NRI Scribbles – A voice that touches the diaspora

    Today we live in a world where there is a Facebook post or Instagram image page for anything and everything. Be it recipes, jokes, fashion, arts and crafts and even cats, each of these pages have a passionate person behind it who dedicates their time towards the content of that page.

    But not every page hits the fame that it hoped to achieve. Only few pages become popular in their zone because of its unique touch to the topic or because of the value that people see in the content.

    To understand these dynamics of a page owner, we at The Times Kuwait decided to speak to one such person who managed to get 11-15 K followers in just a year for his page called, NRI scribbles.

    Pranavesh Chander who works as a logistics officer in Alghanim Marine, Kuwait, saw the absence of a Facebook page that spoke the NRI voice and decided to use his passion for cheering and motivating people. That is how NRI scribbles was born on 18 March, 2018. Today his hope to touch NRI emotions and feelings has indeed succeeded with his supportive and loving followers who appreciate and relate to his content.

    Asked if NRI scribbles has been touching people like he had hoped for, Chander replied, “Lot of people have come forward and expressed on how certain posts have touched them. They have also given me a lot of support for the page. Most of my page followers are people who have been in the Middle East but left due to various reasons. So, when they see my page and the posts, it brings happy memories which touches them in a positive way.

    Initially, my page and my posts hit only 10-15 likes and most came from my friends or family. It all started with a post on that common joke, “Where are you from?” And when you say Kuwait or KSA, most people don’t really know where that is; all they know is Dubai due to its touristic popularity.

    That was my first popular post; it reached around 1000 likes and 1000 shares. After which the page analytics just took off and according to analytics it said that the post reached around 300,000 people, and around 200-300 users started following my page.

    The feeling was quite extraordinary because it was quite unexpected. I did not expect such a common joke to take off like that, But I guess a lot of people who say it never thought of putting it down on a post. Hence it looks like it just clicked as it was something any NRI could relate to.

    Revealing his target, Chander said his initial target for the year was 20,000, which I have yet to reach. I believe it has to do with the fact that I have not been very active with my page for the last 3-4 months due to some personal things that had kept me occupied. So, my target still stands the same to hit 20-25 K by March 2020. Let’s see, my fingers are crossed on this one.

    But then again, the increase in followers is also not really based on how regularly I post but it has to do with how much it touches people’s hearts. Even still I do make it a point to post at least 1 post every day or every alternate day.

    Explaining how he manages his personal life, fulltime job and yet find time to focus on the page, he replied, “I get a lot of thoughts during the day, it might be while I’m driving or while I’m at work. That time I note it down and before I’m done for the day and I’m heading to bed I make sure to turn it into a post like a joke or a meme. Most of my posts are created at night or I try to do it on a Friday, which is the kind of routine I follow for my regular posts in-order to manage my time for NRI scribbles.

    Asked about his next plans, Chander quickly replied, “I recently bought some equipment for videography. So, I’m planning on some video posts as well. Its going to be new for me as you may have seen, I have never had any video posts on NRI scribbles till date, so I’m very thrilled. I just hope that my audience like it too.”

    His advice to those who aspire to create successful pages is: “This is my 4th page. I have had 3 pages before this on different topics, but it didn’t reach as many people as I wanted it to. That’s when it struck me that perhaps I’m doing something that already exists al lot. So, the advice from my own experience would be to do something different. It might be your passion, like my passion was to voice out my feelings, but I found that the NRI way clicked just because it was creative and different.

    However, I do not see myself doing this as a full-time job, as I have doubts on whether I will receive the necessary monetary benefits from just posting online. There are people who make a significant amount out of it, but that requires total dedication. To me it works when I can balance both as something interesting to do apart from my office job.

    Despite the popularity of his pages, he has his share of haters. Asked how he handles negative comment, Chander said, “Some people just like to pop up and say abusive comments on some of my posts. I’m not sure as to what may be the reason, but yes it does happen and when it does, I would mostly just ignore them or remove them from the page if necessary and if I feel like it bothers my regular audience. But at the same time, I understand that we all have different opinions and feelings and I’m always open to positive constructive feedback.

    By Meryl Mathew
    Exclusive to The Times Kuwait