Facts that circulate about Orry all seem to originate with him. Their plentiful selfies suggest friendship between Orry and Ananya Pandey
I don’t really believe in TV or television” says Orry in one interview, expanding TV to television in case you’ve not heard of this retro pastime. It is in fact a matter of faith and belief. Orry worships at the church of social media, and speaks in its tongue. It is almost as if he were created by Chat GPT. Asked to describe Rakhi Sawant in one word, his eyes widen. “One word is not enough.” He pauses. You await the overflow and receive: “Iconic. Relevant. Thriving”. Three whole hashtags.
Facts that circulate about Orry all seem to originate with him. Their plentiful selfies suggest friendship between Orry and Ananya Pandey. But anyone could give you the information Ms. Pandey gave us on Koffee with Karan—because Orry gave it first. “He’s going by he’s loved but misunderstood-that’s what he told me” she responded to the query about what Orry does. That is indeed the vibe on his Instagram where the clothes are fab and the aura moody, with captions like “Don’t make me sad. don’t make me cry... sometimes life is not enough and the road gets tough I don’t why.” This accompanied a photo of Orry sprawled on a yacht in Monac , no bad place for a simmer of sads. “He’s good with captions. I keep asking him for captions” says Ananya, “he works a lot. He works—on himself”, basically Orry’s words in a video interview with Cosmopolitan.
His LinkedIn might say he’s a Special Projects Manager at Reliance but Orry ain’t having none of that. “I’m a singer, I’m a songwriter, I’m a fashion designer, I live—I’m a live-r” is his famed declaration. He informed a confused Salaman Khan “I’m playing the role of a very thin boy.” “Where but?” exclaimed Salman. “In life” said Orry. You might think a certain obfuscation is afoot. But really it’s just complete one-ness with the times. Orry commits to no one version of himself because he presents himself as a perfectly non-linear being--the image on the scroll, a series of non-sequiturs, dis-connected from any past or future. Context is an encumbrance—as any White news anchor talking about Palestine demonstrates. It needs you to engage.
The selfie has many meanings. One of these is a way to signal connection while avoiding it. In such selfies people are the art-direction, the location. Orry turns celebrities into backdrops and in turn provides himself as a cute, non-threatening accessory, a must-have in their selfies. There’s no manipulation or malice involved. To quote Orry, “friendship is not just about liking pictures”. It’s about you looking good in my photos and I look good in yours. You edit me how I like to be edited and I edit you well.” We help each other not be distracted from the deep trance of self-absorption for more than the fleeting ten seconds it takes to consider something before continuing on the carousel.
You could not design yourself better for a world devoid of curiosity, attention span and eye-contact, or in Orry’s words “I forgot your question but I think I answered it.” A joke doing the rounds imagines Orry encountering Narayanamurthy with his expectations of an 80 hour work week. But being a live-r means always working it. You are the Special Project and the Special Projects manager, 24x7. It’s no joke babe.
Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org