Born and raised in Sivsagar, Harpal Saikia is a young content creator, whose videos have been received with love from all over the state and country. From a small age, Harpal has been interested in theatres, skit and the likes of such. Recently, his videos on the popular content creating platform Youtube have been like a wave of storm. Through his videos, he likes to address various social issues whilst being funny, which is what give the videos a different edge.
1. When did you first get the idea of making such videos? Is there someone you get inspiration from?
I have always been doing this. In my school Delhi Public School, Nazira, I was always involved with street plays and skits. And gradually in 2018 I thought of documenting them and uploading them on YouTube. I was very raw at it during the initial days and well, I consider myself raw at this time as well. So I started making these videos in 2018 but I have always been a character since my childhood.
I take inspiration from a lot of people, my mother to be honest is my greatest inspiration due to the funniest conversations we have and that, is basically the base of my content. If I talk about the digital world, I really am a big fan of Bhuvan Bam and I do take a lot of inspiration from him. The way he changed the scenario of “vines” in India is truly commendable and it helps us to get inspired.
My sister and father have been a great scrutiny for my videos, they’ll watch them, approve and then only it goes out on YouTube.
2. Through your videos, you talk about various issues. Recently, we saw you talk about the stereotype surrounding menstruation, do you believe we can bring about a change by talking about social issues and spreading awareness?
Yes! Absolutely we can. The society is what we make of it, there are people who might never change, but there are people who just need a bit of knowledge and a trigger to change. Social media has become so popular today and it’s not only limited to the urban population, so the people in remote areas where stigmas may be more might feel comfortable in talking about periods or sanitary napkins when they see others talking about it openly. When do we open up with a person? When we talk to him or her, likewise pads, periods, depression are also to be treated as people and we must open up with them, know them and talk about them.
3. When you first start this, did you ever anticipate your videos would be received with so much love?
Aah no! When I started my channel in 2018, I posted near about 12 videos with a lot of expectations that they might go viral or that sort. But they hardly got views, then I had a gap of almost 1 year. Suddenly, during the initial days of the Nationwide lockdown, I decided to do it again just out of interest, and it was so appreciated. Then I decided not to turn back and not to use any excuses of not doing it.
All the love and support that I received , this is a very new thing for me and I shall always be grateful to the people for supporting me so much! It made me believe actually that, we can and must follow our passion.
4. Lets talk more about you, what was your childhood like? Where did you grow up?
The things I remember from my childhood is falling in the middle of the street, extensive cycling a lot of mischievous behavior. I had a blast, to be honest. Me and my friends would go to the fields to create cricket pitches and play there, I was so fond of “Husori” when I was a child, I went around in Jorhat like crazy during Rongali bihu. I think I was of the last generation from the nineties who didn’t have pubg while growing up and that allowed us to go out of our houses to play, enjoy and create a lot of memories that I feel reminiscent about. I was born and bought up in the wonderful district of Sivsagar. I started my schooling at Lakshminath Bezbaruah LP School, then to Sivsagar Govt HS school and then I shifted to Delhi Public School, Nazira where I spent 8 years and grew as an artist and as a person.
I remember always being called by my parents or aunties in small kitty parties so I could perform and make them laugh. So that’s where it came from. By God’s grace, my parents have provided enough for me and my elder sister, so we didn’t have much to complain about but my mother would surely have for me being such a naughty child.
5. Do you have any other hobbies as such? Something else you like to indulge in?
I am a cricketer, so I would say cricket is my hobby. Before making videos, the first ever dream I saw was to play for my country. But not all dreams become a reality, but I still play cricket and I am always up for a game anytime. There’s also this new hobby that I developed during my graduation is to read a lot about politics. Be it a web article or a newspaper, I really like to read a lot whenever there is something about politics.
6. Has creating content been harder during the lockdown? What do you have to say about these crazy times?
I have been creating all my content now through a phone. Shoot, edit and upload. So for me, as my videos involve a single person there hasn’t been much of a challenge. But, for other creators who have their cast, it is a challenge. Outdoor locations and shooting with more people around you is a real hustle.
These are unexpected times that we didn’t know anything about. COVID 19 hit us with suddenness and it is ought to stay longer. The worst affected are the daily wage earners and the small scale industries of our country. It shook me to the core when I saw the migrant workers suffering, people in various parts of our country failing to feed their families. But unlike every other challenge in life, this was a really difficult one to deal with. Now that the country is reopening, we must get ourselves accustomed to the new normal I believe. It’s like learning to lead a new life, which can be good if we take the negative out of it. Even if the road gets tough, we must remember that it’s still the road that would take us home.
7. What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself going with this?
I am a very bad planner. My parents have always been scolding me ever since I can remember because I don’t think much about the future. I am a true admirer of the present, beholder of the past. But I do think a bit about it sometimes, as to where this thing may lead me to. Because I want Assam and the entire Northeast to be seen as equal both in digital space and talents when we are being compared to other states. So I believe that one day, we might also have our own comedy genre, a tasteful audience and a healthy platform for all the artists who genuinely have the passion to work for. But again, I am creating content for the people, the people are accepting them and that is all I could ever aspire for. All these love is so overwhelming and I just want to cherish them as they come towards me and enjoy them being at the present.