Why this hoopla over a hula hoop? Well, there’s a lot spinning around indeed going by the viral video of a lass looping herself around with a hula hoop, clad in a sari. She spins around with liquid fluidity, her colourful sneakers doing a hop, a skip and a jump.
So how does one describe Eshna Kutty, the newest hula hoop sensation on the net? When most spinners go for the easy attire, here’s a young girl with an unruly mop doing the seemingly impossible. Nothing seems to inhibit her moves as she squeals around in a sari carelessly thrown around her, over a pair of pyjamas and a pair of sneakers aiding her fluid moves. It’s no small wonder that Eshna Kutty has become an instant internet darling.
“What’s in a sari if you can’t play around with the pallu”? asks Eshna Kutty as she spins around with pallu, hoop and more.
A Delhi girl with Malayali roots, Eshna has been doing her hula hoop antics for over ten years now. She’s all over everywhere with her hoop as she imparts her skill to folks in India and abroad. But what seems to have sent her spinning to fame is her sari-clad, shoe-donned gyrations.
The sari-sneakers combo did the trick
It looks like all this attention that’s come her way has caught Eshna by surprise. Not for a moment did she think that a few randomly shot videos of her sari-clad hula hoop moves in the privacy of her bedroom would rock the net.
“Usually those videos that go viral are the ones with fun elements. In so many ways, my videos are far from being perfect. Yet, they have been viewed as unusual and billed extraordinary”, says Eshna in disbelief.
In fact, Eshna had been toying with her sari moves for quite some time. Why not try it out, she asked herself. She finally got to take a video, a practice video, she prefers to call it. Being just a practice video, she did not bother to drape the sari the way it should have been. The video was posted and Eshna took it in her stride least prepared for the avalanche of appreciation that came her way.
What worked for her was not just the sari, she feels. The sneakers and pyjamas too did their job, she says. Besides, the uber cool Genda Phool from Delhi 6 to which she gyrated was what could have caught this mass attention, observes Eshna. And now her followers are just piling on.
Malayalam can get me into a spot
Though raised in Delhi, Eshna, a Malayali by birth, knows hardly any Malayalam. Her mother, Chithra Narayanan is a journalist and father Vijayan Kutty a documentary film maker. Eshna’s grandfather K.P.K.Kutty was a journalist and a musician too. Though, she had this wide a Malayali base, her Malayalam skills never took off.
Eshna admits that despite her Malayali parents, her Malayalam is pretty pathetic. This she feels is the sole reason why Malayalis may not warm up to her or swell with pride at the very name of Eshna Kutty. Though her father is from Palakkad and mother from Paravur in Ernakulam, visits to these home bases were few and far between.
The Malayalam they speak in Palakkad has a distinct Tamil flavor, a dialect which Eshna can more or less understand. But Kochi is a totally different scenario. “I’m in a fix when in Kochi. Not a word do I understand”, says Eshna. Well, it’s better late than never and 23-year-old Eshna is now working on her Malayalam, which she is determined to master. Her tutor is none other than her grandmother and the lessons on WhatsApp.
The world of hula hoop opened up to her while Eshna was in class ten. A bit of a recluse, Eshna preferred to be all on her own and was always at home when kids her age were out most of the time. That’s how one day she chanced upon a hoop video on YouTube. It caught her imagination. Though not exactly a sportsperson, Eshna took part in sporting activities, yet keeping herself away from dance, as she was unsure of her abilities.
But the hula hoop seems to be an entirely different story. Drawn to it, she tried hooping all by herself. Initially, there was no regular practice, but then they became a regular feature with hours spent on it. Thus she integrated the techniques of juggling, acroyoga, hip-hop and other forms into hula hooping. She kept her skills to herself and it took ages for her friends to realize how talented she was or even know that she was at it.
She hugged her skills to herself as the name “hula hoop girl” was something she was not ready to acknowledge to herself. “After all, it’s not just hula hoop I’m proficient in. I’m the best in so many others”, she would declare.
Unknown to her, a hula hoop sensation was emerging. Everything else got swept away as Eshna took up hooping seriously. The thought that she could make hula hooping a career took shape when her parents came up with the suggestion and backed her up. Thus emerged a trainer. Today, she has several students within and outside the country.
She is all set to shape up her brand “Hoop Flow”, a platform where hoopers of the world can meet, classes can be engaged and hula hoops bought. Hoop Flow is gearing up for an imminent launch.
Grandpa’s music classes and her kittens
If there’s anything Eshna loves as much as her hoop, it’s music. Music was always in the family. K.P.K.Kutty, her grandfather or “thatha” as she fondly called him, was a renowned Carnatic musician. Eshna grew up amidst the backdrop of thatha’s classes. But the thought of learning a few notes from thatha never occurred to her as she was hooked to western music as a teen. The scenario has changed and as of now, Eshna is deeply into Indian classical music. She’s now with thatha in the hopes of mastering as much as she can.
An inseparable and endearing feature of the curly haired hooper is the presence of her two kittens Kaju and Kishmish. Be it singing, hooping or painting, the two are with her, so much so that Eshna’s fans adore them as much as they love her.
Mistakes are but natural
Though she strives for perfection in hula hooping, Eshna is not averse to posting her practise videos. “You learn through mistakes and after tripping over yourself so many times”, says Eshna. Mistakes and flops are but natural when one is a learner. Eshna says she posts such videos to make folks realize that it’s through flaws and falls and that one learns. “When people view such videos they will realize that mistakes are a part of learning”, says the ace hooper. This is perhaps why Eshna has followers from the age of four to sixty. They are completely at ease with her. After all, who would not like that wonderful feel of mind-body sync?