Quirky, random, Indian and completely desi and clean – that is how Bengaluru-based RJ-turned Internet sensation Sonu Venugopal likes to describe the content of her hugely popular series Baaju Mani Kaaku. "The character is based out of North Karnataka, Baaju Mani Kaaku means aunty-next-door. Since I have grown up around a lot of aunties, there is a lot of aunty in me. And Baaju Mani Kaaku was the vent for that aunty to come out," quips Sonu. The series works around a special format — Where a new video is out every Monday (On Sonu’s Instagram, YouTube and Facebook page). It is basically an Aunty’s take on things as random as Virushka’s wedding, to start-ups to festivals.
"Basically, she is an aunty with an opinion. Pretty much like yours and mine," the engineering graduate explains. Speaking of what egged her on to start a series like this, Sonu believes that it was her insatiable love of observing people during travels that inspired her. "I used to notice that a lot of Indian tourists were not very welcoming, unlike how they are at home. I wanted to speak as an aunty, and how Indians travelling abroad behave and that was the first seed of thought for Baaju Mani Kaaku." While it started on a light note, the stupendous responses on her first video left her awe-struck! "I really didn’t think people would like videos after the first one. But, then the responses were so encouraging, it made me release a new video every Monday."
The first video garnered 500 shares. And there was no looking back ever since. On an average, her videos get 75,000 to 1,00,000 views and 500+ shares. And the buzz around the ongoing Internet series is only getting better. Grateful to have struck a chord in the city, Sonu opines, "One thing I love about the audience here is their acceptance and intelligence. They are more open, knowledgeable, and fun people. That’s what an artiste needs. It’s a rare combination, so I love the city for that aside from the fact that this is the city where I was raised and which gave me a career."
Currently in Switzerland, Sonu is travelling and learning as she voyages. But her heart lies in namma ooru, and in radio. A comeback, to radio, is definitely on the cards. "I plan on getting into stand-up comedy full time. I’ve been wanting to do this for two years now. I hope I come back to radio very soon. Desperation is an understatement, I will be back in Bengaluru in a month so this is the time for radio stations to cash on. I’m quite a sensation you see!"she signs off.