Four and famous
HYDERABAD: What were you doing when you were four? Well, this kiddo is already out there making a name for herself on the online front. That too through cooking! Moksha Vrinda is a bundle of cuteness as she runs around putting together dishes and reciting recipes in Telugu for her Youtube series, Moksha’s Kitchen. As we meet up the little chef along with her family who all live in the Colarado, USA and are here for vacation, Moksha cowers behind her mother, Manasa. “She’s a little shy initially but she’ll warm up to you soon enough,” says Manasa as we all sit down for a chat.
Moksha’s parents who have lived in the USA since 2011 found out early onthat Moksha loves the kitchen. How early you ask? “Since she was two and a half,” says Manasa adding, “She would follow me around and it wasn’t just for watching. She wanted to hold the spatula and stir. As she got a little older I let her take over a few simple tasks and she took to it immediately.” Moksha who’s paying attention to everything that is being said starts to warm up and pitch in to the conversation when she feels like it. Sure, at this point she only wanted to show off her new shoes, but that’s what four-year-old girls are like right?! “Four and a half,” she corrects. As she opens up, we ask her, “What was the first dish you cooked?” Moksha says, “Cake!” Manasa smiles as she explains, “ Early on I didn’t want her to go near any heat or knives. So I would give her recipes which involved mixing ingredients. In this case, she mixed the ingredients and popped them in the oven.”
It’s only been a couple of months since Moksha’s Kitchen debuted on the channel, Chai Bisket Food. With several thousand views to her credit from the three videos she’s put up, Moksha is gaining popularity slowly but steadily. The series itself was inspired from something Moksha wished for. Manasa shares, “Moksha watches a lot of Youtuber Rosanna Pansino’s videos. Her videos usually features guests and her baking/ decorating cakes according to the theme that the guest represents. We tried to reach out to her but she has over 10 million followers, so we never got noticed. So then I thought why not make our own videos!” And as it turns out, it didn’t take much to get Moksha comfortable in front of a camera. “I noticed that when she was cooking alone also she would talk to herself as if she was narrating to someone. And she just kept that up even when the cameras turned on,” says Moksha’s mother. There was one complaint she does have though. “ I hate the apron and the hat,” she says to which her mom says, “But all your favourite Youtube chefs wear it!”
Now how does a baby like Moksha stay safe in the kitchen? Manasa has it all figured out. “Moksha has a separate section in the kitchen where everything is to scale. The counters are shorter for her to reach, it’s all electric so there’s no fear of heat. I take over most of the chopping because I haven’t been able to dare and let her do it herself. But her teacher at school suggested knives which are of silicone and kid-friendly that are safe for her. So we might switch to that soon for her to chop as well.” Manasa is the one who shoots Moksha’s videos and sometimes helps her reach for the produce when they are too high up on the aisle.
Already a star
Moksha innocently feels that she has already achieved her goal. “We connect her videos to the TV and she gets all excited and says, ‘I am on TV!’ In her head she’s already a TV star,” chuckles Manasa. But her mother sees a clearer picture. “Firstly, I want her to have enough audience for her to have her own channel from just a series. But this is just a start and there’s a long way to go,” she says as they sign off.
— Srividya Palaparthi