HYDERABAD: Eighteenth-century Europe had clubs formed by the rich and elite, where the créme de la créme of the society conversed about everything under the sun -- politics, innovation, scandals, art, poetry and even the weather.
Today, we have Clubhouse, a social audio app, which has brought ‘elite discussions’ to the common man. On this platform, people communicate in voice chatrooms which accommodate groups of thousands and discuss pressing issues, common interests, theatre, cinema or just hang out.
We take a look at how Hyderabadis have been using the app. On tuning in, we found that there are groups which are discussing the state of affairs in the city, learning languages (Telugu and Urdu), picking tricks of various trades and many more.
One such club is Backbench Hyderabadis, where the participants, particularly a group of college students, compose rap numbers and discuss them on the app. They also discuss current affairs and social issues which they can weave into their compositions. “Life is hard for everyone. But when we sing about it, it gets easier. This platform helps us do it all with a select few people, close connections only,” says Yousouf Sait, who likes to call himself Ysayit on Clubhouse. “I am a member of another club too, called Sad Songs Only. Here, we discuss melancholy and sing songs that are sad,” he says.
Clubhouse currently requires users to have an invite from an existing user to join the platform. They can discuss any given topic and create new topics too. “I have created a topic to discuss the sounds of birds. We record and discuss different sounds of birds. We have around 50 members from across the country in our club,” says Bipin Mojumder, a student at the University of Hyderabad.
Another user, Mohammed Ismail, who uses the platform just for about anything, says: “Whenever I am confused about a topic, I try and find a group that’s talking about it on Clubhouse. I request to join the group. I recently joined a group to improve my Telugu speaking skills, I also joined a group of entrepreneurs where the participants share their knowledge and experience of running a business. They also talk about how to undo mistakes in business.”
Ayusha is a member of the Literature Club and has been using the app to discuss books and analyse literature. “I see it more as a learning platform. In modern English societies, Englishmen use to make clubs to discuss poetry and literature. For this, they had to come together and speak during meetings. But this app has made everything much easier.”