Why Malayalam YouTuber Gaya3 is doing roasts which don't insult or trip on anyone

Gayathri Babu, in her YouTube videos, analyses archaic concepts and political incorrectness, in a funny way. We caught up with her
Gayathri doesn't mind getting roasted, as long as she isn't attacked personally
Gayathri doesn't mind getting roasted, as long as she isn't attacked personally

Armed with a lot of time in hand and an unlimited internet connection, a lot of people have watched and rewatched loads of videos, but this time, they had that extra minute to spare to think about the political correctness of the content they consumed. A popular cookery show in a Malayalam TV channel, hosted by a popular yesteryear actor was one that was heavily scrutinised. While the show taught its viewers new recipes, it was also loaded with a good amount of sexism.

Suddenly, articles were written on it, memes and videos were made. Gayathri Babu was among the lot that made a video, reacting to the show.

However, for a variety of reasons, her video stood apart. Not once did this former RJ from Dubai demean the host — instead, she told her viewers what was wrong with the video and 'roasted' the misogyny and political incorrectness the show professed. The video was an instant hit. Every week from then, in her YouTube channel Get Roast with Gaya3, she started subtly roasting what she saw as the incorrectness around us. This ranged from homophobia to casteism in Malayalam films. Needless to say, most of them have really reached the populace.

On a Thursday morning, we caught up with this YouTuber via Zoom for a quick chat. Excerpts from the conversation:

Even though your channel is called 'Get Roast with Gaya3', you don't resort to the traditional 'roast'. Why is that?

The word roast has been always a question. On one hand, I had people ask me to remove the word 'roast' because I'm not really roasting, but rather analysing. At the same time, another set of people think that I must stick on to it and give the roast a different perspective. This channel was not a well-planned one. It came up all of a sudden and this was what I could come up with, in a jiffy. In fact, for the first few weeks, it was called 'Get Roast'. I was embarrassed to reveal my name initially. Now coming back to the question, I don't do roasts, because I'm against personal attacks.

Your videos analyse and tell people what is wrong with a concept, rather than demeaning someone. Was that a conscious decision?

My first ever video was a reaction to a cookery show. That could have been easier if I had attacked the host personally, rather than explaining what was wrong with the concept. After the video came out, people started pointing out that the video was quite different because I didn't resort to personal attacks. It was an unconscious attempt initially. But later, I started doing it more consciously. I had to maintain the momentum.

Do you generally watch a lot of Malayalam videos before you consider a roast?

I don't consume serials or watch a lot of these videos. I don't have access to serials here in Dubai. The ideas for the topics, for instance, comedy shows that aren't really funny, have always existed. We may have noticed them too. When I checked the internet, I did not see a lot of reaction videos. Since I'm quite new to this, I thought why not do this. But each time, deciding a topic, researching it and constructing it in a funny way is quite a task.

Recently, a video that you did, was not received well by a certain actor. While he sent you an insulting voice note, you roasted or rather 'burned' them by actually doing a cooking video, like what the actor had asked. How did that idea come up?

When this person communicated their message that way, I felt insulted. I was in the middle of something and couldn't react properly at that time. My friends told me that I must file a complaint with the cyber cell because it's actually a threat. But I thought it doesn't need a complaint or drama, but a response so that he realises that he must not insult or threaten someone. Lilly Singh has done something similar before too. I am an ardent follower of hers.

Were you always a good sport, when it came to negative comments and trolls?

I never knew how I could make negative comments. But when you criticise someone, it is natural that they will react. Some of these may be really bad. Even though I'm sensitive, now I know that I can laugh off most of the negative comments.

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