A week ago the city listings site Little Black Book and their video partner A Little Anarky uploaded a video called Shit People Say: Sarojini Nagar Edition. That video has since been watched almost three lakh times. And the world discovered 26-year-old Mallika Dua, star and scriptwriter.
Around here we watched this video over and over again, contributing our smidgen to the lakhs. Then, because we are from the let’s-watch-a-season’s-worth-of-episodes-in-one-weekend-marathon world, and the we-want-a-Veronica-Mars-movie generation, we reached a point of NOT. ENOUGH. MALLIKA. DUA.
A short and frantic search of the Internet later, we discovered that Dua does dubsmash!
One young woman (who shall remain unnamed) watched these tiny videos and nearly asphyxiated from laughter. She surfaced briefly to say she wanted to marry Mallika and then went back to being choked. Those of us who were made of slightly sterner stuff noticed that the dubsmash is actually Duasmash since Mallika has somehow managed to get her parents in these videos. Because why should only Aziz Ansari feel proud of the comic talents of his parents, why?
When You Get Your Hands on Papaji’s Karakul and Shervani
And because we are possessed by our investigative natures we also found this wonderful video of Vinod and Chinna Dua singing their hearts out.
Tch tch tch
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So we watched some of the videos and then went in search of Mallika, who was hard at work at her day job as copywriter at Contract Advertising. These were obviously very deep questions that we had in mind. For instance, what was the last video that had made her fall off her chair?
Mallika says, “I need help. I know. There was water coming out of my nostrils each time I played this. It’s GOATS singing O Holy Night.”
Mallika seems ready to be entertained by everything from goats to AIB. Her favourite comics include all manner of performers, from Pakistani actors Bushra Ansari and Sohail Ahmed to Raju Shrivastav, Catherine Tate, Kristin Wig and Amandeep Kang (AkAKAamazing).
In an ideal world, Mallika would like to be a full-time performer as well as make ad campaigns that she can be proud of. She trained in theatre performance at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, working on, she says, “everything from Shakespeare to Commedia dell’arte to Stanislavski’s system to contemporary physical theatre to some Girish Karnad. I consciously stayed away from improv and stand-up because I have a strong suspicion I suck at it, quite terribly.”
Her forays into comic performances happened at home in Delhi during summer breaks from college. She says that while working with friends on Indian adaptations of Broadway comedies, she got a chance to write and rewrite dialogue. “It’s there that I began any sort of comic writing. Apart from that, copywriting is my day job and acting is my appetite. I love both.”
The dubsmash, she says, “happened one purposeless morning in the office conference room. It seemed fun. Then I involved my parents in it and it got a whole new meaning! It was like a crazy family portrait in motion and I was able to express my crazy without having to hear and evaluate my own voice.” What did she bribe her parents with to participate in those videos? With faux grimness, she says, “Please. I don’t bribe, I bully.”
Back to the dubsmash: “I don’t take it too seriously at all but secretly love the attention.” And what does this moment of viral fame feel like then? A smushball of glee and angst, she admits.
Is there anything else she wants the world to know?
Yes, my mum makes the BEST mutton Nihari in the world. No seriously.”
Happy Mother’s Day, Mummayie
Cosy Times with Mathur
Damn Straight. Goodnight.
Hungover and Stupid as Hell
More? Well, obviously you want more. Head to Mallika Dua’s Instagram page. #OkTataByeBye.