Guest Column

Who is Manjul Khattar?

By G Mohan

Who is Manjul Khattar?

If you have heard this name and know a few things about him, please do not read this piece of mine any further. Because, you probably know more about what I am saying here more than me. 

Accidentally, I hit upon an article online about an app called ‘Famous birthdays’. The success of this app, made me even download this app on my phone and play with it. For a trivia junkie like me, it is very interesting. But what it throws up is also shocking.

The app which started of as a database of celebrity birthdays, is now a wikipedia of celebrities that the Gen Z follows keenly. Mostly in the USA. It has a lot of information which appeals to them and also is fast and engaging. Gen Z can vote their popular celebrities by clicking ‘Boost’. This gives the app, the info to rank the celebs on various parameters dynamically. 

If this was only about the Gen Z stars, I would have reconciled to the fact that you don’t expect a Virat Kohli in a listing of footballers. But, here my world is intersecting with the world of teenagers and it throws up shocking data.

Let me give you a sample. Today is August 4. The birthdays of Barack Obama and Kishore Kumar from my world. As per this app, Obama is the most famous US President. Yet, he is not the most famous person born on August 4. He is #2. #1 is a TV star called Cole Sprouse. I have never heard this name.

Kishore Kumar is not even in Top 25, among those born on August 4. Kishore always prided himself as Khandwa-born and for my generation, Kishore was synonymous with Khandwa. But even in the Khandwa born, Kishore is # 2. 

Who is #1?

#1 Khandwa born is Shaan, the singer. I guess even Shaan would be embarrassed that he is more famous than Kishore Kumar. After all Shaan has sung cover versions of Kishore songs. 

If I asked you, which is the most popular celebrity with the name Vidya. Most of you would guess Vidya Balan. She is # 2 Vidya. # 1 Vidya is Vidya Iyer, a 21-year-old You Tube star popular for singing as Vidya Vox in Shankar Tucker’s group. 

Let me shock you a little more.

Who is the #1 celebrity with an Indian name ? Lilly Singh, also known as Superwoman. Among celebrities born in India, it is a somewhat familiar name Priyanka Chopra. If you were wondering where is Narendra Modi, who is known to have a great social media profile, he is at a rather unimpressive # 14 Indian. Can you believe it when I say , the strongman Khali precedes Modi at # 13. 

So who is #1 Most popular celeb in Famous Birthdays. It is a 19 year old teenager named Jacob Sartorius. He is an Instagram star with 8 million followers. He has a couple of original songs and many lip sync videos of popular songs. Interestingly, his birthday is on October 2.

For those of us, who associate October 2 with Gandhiji, please do not feel disheartened. Mahatma Gandhi figues at # 8 among those born on October 2. Jacob is followed closely by a girl, all of 14 years, Annie Leblanc. Both these are ahead of well known pop stars like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Beyonce etc.

Now let me answer the original question who is Manjul Khattar ? Manjul Khattar is India’s # 1 web-star. He gained popularity on Tik Tok. His web success has made him mainstream now. His recently launched his single `Yaara’ music video, where he plays a young school boy, was released on 22 July in YouTube. In a little over 10 days, it has crossed 20 million views. (link below)

The singer is Mamta Sharma, who sang songs like Munni Badnaam, Fevicol Se etc in Hindi movies.

If you want to know, what makes Manjul Khattar such a star, please ask your children, nephews, nieces, I can’t explain. I don’t understand this generation.

It is not a generation gap. It is a generation valley.

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