If you are someone who follows vloggers on social media, chances are that you are well aware of one of India’s top female Youtuber Prajakta Koli. With more than 5.8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and over 2.7 million followers on Instagram, Koli is better known by her social media handle moniker – Mostly Sane. Over the years, she has collaborated with various Bollywood stars for her videos, and currently she is the Indian ambassador for YouTube’s global initiative, Creators for Change. She was also one of the few Indians who were part of the virtual graduation ceremony Dear Class of 2020, headlined by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. And now the internet sensation is making waves with her acting stints: her latest series Mismatched has dropped on Netflix this week.
Early Days On YouTube
For many Indian millennials, Koli’s YouTube channel was amongst their first introductions to content-driven YouTube shows in the country. Koli first started her channel in 2015, and as a huge fan, I believe that one of the many reasons behind her instant success was her disciplined schedule of uploading videos every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It made her one of the most consistent creators and consequently, her fanbase grew bigger and bigger. Apart from the regulars, Koli also uploads vlogs based on her travel diaries and personal experiences.
While many of Koli’s comedy characters are well-loved, amongst her most famous creation is a teenager called Montu. Montu is introduced to us as the YouTuber’s younger brother and the character has gained so much popularity that Koli’s audience has now started asking for Montu special videos. Apart from Montu, Koli also often uses her skit style monologues to enact a typical Indian middle-class family of father, mother and son, presenting everyday situations in a manner that tickles right into the viewer’s funny bones.
Rise To Fame
Koli performed at the YouTube FanFest both in 2018 and 2019. In February 2019, she was part of Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 as well as Entrepreneur India’s list of 35 under 35. In the same year, she was featured in Outlook Business Magazine’s list of Women of Worth and was awarded the title of Cosmopolitan’s YouTuber of the Year. In 2020, Koli was featured on the cover of the magazine BW Businessworld as part of their Most Influential Women’s list.
Koli has collaborated with the biggest names in the YouTube community like Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchchlani, Mumbiker Nikhil and many more. She has also collaborated with mainstream Bollywood actors, notably Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Vicky Kaushal. Earlier this year, she launched her YouTube Originals show Pretty Fit, where she interviewed celebrities including Neha Kakkar, Sanya Malhotra, RJ Malishka, Mithila Palkar and Sumukhi Suresh, and then made them perform various tasks.
In July 2020, Koli made her acting debut with the short film Khayali Pulao. The film was based in Haryana and followed the journey of a young girl named Asha (Koli) struggling to fulfil her dream of getting selected for the school’s handball team. Khayali Pulao earned many praises for its heartfelt take on topics such as women empowerment and gender equality. Her next acting stint, the Netflix series Mismatched, hit the small screens on 20 November and is an adaptation of Sandhya Menon’s 2017 The New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi. Here Koli plays the role of Dimple, a modern-day girl who is also a tech wizard and is paired opposite to Rohit Saraf’s Rishi. Click to read the full review for Mismatched.
Support For Other Causes
In 2016, Koli launched a campaign #iPledgeToBeMe which addressed issues of mental health and body shaming. Through the campaign, she shared her own experiences of body shaming and later also released a rap song Shameless which dealt with the same topic. The music video featured stars like Raftaar, RJ Malishka and Mithila Palkar. In 2018, Koli participated in the #GirlsCount campaign for One.Org which dealt with the importance of girl’s education. In the same year, Koli participated in YouTube’s Creators for Change program where she made a music video named No Offence. The video was then screened in the United Nations as part of their International Day of Tolerance where Koli represented India. Koli also participated in SheThePeople’s 2018 event Bombaywali where she shared her experiences of being a woman content creator in India.
In 2020, a special episode of Creators For Change was aired where Koli, alongside two other YouTube content creators, interviewed girls in different countries about their opportunities for education, and discussed the topic with Michelle Obama. Koli also represented India at The Call To Unite event which started on the 1st of May 2020 and featured Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Eva Longoria, Deepak Chopra, Alanis Morissette, Quincy Jones and Mandy Moore among many others. The 24-hour event was organized in support of people facing challenges during the pandemic and to promote education among children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Koli has also been cast in the upcoming Dharma Productions film Jug Jug Jiyo, starring Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani. And with so many achievements already on her plate, alongside many more exciting ventures lined up ahead, Prajakta Koli is surely a young female star to look out for.
Views expressed are the author’s own.