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Queen Of Hearts Image Credit: Verve
Queen Of Hearts Image Credit: Verve

Queen Of Hearts

The newest means to go viral, TikTok, has also emerged as a democratising desi alternative to homogeneous and exclusionary Western social media. Influencer and first ‘regular’ Indian woman to be ‘crowned’ on the app, Nagma Mirajkar, opens up to Akhil Sood about the exhilaration and fragility of being an online superstar.

Akhil Sood

A group of some seven or eight patient young TikTokers surround Nagma Mirajkar. She smiles for a selfie, then does a fun pose. Tosses her hair for the next. She patiently gets through all the photos. We’re at the resurrected Razzberry Rhinoceros — or simply Razz — in Mumbai, a club located inside Juhu Hotel. The gentle murmurs of the late-afternoon sea vie for attention on one side; on the other, an excitable congregation of TikTok creators in bright clothes and stylishly coiffed manes. Dreams in their eyes, a touch of nervous excitement on their faces. Young women are walking around in breezy summer dresses as the city is in the throes of its pre-rain humid excess. The men have risibly spiked hair (the kind where the barber sets your head on fire — literally) and there’s a bunch of them in half-sleeved shirts with floral patterns. One guy is roaming around in a full-on suit. Everyone’s clutching on to metallic blue mocktails that are being handed around by a serving staff. The floor is soaked with sweat.

Bulky men in black T-shirts, blaring out instructions and updates on walkie-talkies, try to maintain order. An ambulance rests outside in case of any unfortunate mishaps. Mirajkar, a bona fide TikTok celebrity, is dressed in a fitting multicoloured striped pantsuit, with a matching shirt and big hoop earrings. This is the TikTok Creator’s Lab 2019, an event featuring short talks, workshops and interactive events, targeting the app&


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