Shraddha Jain effortlessly shifts between different characters and accents in the blink of an eye
Shraddha Jain or ayyoshraddha to her social media fans is a boundless entertainer. With hair neatly pulled back and an innocent expression, she becomes primary school teacher Nandini Rao of Bulbul Vidya Mandir as she talks of the impact of board exams being cancelled: “This year exams have got cancelled and, for a change, not because of question paper leakage. Teachers have to give results without exams and teachers are not trained for this, we have become like reality show judges and students do not have vote appeal,” she remarks with honesty and humour. Then she is a parent Mrs Kulkarni who has school fee concerns. At other times, Shraddha dons various roles, as a remote worker to alert on non-availability of Bengaluru colleagues for a virtual meeting as they are all having a siesta, as a real estate broker capturing the idiosyncrasies of the rich and famous.
With multilingual sets that ‘drop truth bombs, Bengaluru-based Shraddha effortlessly shifts between different characters and accents at the blink of an eyeShraddha quit a job as a marketing head of a Kannada television channel during the lockdown, to reflect on her priorities. She says, “When the world came to a pause, it gave me time to think of what I really wanted to do so that my creative pursuits get the best of me.” Having been a radio jockey before shifting to television, she was ‘hungry to perform’ and planning non-fiction shows for the small screen helped her understand the market and what it lacked.
When her first Instagram video on her father’s reaction to her pasta, in Tulu went viral, it made her realise the market for Tulu material. “The Tulu videos were flying to Dubai, Bahrain and Paris via Facebook and WhatsApp,” she recalls.
Shraddha’s social media feed has videos in Tulu, Kannada, English, Hindi and Marathi, all languages she is proficient in. With a one-woman show, she is conceptualising, writing and shooting videos that not only raise a laugh but also connect with memorable characters. “I want to portray characters that evoke a feel-good factor and reminds the audience of someone in their lives. I want them to say, “I like this mother’ and show the video to their mother or teachers.”
Comedians get trolled and sometimes female comedians end up being easier targets. Has she faced that? “No,” she replies and adds, “Anonymous trolls do not deserve the dignity of being responded to. People have been kind to me and I am humbled by the response. Even if there is a trash comment, my cousins and father will call me first as they are monitoring it.”
Although Shraddha has a cult following with 216k followers on Instagram alone, she doesn’t pressurise herself to post videos or follow recommended social media strategies to be consistent. “This is not why I quit my job. My policy is to let the idea drive.” While her longer format three-minute videos are posted twice a month, the shorter — 30 or 60-second — videos land weekly.
After making a debut in Sumukhi Suresh’s Pushpavalli, Shraddha looks forward to acting projects and a lot of content creation on her social media handles. “ I want to explore my potential as a performer,” she signs off.