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The ‘Who wore it better’ videos by Ranautneel are his avenue for self-expression

On his own Sarbajit aka Ranautneel, his who wore it better with Kushakapila

On his own Sarbajit aka Ranautneel, his who wore it better with Kushakapila  

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He definitely wore it better: Ranautneel’s hilarious ‘Who wore it better’ videos are his ideal avenue for self-expression

Ranautneel’s Instagram profile is a good example of how one can be creative with limited available resources. From being a total introvert who struggled hard to express himself and someone who was constantly ridiculed for being effeminate, Ranautneel has come a long way to become social media sensation. His funny ‘who wore it better’ videos were beginning to grab eyeballs.

The ‘Who wore it better’ videos by Ranautneel are his avenue for self-expression

But the fame came when popular YouTuber Kusha Kapila — whom many netizens know better as billi masi — praised Ranautneel’s creativity in reprising her in his ‘who wore it better’ act. The latter was in splits resulting on a repost by Kusha’s followers and the attention suddenly shifted to Ranautneel. Ranautneel recalls his experience, “I don’t know how to market myself or find a way to do what I want. I cannot ask my father who is a vendor in train to fund what I do. I do best with whatever is available and not wasting his hard-earned money. But I am happy Kusha did a repost and that I got a chance to speak to her.” These kinds of well-intentioned parodies often poke fun at pouty influencers but they also unite two very different dimensions of Internet fame; we’ve seen it with Chrissy Tiegen, Bella Thorne and Priyanka Chopra.

The ‘Who wore it better’ videos by Ranautneel are his avenue for self-expression

Ranautneel confides that he was rebelling from within to be able to express himself and he started to do by getting a new name for himself on social media. “My parents named me Sarbajit Sarkar. When I started college everyone asked me my name. I love the colour blue so I said call me ‘Neel.’ Since I didn’t have the freedom to choose my own name on paper, I decided to call myself Ranautneel (Ranaut + Neel) on social media after my favourite actor Kangana Ranaut,” says the 24-year-old over the phone.

Sarbajit, who is from a village called Teliamura in Tripura, feels social media is the only platform that can land him his dream career of modelling and acting, explaining, “I am very keen on the creative side, academics didn’t interest me much but even then I completed my Bachelor’s degree in law. I am a shy person and find expressing myself on my videos and photos extremely liberating,” says Sarbajit.

When he’s not doing ‘who wore it better’, Sarbajit posts TikTok videos on Instagram, mostly of ads and dialogues from movies. What’s more funny and interesting about his ‘who wore it better’ videos is the material he uses to make his own fashion statement — his signature cloth gamcha, coloured mosquito net, water hyacinth flowers, his grandmother’s plain white cotton sari to Lays potato chips packets. Plus, the platform of TikTok helps him be technically creative when adding filters and effects to the visual experience. “I used to copy TV serial actors in private, make my own videos to improve and delete it. I wanted to enact at family functions and events in the neighborhood, but everyone would shoo me away because I am not ‘manly.’ What can I do? In my soul I always felt like a woman so I cannot make myself fit into a man’s mindset. This discouraged me a lot, but I didn’t give up. Finally when I opened up to my jethima (aunt) about doing video she encouraged me. She helps me with ideating and is my real critic. My cousin sister Ruby Sarkar shoots the videos for me with whatever phone I have,” he concludes.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 10:27:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/ranautneel-kushakapila-youtuber-who-wore-it-better/article30016843.ece

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