Social media is a weird place. Often a lot of things get popular via social media platforms that are underrated and should be given attention; often they are plain silly and ordinary. The raging meme trend has a big role in this, making videos of silly people go viral and garner laughs: like the flying guy who just wanted to land “land kara de bhai”; or the woman who poignantly pointed out the hypocrisy of the government through her words “yeh bik gai hai gormint”; and even brought people fame, like Hindustani Bhau and Hide the Pain Harold.
In this entire hubbub, recent social media attention has been shifted to the new sensation: Ranu Mondal. Hailing from Bengal, this woman is now nationally famous, and not just for her talent in music, but also for the kind of person she has displayed herself to be before the public.
The Rise of Ranu di
A guy named Atindra Chakraborty was among the daily commuters at the Ranaghat railway station. Like many such crowded public spaces, the station was rigged with homeless people begging in rags. It was here that he came across a woman who sang beautifully. So one day, he asked her to sing a song and he would record a video. So the woman, Ranu Mondal, sang Lata Mangeshkar’s Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai, and went viral all over internet.
People from news media crowded to get coverage on this woman, and soon it was known to curious netizens that Ranu di, as she was addressed, was not actually a poverty-stricken woman begging to support anyone beyond herself. Multiple viewers of the video took pity on the woman and came forward to help her, or at least implored others to. Finally Radio Mirchi requested the man who posted the video to get them to her, as she had no cellphone, no contact details.
It turned out, Ranu di was turned out of her house by her daughter after she was found to be having some psychological issues. But now that mother was famous, the daughter came greeted her like a member coming back home. People praised the fact that real talents like Ranu Mondal are getting the limelight instead of people like Dhinchak Pooja, who has previously taken the internet by storm only temporarily.
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The Big Turn and the Beginning of Ranu Mondal Memes
Thanks to the one video, Ranu di garnered a big number of fans and admirers. Many wanted to hug her or take pictures with her. The biggest highlight came when she was offered to record songs with the popular Bollywood music artist Himesh Reshammiya himself! She went through a complete makeover, getting her groomed and being decked up in new sari and flown to Mumbai. Her video of recording a song with Himesh Reshammiya went viral. Many were genuinely happy by the fact that she was succeeding.
But something was off. The snippet of the song in that video, as everyone on the internet noticed, was rigged with auto tuning. Usually singers use autotune to slightly improve the quality of their songs. But excessive usage renders the final product sounding pretty artificial.
The criticism got worse when Ranu di appeared on popular TV show, Superstar Singer on Sony TV. Although she was applauded by many, there were people who pointed out how her singing was actually off-beat and without melody.
Controversies got worse when Ranu di’s daughter lashed out at Atindra and his allies for rescuing her. She admitted that her mother was psychologically unwell, and that this move was not going to turn out well for anyone. It seems like there was indeed some truth in what she said.
Shoving fan away- too important a person?
It seems like Ranu di is already having celebrity tantrums. First she was caught saying that hugging fans irritates her. A few days later rumours started that actor Salman Khan is buying her an apartment in Mumbai. So far, it has remained in a state of rumour only. She has appeared in these few months on various reality shows. Rumours even had it that she’s going to be one of the contestants on the latest season of Bigg Boss.
Now a video has come to light, where she ridicules a fan for tapping her on the back and asking for just a selfie.
In this video a fan is seen approaching her and gently calling her. In return, she repeats the gesture, but negatively, and asks, what is this about? “Don’t touch me,” she is seen saying. Her apparent negative attitude towards fans ever since she came to limelight has led to the loss of initial admiration that people had for her. Instead, she has now become a part of the raging meme trend. People who previously reacted with a “Love” or a “Wow” are now not hesitant to put “Haha” reacts whenever posts related to her appear on Facebook.
Twitterati exploded at her insensitivity, making both angry comments and jokes out of her.
These are just a few of the responses the video fetched her. Even though people have seen celebrities being rude with fans, they expected Ranu Mondal to be humbler, given her past, and the fact that it has just been a few days since she found fame. Meanwhile her popularity is steadily increasing. Now, if it is short lived or Ranu Mondal can make up for everything to amaze fans like her first video is only a matter that can be resolved with of time.
Several people are also concerned about the fact that despite knowing of her mental ailment, the ones responsible for her chose to use her as a marketing device rather than getting her a check up. What would be made out of this tomfoolery can only be found out by waiting. Ranu Mondal had even refused to acknowledge Atindra’s help, once again bringing her criticism. What lies in future is the responsibility of those around her aiding her in her detours.