If India’s best Dramebaaz existed when I was a kid, I sure would’ve made it as the winner. The advent of Ekta Kapoor’s serials inspired a lot of people and I was one among them. I still remember rubbing my back against the wall and glide down crying whenever amma shouted at me, just as I had seen them do in the TVs, trying to make it more effective. Needless to say, they never worked for me in real life. But that acting keeda just wouldn’t leave me, like it was some innate part of me. And therefore when I was introduced to the world of Musical.ly it was love at first sight!
For people who are listening about the app for the first time (not possible, cuz its so famous!), Musical.ly is an entertainment app that, allows users to lipsync to various songs, dialogues or even create original videos or ‘vines’ for fifteen minutes to max 1 minute. There’s a huge scope for creativity with features like applying filters, changing the speed of the video from epic slow to lapse fast, cut music or add it, apply different sticker face filters, etc. Although it has a lot of options and one might get confused about what to do with it, any layman can get used to it within two or three trials. It allows users to lipsync to sounds used by others. Along with uploading your own videos, you can even see videos made by other viewers, making it a huge social video community.Musical.ly has even developed a slang of its own with musical.ly users being called musers, bff meaning best fan forever and live.ly being another app where musical.ly users could go live for their followers. You can even ‘duet’ with another muser of your choice and can save your videos to upload it elsewhere.
Because of this app becoming nothing less than a social networking hub, a lot of people have earned fame and huge popularity both on the internet and outside this app due to musical.ly. In India musers like Aashika Bhatia, Manjul Khattar, Awez Darbar, and many others have achieved followers in millions and are the new celebrities. But most of these musers, especially the male ones, are being trolled around everywhere for using the app which is supposed to be an app for “jobless people” or “gays”. The troll and meme makers have tried to create an image that apps like dubsmash and musicallys are used by people with nothing better to do, who have no talent, or by guys who are sexually deviant because apparently according to them even disguising like a girl for some role would mean they’re gays. Because of such meaningless trolls, I personally have seen a lot of guys denying to do musicallys even though they want to, just from the fear that others will mock them. And such things make me really furious because meme makers who gain popularity by demeaning others think they’re doing a better job than people who are just doing what they love without hurting anybody. Who is anybody to judge someone? You can make an awesome video with transitions, filters, voice effects and you still will get memed saying you have no talent and I can’t believe people actually buy that crap.
I started using musical.ly in 2015 and since then, have never uninstalled it. Some people use it to get popular but frankly speaking, for me, musical.ly is my therapy, my happy place, just like dancing, singing, playing with kids or reading books. I forget about every other problem or tension that I might have when I make a video. The best part about it is, I can be me. The real, nautankebaaz me! People sometimes even ask me if I’m so jobless the whole day that I make so many videos, to which I reply that I don’t really have to take out a special time slot for making musically. I do a quick musically when I’m ready for some event when all my chores are done, when I want to lift my mood up or when I find a nice background or meet people I can make good musicallys with. And when I look back, musically has given me nothing but happy memories, its especially fun when you are trying to do it with someone else and you have to redo because you couldn’t stop laughing. I even did one with my dad this time, and now we look forward to more. I sometimes even challenge myself to act to different difficult sounds, varying from sad, happy, crazy, romantic genres. It, therefore, hurts me at times when I see people being trolled or shamed for doing what they love. I mean, musically too is a hobby like any other. Why not see it that way? Some musers also create great contents on various social issues to create awareness or awesome humorous vines. If you cant support them, at least why shame them? You don’t like it, you ignore. It’s that simple.
I’ve been tagged a musical.ly addict by many, but there are times I have chosen some other hobby over musical.ly to pass my time too. But even now if I ever feel down, alone or bored, I will definitely turn to either music, dancing, watching reruns of Friends or Musical.ly.
Alva’s College, Moodbidri
Author’s Note: I’m Chaithali Rai and am a final year student at Alva’s College pursuing my BA in literature, journalism and psychology. Along with academic excellence, I also have an undying passion for singing, dancing, writing and making videos. I reside in Mumbai and am originally from Udupi, Karnataka.