Back in 2020 when we were all huddled up indoors, scared of the pandemic and the assorted thali and taali campaigns, music producer and budding social media star Yashraj Mukhate dropped the Rasode Mein Kaun Tha reel—a masterful auto-tuned rendering of a kitchen mystery. The reel inevitably went viral, leading to more music comedy reels featuring clever cut-ups of Indian daily soap scenes, set to trope-stirring music. And even more success.
How does he do it? Mukhate says he has no idea either. The closest he gets is trying to dissect what made a particular reel do internet-breaking numbers. But we have a suspicion that his unmatched knack of picking just the right bit of mainstream pop culture to lampoon has something to do with it.
From unlocking a core memory with biggini shoot to deconstructing the elements of Bhojpuri songs, Mukhate has proved that his success is not a stroke of luck. Current events, memes and nostalgia are the rich veins that Mukhate usually mines, and he almost always gets it right.
So here’s an appreciation post for Mukhate’s work, and a list of 10 reels you must watch to brighten up your day. You need it. The holidays are upon us and you’re still working. You really need this.
1. Let’s start with his homage to the best clip on the Internet*
*This episode from the “reality” show Emotional Atyachaar (S3) went viral many, many years ago. It was the only thing a lot of us would talk about. Poonam Sethi, the lady who is testing the loyalty of her beloved, became a breakout star, earning her 15 minutes for this as well as for coining the term ‘bitch of a son’. Commendable work.
Mukhate’s reel brought back all the memories of relatively simpler times and also made many of us laugh when we *really* needed it.
2. When he made Rasode Mein Kaun Tha such a viral meme that corporates started using it, immediately ruining the fun.
Star Plus’ long-running daily soap Saath Nibhaana Saathiya featuring the laptop washing Gopi Bahu is one of most cherished pieces of art on the Indian internet. Mukhate took a snippet from the same show, but this time, the focus was on Kokila, the mother-in-law who lost her shit at Rashi because she put an empty cooker on the gas. Criminal.
3. Rakhi Sawant was just Rakhi Sawant-ing.
Known for her shenanigans on reality shows, press conferences and paparazzi appearances, Rakhi Sawant is a walking-talking meme and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She always manages to stay relevant and this reel is a way of appreciating her legacy. Still don’t know what charsulli or gardulli mean though, are they twins?
4. Iiiiiiiiiiit’s Tommy-time!
We’re talking about the popular dog-name, not the fashion label. Punjabi actress Shehnaz Gill became a household name after dropping that iconic line on national television, and being ‘reel-ified’ by Mukhate. Even superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh got in on the action.
5. Talking about Ranveer Singh, we also got a reel about his… butt.
The rhyming of random and bum is *chef’s kiss*.
6. Okay, ngl this was a bop.
Bhojpuri songs deserve an article of their own, and their creativity was especially at peak during the pandemic. This industry gave us gems like Lehenga Mein Corona, Tu Ladki Hai Ya Corona and our personal favourite, Chumma Dede Santizer Laga Ke.
7. And when he brought Bulla back into the conversation again.
The legacy of one of the worst movies ever made—Gunda—endures, thanks to some cool people on the Internet constantly revisiting it (Hi Pretentious Reviews!), or experiencing the magic of this horrifying film for the first time. While Bulla, the movie’s main antagonist is a pop-culture icon, the author’s personal favourite villain from this universe is Ibu Hatela, played by Harish Patel (who also starred in Eternals.) There’s now a connection between the MCU and Kanti Shah and we think that’s beautiful. Here’s hoping Mukhate makes a lovely song dedicated to Patel as well.
8. Of course we’ll feature the Zakir Khan reel!
Zakurrrr and Mukhate collab when?
9. If you’re going to make Geet from Jab We Met your entire personality then at least be as cool and confident as this girl.
No jokes, we genuinely enjoyed her original TikTok and Mukhate’s music just made it more fun. Can you beat this, Katrina Kaif?
10. A reel dedicated to Himesh Reshammiya and liked by Virat Kohli!
This is our multiverse of madness. And sure, make as much fun as you want of Himesh Reshammiya, but his quest to put a roti in people’s houses is something Marx would be proud of. JMDLR!