Saif and Qamar spoke to us about their uniquely Hyderabadi and instantly relatable Youtube channel
“You will not believe what my mother just said!” said almost every person on the planet. The remark is usually met with an empathetic “My mom says the exact same thing” and while we are taught that listening to mom will bring us happiness and success, Saif And Qamar demonstrate that listening close enough and taking notes can bring you much more — a hilarious Youtube channel, loyal fans and most importantly an outlet for cultural expression.
Their channel which features the “Stuff hyderabadi moms say,” videos has over 2500 subscribers.
“Sharing stories about our parents was easy comic relief for us,” says Qamar, who works full time as a make-up artist. “Living in the United States, we seem to have a subconscious thirst for culture and humour is the perfect outlet,” say the khala and bhanja who were raised in Southern California. Saif is currently going to graduate school there.
Their videos fall under the ‘Stuff _____ say’ category of videos that became an online craze a few years ago. “We were sitting on the couch one day watching the “Sh*t ___ Say” videos when we decided to make one for Hyderabadi moms. We pulled out our iPhones and started writing phrases and the next thing we know we were filming with our camera, which was set up on a cracker box, which was sitting on a baby’s high chair,” recalls Qamar. “However, when we decided to make a video, it wasn’t intended for the web nor did we expect it to go viral. We decided to upload it on Youtube because many of our family members, especially the adults, were not on Facebook.”
But the morning after their first video was uploaded Saif and Qamar woke up to texts and emails from family telling them how much they loved the video and the first video already had over 10,000 views.
“We were both shocked and didn’t know how to react. Our family members told us how people were sharing the video with them saying, “Did you see this Hyderabadi video?”, and they replied, “Those are my cousins”!” explains Qamar.
Their videos involve Qamar playing the daughter and Saif, dressed for the part, playing the quintessential Hyderabadi mom. The content is funny, even if you are not a Hyderabadi (the English subtitles help). Every dialogue, they say, is either a true story or a slightly exaggerated version of a true story. “What makes these videos ‘popular’ is that they are relatable. Watching strangers on YouTube re-enacting small mannerisms and repeating the same words used in your house probably gives people a great sense of connection and attachment,” Qamar tells us.
‘Saifchota’ as the channel is called, has a loyal fan following. “Just like any kind of expression of opinion or anything, everyone perceives things differently. Mostly positive, some negative, and we even get suggestions since people want to see what make hyderabadis so unique and quirky!” explains Qamar adding that making fun of their own in a negative way would be unthinkable and absurd.
Living with families like theirs, inspiration never runs dry for Saifchota. “Just sitting with our family at a daawat for 30 minutes and we have enough material for multiple videos. It’s this endless fun and chichorapana that keeps us grounded and is the source of our inspiration. I get such a huge rush when I hear certain extremely funny phrases or khissey from my mom,” she says.
The entire point of the effort, they tell is to have a “sense of community”. “We are so happy and so proud to be Hyderabadis, so this series is special and the fact that people appreciate it is a blessing and means so much to us,” they say.
Saif and Qamar don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “We've always had ideas about diversifying, mostly about being our real selves and interacting with each other-which is a comedy show on its own. But personally, I have wanted to touch base on serious topics and things in society and our culture that really bother me, that we could all stand to think twice about and hopefully change for the better,” informs Qamar.
Stuff Hyderabadi moms say
Hyderabadi mom: *startling out of sleep* Ammah! Meri saas ek dum se ruk gayi
Daughter: Mom I’m so proud of you, you’re using Shan masala.
HM: Rakh andar kamini … dusro ko pata chala toh baingan ki meri ijjat rah jati… Logon ko nai bolna…Najakat char paanch bagaan haat dal rakhna ghar mein kaam ati… boleto batan suuun…
HM: Aaj kal hyderabad ke bacche Umrica ke bacchon se aur bigad gayen
HM: Kya kar rii sharab pee rahi tu....*dramatically throws glass on floor*
D: Mom, this is apple cider!!
HM: Ju-iss? Ab kaun kaun saaf karna ye