Yes, we just used a 2009-style click-bait headline. But Prateek Kuhad inspires, as one fan said today in the comments section of his latest video, “nostalgia max”, so we forgive ourselves; you should too. The singer-songwriter just dropped a lockdown project—a crowd-sourced video produced by Jugaad Motion Pictures for his single, Kasoor—that he’s been teasing his followers with over the last 10 days.
It finally popped up on our social media timelines enough times for us to check it out. And what a surprise awaited! The video features several fans in lockdown, on a Zoom call with the singer-songwriter, each reacting to prompts—think about your first love, remember the person you could never say ‘I love you’ to; think about the first time you had sex, your hardest breakup, what were their last words to you; think of your first kiss, your last kiss…you get the drift.
A lot like love, the video is a smush of happy smiles, messy tears, sheepish faces, mild confusion, and (flying) kisses. Some of these faces you might recognise. Actor Jim Sarbh, Indian-American writer and performance artist Alok Vaid Menon, Ranveer Allahbadia of popular YouTube channel Beer Biceps, ex-Buzzfeed India editor Rega Jha, Mallika Dua and the big surprise: Kunal Kamra!
Kuhad’s music is “all feels”; a sappy/lovedrunk/heartwarming combination that immediately has every teenager weeping uncontrollably and every 30-something hard-rolling their eyes. Which is to say that his work is polarising under normal circumstances, but lockdown seems to have made everyone soft. I mean, Kamra’s in this video.
Also, usually received with both mad love and hilarious trolling (which Kuhad RTs and shares with equal enthusiasm), this one leans significantly in the direction of comments like “Prateek Kuhad never fails to make me miss my ex”, “as if lockdown wasn’t hard enough already #crying” and multiple versions of “so wholesome omg”, besides several thousand heart emoji. (We were particularly amused by those justifying their shares and likes with disclaimers like “I don’t usually like this guy, but this video…” and the slightly more defensive “IDC WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MY MUSIC CHOICES OK STFU”.)
Lockdown’s a great time to pull this off, of course, but even otherwise there’s something about getting everyone involved that makes these crowdsourced projects impossible to not smile at. Remember Arjun Kanungo’s Twitter lyric video for Baaki Baatein Peene Baad? In case you missed it, in 2015 a fan of the song tweeted at Kanungo while studying for his exams. The video featured “screenshots of the epic conversation that followed” and other tweets by listeners from all over the world. Tweets came from dozens of fans, of course, but it went viral because it also included influencers and artists. Comedian to spot there? Kaneez Surka (who got the lyrics right to a Hindi song, go figure).