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She is moody, she is crazy. She is brave, she is lazy. She is insane, yet she is ‘mostly sane’.
If you also spend any amount of time surfing YouTube, you must have come across rising internet sensation Prajakta Koli at some point of time. Her videos are real, honest and totally relatable, something that will make you scream, ‘I was just talking about it yesterday’. And she has recently been appointed the Indian ambassador for YouTube’s global initiative Creators for Change along with 50 other inspiring creators from over 16 countries.
As honest as she appears in her videos, Prajakta started her YouTube journey with her channel, Mostly Sane, three years ago and has over 2.2 million subscribers now.
The 25-year-old Prajakta says she was called ‘desi Superwoman’ during the first year of her journey. “But after a lot of trial and error, you realise that YouTube is very personal and transparent platform where you cannot be someone else. You have to shed all your layers and be yourself over a period of time,” she says.
‘I quit my dream and became a YouTuber’
Life is what happens when we are busy making plans, and something very similar happened with the mostly sane girl. Prajakta had planned to to be a Radio Jockey, but things took a turn for the good when she was interning with a radio channel and uploaded a ‘lame’ video with Hrithik Roshan on Instagram.
When Sudeep from One Digital saw the video, he encouraged me to come on YouTube. At that time, I did not know anything about the platform, still I decided to take a leap of faith. I tried it out as a hobby and for almost a month I did Radio along with my channel.
Prajakta’s parents supported her when she decided to quit her dream of 10 years. “My parents have been hearing me say that I want to be a Radio Jockey for the past 9-10 years and when I told them suddenly that I want to do something completely different, the only thing they asked me was, ‘do you know what you are doing?'”
In reality, when Prajakta started her YouTube channel, she wasn’t sure of what she was doing. “I started my channel in February 2015 and it wasn’t until June 2015, when I got my first viral video, ’10 hilarious words Delhi people use’, that I was sure of the platform.”
Things started going in favor of Prajakta after that. She performed at her first YouTube fan fest in 2016, but right before she hit a million subscribers, she went through a content block.
That was a time when I had gone on auto-pilot mode. I had gotten too comfortable and was not hearing what my followers were telling me. I was losing my followers and I was on the verge of closing my channel. But then I had to tell myself that quitting is not an option. So I tried something new, brought in new characters and just kept on going. I am glad that I did not give up.
‘I never thought I was funny’
Although Prajakta became the first woman comedy creator in India to hit 1 million subscribers in March 2018, she never thought that she was funny and could create comedy. “I could crack jokes, and I was the funny one in my group, but I used to take time to get comfortable with other people and make them laugh.”
Three years into the comedy genre, Prajakta has embraced her insanity and had made more people laugh than she could have ever imagined. And she gives the credit of her craziness to her team who always push her to be okay with all the random ideas that come in her mind.
I remember I was shooting a video with Ashish Chanchlani and we were dressed up in silver jumpsuits with a star on our heads. The studio was just around the corner, so I asked him if he wants to walk till the studio in the costume. And he was as excited as I was! Can you imagine two grown-up people walking down the road, dressed up as stars? It is really important to find the people who let you be crazy, and that’s the most important reason why I can be so insane.
‘My fans often visit my house’
When you get popular, with fandom, comes criticism, but that doesn’t affect Prajakta. “Hate comments used to bother me, but not anymore. My fans have given me so much love and appreciation, it is exceptional. I have people who come to my house to see me and wait for me to get out so they can see me. Although it is generally my parents who attend them, it gives me the validation that I live for.”
Recalling her craziest fan moment, Prajakta says, “one of my fans got a ‘Mostly Sane’ tattoo on her back and it was crazy. It was commendable but scary at the same time, considering the amount of responsibility it comes with.”
Prajakta does not consider her fellow YouTubers as competition, but as friends. “There are so many talented people on YouTube and I am so blessed to have them as friends. Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchlani, Nick, Larissa and Harsh Beniwal all of them are super talented and my good friends.”
There are so many people who are trying to make a future on YouTube, to them Prajakta says, “when you start, never look at numbers, just focus on content. Content is king. And honestly, if you figure that out, everything else will fall in place.”
From the time she decided to quit her dreams to carve a new path for herself, Prajakta has definitely come a long way.