At least ‘Kalkharabs’ do something right
In times of unemployment, group creates possibility for earnings
Srinagar: Upset with the swelling number of unemployed youth in Kashmir, a group of educated youth from Panzinara area of city outskirts is selling its art to counter the unwaged days. They create videos to make people laugh and those video are viewed over and over, as they offer a sense of relief.
A group of youth, mostly relatives and friends commonly known as ‘Kashmiri Kalkharabs’ in the Valley, were earlier discussing unemployment, but now they discuss ideas for their upcoming videos.
“Everybody among us including our families were concerned about our future. We tried to seek jobs to end the unwaged days but to no avail,” the group said.
The group includes Showkat Ahmad, Parvez Ahmad Bhat, Yawar Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmad, and Mehraj-ud-din.
Parvez, one among the group mates had created a channel on ‘YouTube’ a year ago but didn’t upload a single video on it.
He according to the group tried hard to come up with something funny on it but couldn’t convince his friends to prepare a video for it.
However, Showkat the lead actor of the channel agreed to make a video while he was idlying on a provision store.
The video got viral on social networking site, thus compelling the group to make more funny videos.
Notably, the videos they are currently uploading twice or thrice in a week is attracting more and more viewers on their ‘YouTube’ channel called the ‘KASHMIRI KALKHARABS’.
In just a five months period, their channel has got at least 83,564 subscribers. The most popular videos among all being the first video that was upload, ‘Kashmiri Kalkharab Dukandaar’, which got 531,074 views and ‘Kalkharab thug Bike Chor’, which, so far has got 316,275 views, the count which only seems to be adding.
Parvez who has created the channel told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that his channel is getting at least 1000 subscribers per day, while as over 10,000 people enjoy their videos in one single day.
In an hour-long interaction, the group informed this newspaper that they sit together for long to discuss or improvise on dialogue or shots, but usually it takes them one day to come up with an idea; making the entire programme and uploading it on their channel.
“Whatever we do is not scripted at all. It is impromptu, we just sit together at the eleventh hour and prepare a new video for our friends (subscribers),” they said, adding that besides Mehraj, no one among them is a professional artist. “We have just started the journey. Let’s see how long Almighty Allah will support us,” they said.
The group is not equipped with advanced gadgetry to create videos; however, they are planning to upgrade their gadgets in order to improve on the videos produced.
“We are planning to upgrade the equipments and process of finalizing the programme, but so far we are coming up with new videos as it is,” they said, adding that now, they are focusing to improvise in every aspect.
Saying that they are getting huge public support for their programmes, the group said that they are getting at least 150 phone calls every day from their viewers, praising them and even visiting them at their residences.
The group said that several viewers visited them at their residence and brought some food stuff and gifts for them.
“We are your big fans and love to see you guys sharing brilliant messages through your videos,” the group quoted viewers to have said.
The group further informed that even the doctors are calling them, saying that some of their patients have started improving after laughing enough while watching their videos. “We are very happy to see people laugh due to our little efforts. We will try to make people laugh till our last breathe,” they said.
Interestingly, the group is getting invitations for different programmes, being organized at famous places including SKICC, Tagore hall and others. “We are getting invitations for different programmes. We are not focusing on these programmes, but to focus on our own channel as we are trying to improvise it in a better way to get more and more support,” they said.
Besides public support, the group is also getting the support of their parents.
Father of the main artist Showkat Ahmad said that they were earlier disappointed with their jobless days.
“When these young guys started making videos for YouTube channel, we use to taunt them in one way or other but now we are happy to see that they have started countering the unwaged days with their talent. Everybody in our area or from outside are praising our boys and bless them always,” he said.
The group had something to say regarding the frequent internet blockade especially in South Kashmir, like it haunts them much; saying that the blockade has affected their viewership
“We have more fan following in southern districts and the traffic suddenly goes down whenever authorities suspend the internet facilities in Kashmir especially in South Kashmir,” the group said, adding that the frequent internet suspension is adding to their woes.
The group is currently earning around 20 thousand rupees per month, the money which is handed over to them by the YouTube. The earned revenue is expected to go high with the increase in number of views and subscribers, which the group is expecting will increase in coming days.
“This is what we are earning right now, but as the number of views and subscribers go up, the revenue generated will automatically increase,” said Pervaiz Ahmad.
Pervaz is sure that the revenue will go up given the trend of increased subscription to their channel.
“In the last 28 days we have got more than 20 thousand subscribers, and that will automatically increase the views, so we are positive about making a good money in future,” he said.