratis are not projected correctly in the world of entertainment and yet we do not raise a voice. Yo Yo Gujarati wants to do that with the help of sensible comedy. I am sure people like it. If not, we wouldn’t have 1000 people joining our community every day! I want to start an Online Colony for sensible Gujaratis and explore other possibilities. Until then, spreading Gujjuness world over, seems like a brilliant idea!” he winds up.
Maybe from now on when we will watch Yo Yo Gujarati videos, we won’t only laugh, we will feel proud! Yo Yo Gujarati is a simple tale of putting smiles on faces and challenging half baked impressions about a community; it deserves all the love it has received and MORE!
For those of you who still haven’t watched any of their videos, here’s a sample. Laugh out loud!