As a young Malayali girl growing up in Delhi, Vaishaki Radhakrishnan found resonances with her culture in films. No matter the type of film, she was all for it. Somehow, without her own knowledge, she was laying the foundation for her destiny, to become a content creator.
Describing herself as ‘brave’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘persistent’, Vaishaki Radhakrishnan is the creator of the popular Kochu-Amma series on Instagram. The series is known for its satirical take on the culture in Kerala through the lens of humor.
“Since childhood, I have always been a creative kid and definitely have the funny bone among my friends. Cinema has been a dream, so after several failed auditions over a period of three years, I realized that I had a free and powerful tool, Instagram, which I can use to showcase my talent.”
At a time when the youth are told that success is a corporate job or the alliances you make as you work your way to the top, Vaishaki is taking time out of her life to prove the world wrong. Following a few unsuccessful attempts at auditioning for roles in films, she found herself on the internet. As an avid consumer of Vines and comedy videos, she knew that everybody’s voice had a place. It did not take much to showcase that voice. All you need is precisely what you have, essential equipment, a little courage to put yourself out there, the willpower to persevere, and something to entertain people with.
She found herself eavesdropping on her mother’s conversation with her sister back in Kerala and saw an opportunity there. Conversations between women represent the feminine space, it is a private, inaccessible entity to anybody outside the context. This is what Vaishaki does best too.
Through her Kochu-Amma series, she has created two relatable characters, Kochu, the daughter, and Amma, her mother, as two women who are navigating the realities of their lives. She uses them to narrate mundane instances in every Malayali’s life as the two women negotiate between their age and cultural gaps, understanding femininity and the toxic culture of misrepresenting female relationships in popular media.
“One day at home, I heard my mom speak to her sister in Kerala on the phone and it was an amusing conversation. I tried to imitate the same, adding elements of humor and my own style to it, and that was the birth of the Kochu-Amma series…It is an amalgamation of all the elderly characters we see around us who are conditioned to perceive the world in a certain way.”
The goal of Vaishaki’s content is not mockery, but simply to call out, what we as a society have built and propagated as dominant values. By borrowing the perspectives of two women, one from the older generation and the other younger, she appeals to audiences of all ages. Satire is often considered the most elemental way of highlighting social evils, but Vaishaki truly makes it her own, turning everyday instances into light-hearted comedy, that subconsciously allows us to examine and process our own biases. Her videos may be short, but she packs volumes of thought into them!
Speaking about the influence of the digital space on both herself, as a creator and the audience, Vaishaki is consistently trying to learn and relearn the practices of this elusive space that is consciously on the move. Fame, for her, is a slow poison. You start feeling good and it slowly affects the way you think and perceives yourself. However, for her, content creation is a passion, one that she has worked on and continues to do so. It is a profession that allows her to support herself and her family, and above all, it is a social responsibility she takes very seriously.
“Content creation is my creative outlet, one that allows me to move away from the real world and allows my imagination to assume a creative form. We all have a fair share of struggles and pain, however, what I love about this platform and content creation itself is how even pain can be represented as art. When I am low, I find myself turning to my craft to deal with negative emotions constructively.”
Also, well recognized as the winner of ‘Face of Kerala 2018’, Vaishaki Radhakrishnan is aware of the proficiencies and the downfalls of the space in which she works. Talking about her experience in the pageant, she considers it one of the biggest blessings in her life. At a time when the requirement and celebration of beauty pageants are called to critical inquiry, her take on them is slightly different. It allowed her to grow, it was a platform and an opportunity that afforded her the space to prove to herself that she was capable of greatness.
Vaishaki Radhakrishnan continues to prove herself on both social media and in her personal life that all you truly need is undeniable courage and the will to work tirelessly in order to be remembered in the annals of history.