That '90s Marathi meme

Cousins from Ambernath and Pune, lend a local touch to Internet humour

Marvel superhero, The Incredible Hulk, is making a particular menacing face. Yet, instead of scaring New York City (isn’t that where all the evil of the world lands?) he yells in his thundering voice, “Aai taaki bharli, paani band kar”.

A meme based on The Incredible Hulk
A meme based on The Incredible Hulk

Admit it. It made you smile.

And, for this, you have to thank 19-year-old Ambernath resident Archis Kulkarni and his 19-year-old Pune cousin Chaitanya Joshi.

Cousins Archis Kulkarni and Chaitanya Joshi started Marathi Touch in February this year

In February this year, Kulkarni, a BMM student at Joshi-Bedekar College in Thane, decided to start a Facebook page on Marathi jokes, but lost steam after posting barely two jokes. Around the same time, Joshi, who studies at RMD Sinhagad Technical Institute in Pune, thought it would be interesting to see how English superhero characters would sound if they spoke in Marathi. When the two discussed their ideas, they decided to start the Facebook humour page Marathi Touch.

Joshi and Kulkarni’s touch to a scene from How I Met Your Mother
Joshi and Kulkarni’s touch to a scene from How I Met Your Mother

Since February, the page has got over 68,000 likes. The memes involve not just superhero franchises, but also popular English TV shows and, Bollywood. The duo takes a screenshot of a popular scene and reposts it with a Marathi sentence.

For instance, there’s Hrithik Roshan from Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, telling Ameesha Patel after they get stranded on an island: Gudi ubhaartoy. Scenes from F.R.I.E.N.D.S, How I Met Your Mother, Game of Thrones and Batman are particularly popular.

Going local
“We always crack these jokes among our friends. We are also used to doing Marathi/Hindi dubbing of English movies and serials,” says Joshi, who studies computer engineering. Another popular theme is the ’90s which is the decade that a large per cent of Facebook’s users — most are 18 -25-year-olds — remain nostalgic about.

“The nineties are a major part of our jokes. Both of us grew up in that decade and we write jokes on topics that we can relate,” Joshi adds. It also helps that their locations span two cities, allowing them to tap into the sentiments of both the cities.

Soon, Marathi Touch will become a more tangible humour. Joshi plans to use the memes on T-shirts. “This is a way to take Marathi Touch forward. I will complete my education, of course, but if we succeed at this venture, I will pursue it. I am more interested in entrepreneurship than takingup a job.”

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