One scroll through Ruhee Dosani's Instagram feed will tell you she is a thorough Bollywood bug. There are reels upon reels of her and her persistent, easy groove moving to the beats of old, long-forgotten songs that you didn't remember were buried in some obscure corner of your memory. Dosani is blowing the dirt off them and refashioning them back to their iconic status through social media, where the youth resides.
She is, as her profile bio relates, a "Punjab di kudi now in foreign." She is not in Canada and that is categorically mentioned to avoid presumptions. The 24-year-old is a true blue desi at heart with a surplus of good ol' Hindi songs on her playlist that not just she, but her gang of American friends, is also tapping their feet to.
Dosani is among the many social media content creators who skyrocketed to fame on Instagram during the pandemic year, as it commenced in 2020. With lockdown blues pervading lives, stay-ins looking permanent and a general air of distress that refused to be dispelled, many netizens turned to social media in search of some respite.
Here, the atmosphere was hope-giving and life-affirming, thanks to a bunch of youth working their creative juices on overdrive.
Several of these audience favourites have collaborated for a powerhouse punch of fun. Dosani's videos with other breakout Instagram stars like Yashraj Mukhate and Niharika NM, for instance, have kept fans hooked to them on loop.
Ruhee Dosani And The Rise Of Pandemic-Era Content Creators
"To be a delight, to make people laugh along with me, I have this built-in vitality and vibrancy," Dosani told Outlook in an interview earlier this year. "I am just a happy soul who enjoys spreading great energy and I am grateful to have a platform where I can do that."
One day she is Shah Rukh Khan, with her arms outstretched and a recognisable blue sweater thrown over her shoulders as in Mohabbatein, and another day, she is impersonating her favourite Govinda from that famous hollow television scene in Hadh Kar Di Aapne. Other days, she is simply Ruhee Dosani, in her easygoing element, swaying to something as zany as ad jingles from Cadbury or Nirma with casual charm.
She leads a pack of non-Indians dancing to Bollywood songs on roads and in backyards with such finesse you'd think they were raised on a desi diet of filmy 90s songs like her.
Given that she is a natural at what she does, it may come as a surprise that content creation wasn't really on the cards for Dosani. She has revealed she began making dance videos without any intentions of achieving the recognition she now has, at over 900,000 followers on Instagram. And her community is only growing.
It seems Dosani's long braid, black glasses and hat-topped face have found a permanent place on our feeds. We couldn't be more thrilled about it.