Saloni Gaur Comic, Instagram’s Nazma Aapi and Sony ki Saloni

Saloni Gaur is an Indian comedienne and mimicry artist who addresses social issues through her comic videos. She began her comic character as Pinky Dogra. After that, she took on the names Kusum Behenji and Asha Behenji. But success came to her in 2018, when she embraced the character Nazma Aapi. Her hilarious character Nazma Aapi, who has something to say about everything, went viral on social media channels bringing her acclaim and fame. She uses this character to draw attention to social issues and trending topics like Delhi pollution, JNU violence, the Citizen Amendment Act, Infrastructure in India, and Budget 2021. This Indian comedienne has over 561,000 fans on Instagram and 274,000+ followers on Twitter.

The beginning

Saloni Gaur was born on 12 December 1999, in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. She attended the Renaissance School in Bulandshahr. As a kid, she spent ample time playing cricket with her brother Shubham on the terrace, reading comics, and watching The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.  With her natural flair she soon became a comedian. After school, Saloni pursued her education at Delhi University for a degree in political science and economics.

It all began in December 2017, when Saloni made her first video. It was all about those irritating WhatsApp birthday stories that people would start putting up a month before their friend’s birthday. 0nly a few friends watched this video as her account was private, but it was enough to draw the right attention.

By the time it was Eid in 2018, there was a lot more going on in Saloni’s mind. She said, “Tab yeh topic chal raha tha, ki Eid kab hai. Aaj hai ya kal hai. Tab mujhe yeh idea aaya tha ki aise Muslim character se kar sakte hai. Language to maine seekh hi li thi, thode bahut keywords, aise ‘arey bhaiye’, yeh sab Old Delhi main to bolte hi hai aur West UP mein bhi thoda bahut aise bolte hai na. Main mimicry mein achhi hoon toh wahin se maine pick kar liya tha. (there was a lot of confusion as to when was Eid. That is when I realised that I can make a video around a Muslim character. I had learned the keywords and I am good at mimicry, so I made a video with this character Nazma Aapi.)

Saloni Guar as Najma Aapi. Image credits: YouTube

Nazma Aapi was born. The comic character portrayed a less educated but extremely socially aware citizen of India. She touched a chord with the general public, and the first video – ‘ki bakra kab katenge’ found its way to glory.

What followed were more videos on social topics, which in some way or the other, affected every Indian citizen. Since real people around Saloni inspired many of these true-to-life characters, the videos sounded more relatable and natural. As people started to identify themselves with the situation, they began enjoying her satire. She posts her videos on Instagram and Twitter. Saloni Gaur also runs a YouTube channel where she uploads comedy and mimicry videos. Today she has over 203 videos uploaded and 389,000 subscribers on YouTube.

When her video on Delhi pollution went viral in 2019, Soloni became a social media star. She said, “Jab Delhi main pollution badha, toh mujhe idea aaya ki yeh Nazma Aapi pe zyada fit baithega. Ek din jab maine subha uthke dekha khidki ke bahar, to kuch dikh hi nahi raha tha. Aur woh gaana bhi click ho gaya, Katrina wala (Saans from Jab Tak Hai Jaan). Ussi ke around maine do-teen jokes banae. Us video mein sabse achha joke tha, ‘Main Salma ki burai kar rahi thi aur saath mein hi Salma khadi thi. Aur itna dhuaan tha ki main wahan se kab kat li ki pata hi nahi chala.’ Yeh wala joke to ekdum random tha. Main record kar rahi thi aur tabhi mere dimag mein aaya aur maine tabhi bol diya. Woh wali video pehle viral ho gayi. Us video pe Zakir Khan ka message aa gaya, tab mujhe laga ki haan, ab toh video viral ho gaya hai. (When the pollution in Delhi was at its peak, I thought that this would fit Nazma. When I woke up in the morning and looked out of the window, I could not see anything. I made jokes around that. That was the video that actually went viral.)”

Since then, there has been no looking back. Her most relatable characters made people feel like the same was happening in their lives. As time progressed, she also built her fan base mimicking Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut and Sonam Kapoor.

Image credits: SKJ Bollywood News

From ‘Insta ki Nazma’ to ‘Sony ki Saloni’

Sony had approached Saloni Gaur to do her satirical comedy on television. In November 2020, Saloni started her Hindi comedy show Uncommon Sense With Saloni on the Sony Liv channel. This show portrays issues through various characters, all of which have a very middle-class feel. Here, though Saloni no longer writes the lines for her comedy show, Uncommon Sense with Saloni, she gives every line her individual sense of playfulness. She listens to the narration of a professional team of writers and accordingly brings the character to play the part.

When Saloni was asked about the shift from social media to television, she said, “My videos are just piece to camera. I keep my phone in front of me and start speaking. But now there are certain people for everything, like a director and a writer. I was my own director until now. Now there are people to guide me, to tell me how to speak and to look into which camera. Everything is completely different. The first day when I went on the set, I was shocked to see how a movie or a sketch is made. It’s quite fascinating how they create an entire room just from a wall or how a sofa looks pretty on screen, but behind the camera, there’s all trash around the sofa. I remember visiting a set where a small space had a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living room too. So, it’s nice to discover how the art department works and designs a set.”

Uncommon Sense with Saloni is now streaming on SonyLIV. The young influencer is using her significant following to speak about pressing matters in the country.  As long as her content remains original, topical, relevant, and witty, whether it is social media or Sony, the fans will follow her everywhere.

When asked about Trolls, the young Saloni Gaur said, “Trolls are basically keyboard warriors. Their job is to find faults in what others post, even if they like your content, so I always ignore them.”

@ Salonyyy, continues to use humour to explain important things to the people of India. This 21-year-young Indian brings to our doorsteps stark realities cloaked in humour. With comedians like Prajakta Kohli, Bhuvan Bam, and Saloni Gaur, it is the dawn of a new era.

Image credits: The Week