Ssumier S. Pasricha aka Pammi Aunty is known for creating viral videos in which he plays the character of our beloved “Pammi Aunty”.
Today social media has become a way of life, there are some people who are on social media for work, some to connect with friends and old buddies and then there are some who are a sensation and are followed by millions world over. From various corporate houses to different country tourism offices, from television appearances, to advertisements to stage shows they are all over and everywhere. I am talking one such superbly popular face “Pammi Aunty”.
Ssumier S. Pasricha aka Pammi Aunty is known for creating viral videos in which he plays the character of our beloved “Pammi Aunty”. But to me, he a dear friend who is a true artist or should I say a complete artist. Let me bring to your notice that Ssumier is a singer, musician, photographer, dancer, actor, writer, radio jockey, comedian, television presenter, social activist, philanthropist and lot more, he is a star in the true sense.
I have known Ssumier lot before Pammi Aunty came into his life, I first met this highly creative man when he came to my dance festival “India Dance Week” to encourage all dancers and dance lovers who had gathered from all over India to showcase their talent and then I was fortunate to work with him and make him dance to my tunes for a theatre production Amavas se Amaltas Tak directed by National Award-winning director Smita Bharti ji where he beautifully played the role of an autistic man alongside stars like Jayati Bhatia, Ankita Bhargava and Chitrashi Rawal.
Pammi Aunty is just one small significant dimension of Ssumier’s life, but today I want you all to meet this complete artist, the original Ssumier Pasricha who is lot more than a lookalike to superstar Shah Rukh Khan. He recently performed for a Kalashree Lata Surendra event the “World Dance Congress”, where he mesmerised audiences with his Kuchipudi dance skills. After his enthralling dance, I sat down with him and made him look back into his life as an artist and this is what he had to say:
Tell us all about you training in dance and music?
My mom says I started dancing at the age of five when my sister started learning Kathak and I would move my feet to her rhythm. Later at school I was very active in all the dance concerts and shows, but the turning point in my dance happened when I was 18 and I got a chance to perform with Yammi Reddy for a show where her father the Kuchipudi legend Padma Bhushan Raja Reddy ji saw me dance and offered to take me under his wings. I learnt for over 6 years from the expert himself, those days of my dance training have made me an enriched soul.
I have extensively trained and learnt music for 13 years out of which my training in Hindustani classical music was for 7 years under the guidance of Guru Vipin Chandra from Gandharva Maha Vidhyalya and light music for 6 years from Guru Baisakhi Samajhdar.
Why did you keep the dance side of your talent hidden from all your fans for so long?
(Laughs) Honestly, I did not hide my dance talent, few friends like you did know all about it, but yes it is now that I got a chance to show it to all. While I was learning with guru ji, I shifted to Australia for higher studies and could not follow my love for Kuchipudi there as there were no teachers, but Australia made me discover a new side of my personality and that was of a radio jockey. When I returned to India, I moved to Mumbai to pursue my passion for acting. Films, television serials, theatre, television commercials, etc took up a lot of time and I guess in all that rush dance did take a backseat. But I am thankful to Lata ji for igniting the fire back again, for this performance I especially went back to Guru ji in Delhi and brushed up my skills of Kuchipudi and I have promised him that I will not let this fire fade.
Now that you have stepped onto the stage again what are your future plans?
My plan is to surely continue to dance, I want to learn dance again from the best of the best and that is my Guru ji the dancing duo Radha Raja Reddy, I will stick to my promise made to guru ji, because for me dance is not just an exercise but it is a discipline that is a great pooja (prayer) for me and I love doing it.
Dancing, acting, singing, photography, playing various instruments: you know it all. Anything more that you wish to explore as an artist?
Acting, dancing and singing have always been a part of me. Photography too always fascinated me and I am happy that I got a chance to do photo shoots for prestigious magazines such as National Geographic and photographs clicked by me have been carried by other international magazines in Spain, Australia, New Zealand and more. As far as music is concerned, I play the tabla and the harmonium but I want to explore playing the piano and the mridangam, these two instruments have always fascinated me and soon I will take them up too.
Tell me about every ones favourite Pammi Aunty how did she come around?
In my life I am doing everything possible and all that I love to do and very few people get a chance to do so. I feel I am the selected one and the gifted one by the Almighty, I am truly blessed. Pammi Aunty is an unplanned kid of mine. Two and half years back I had taken sabbatical from my television work and one fine day I ranted a few lines and posted it on social media, some people loved it and some did not. I did it for a few days in a row and to my surprise and luck it got viral and lots of renowned people tweeted about it and started to follow me. Honestly I did not have a chance to go back post that and now Pammi Aunty has reached to a level through which everyone knows me.
So now will we see Pammi Aunty dance?
Pammy Aunty is a typical Punjaban lady, she surely dances the Punjabi folk dances, the gidda and the bhangra, but she will not do classical dances. The world of classical dance and music is a personality of Ssumier and not of Pammy Aunty, if Pammy Aunty is asked about Ssumier’s dance she will say “Yeh ki faltu na dance nachi jarahehai, apna Punjabi sabse bast haiga” (What rubbish are you dancing, our Punjabi is the best) that is would she would say (Laughs).
Ssumier is indeed a blessed artist who left his lavish family business to follow his heart and his hard work presented in his innate style got him worldwide recognition. People like Ssumier are rare gems who are all-rounders when it comes to art and who win our hearts through everything they do. So next time when you are watching Pammi Aunty remember that behind the Punjabi lady is an artist who is well rooted to the Indian culture and traditions.
Sandip Soparrkar holds a doctorate in world mythology folklore, is a World Book Record holder, a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with three National Excellence awards and one National Achievement Award by the Government of India. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org