#ELLEVoices: Prajakta Koli On How She Is #ImaginingTheWorldToBe
For ELLE India’s 24th Anniversary Issue, we decided to feature select women (and some men) who have stood out as strong role models in their fields. We were keen on knowing their thoughts on how they perceive the future to be, how they see their individual industries evolving, how they intend to meet the challenges and what their hope for the world is.
From @MostlySane to shooting a documentary with Michelle Obama to most recently, Netflix’s Mismatched, Indian YouTuber Prajakta Koli is dabbling in multiple arts – content creation, acting, writing and interactive content. She opens up to us about how the pandemic has changed her perspective on life.
ELLE: How has the pandemic impacted you? What have been your introspections, self-revelations and discoveries?
Prajakta Koli: Right before the lockdown, I had the busiest professional life—I was shooting for a couple of series, a documentary, travelling a lot and creating content for my own channel. I count myself as blessed to have those opportunities, but I started feeling there was too much on my plate, and I wasn’t able to deal with it. Physically, I wasn’t t; mentally, I had hit exhaustion. Suddenly, I had a lot of time on my hands and spent it introspecting. It helped me gain a better perspective, and I reconnected with lost connections. One of the biggest self- revelations was that I was unorganised. In recent months, I’ve tackled that problem and realised the worth of self-care. So no matter how hectic my schedule is, I find time to meditate and work out, watch what I am eating, ensure I get sufficient sleep and write a bit at bedtime.
ELLE: What has the crisis shown us as a community?
PK: It has shown us we are all in the same boat, trying to survive. Your wealth doesn’t matter; if you are going to fall sick, you will fall sick. The crisis has effectively put a spotlight on how we need each other’s love and care, and the basics of food, water and shelter to survive; everything else is not as important.
ELLE: How do you see content creation evolving to accommodate the new demands of your target audience and their changing mindsets?
PK: Back in the day, when I started making videos, we thought India would consume a certain kind of content—until creators from every part of the country brought their own flavour and perspective into content, customised and moulded it for the audience. I think content creation in our country is already so dynamic and accommodating of the audience’s demands. The whole idea of a content pyramid is non-existent; I feel it’s a content globe, where content differs for each person.
ELLE: In Mismatched, you have worked with the character of a ‘hero’. What are your thoughts on having to share the limelight, and how important are collaborations for artists?
PK: I have collaborated so often! I think they are great opportunities, and one gets to learn so much from the other person; it helps you grow. I got to work with a fabulous team in Mismatched, so it didn’t ever feel like I was sharing the limelight with them. You grow when you work together, you imbibe so much from the other person, and it helps in breaking the monotony.
ELLE: How are you #ImaginingTheWorldToBe post-COVID-19?
PK: I am hoping people are going to be more compassionate and appreciative of the smaller things in life. I remember how much my parents missed their evening walk because that was one of the most enjoyable things for them. I also believe that we humans need to come together and work towards improving our health, community and surroundings.