• Cecilia Rydberg

The Meme Men

Our London correspondent wants to know and share more about the men behind the meme. Founder Mikhail Bhuta (MB) and Pravan Parikh (PP) share a nugget or two.

MB: Pravan and I are first cousins.  So we grew up together, our mothers are sisters and they are super close.  So I would say our relationship is more like siblings than cousins.  We were both born and raised in Mumbai.  Both of us went to the same schools, we were constantly in touch with each other.  I am four years older, 29 and Pravan is 25.  We both went to boarding school for 11 and 12th grade and we both studied in the US. 

Pravan studied in the US and Singapore and I stuck around in the US.  We have had similar life trajectories, similar amounts of exposure, so I think we really are on the same wavelength as far as most things go.  That is why I feel we make an unstoppable team - as long as we get off our butts...

PP: I think Mikhail has made a great introduction, and said pretty much what I would say.  So we are first cousins, I have grown up with him as my elder brother and our parents are close.  We’ve spent tonnes, and tonnes and tonnes of time together.  Our relationship has evolved from Mikhail being someone I look up to, I mean I still look up to him but now we’re more buddies and spending all this time together.

So we tend to obviously disagree on a lot but agree on fundamentals; I think it is very important as a team to agree on fundamentals. You can disagree on the small things, but you need to have a core value system which is the same. I think our core value system is the same because of the way we have been brought up. So I think we feel comfortable around each other, and I think that’s what makes it work for us.

The transformation of this company could not have been possible if the two of us did not get along or if the two of us did not see things the same way. I think it’s very cool, so let’s make this happen!

Correspondent: What is your favourite meme or meme genre?

MB: That is like asking me what my favourite song or my favourite movie is!

I’m going to go with genre, I would say that my favourite meme would be the comic book movie genre. Anything to do with superhero movies, I’m in, sign me up. I am a total superhero nerd. I used to read a lot of comics when I was a kid and actually I still do, never mind... The thing is that those memes can be relocated to all aspects of politics, other movies etc. - everything goes into that genre of memes.

PP: Just like Mikhail, I am going to take a pass on a favourite particular meme.Because I think that is really difficult to pick.I am going through memes all day right now because of Capshot and I don’t think I remember the last five or so.So I will go with genre.

I am someone who is obsessed with politics, I am obsessed with what is happening in the real world and that is all that I follow.I am reading the news all day.I think there is nothing better, at least to me, I don’t think you need to look outside the real world for your daily comedy dose.Like the kind of things that are happening right now in the world, I think this is like a satire.

Like all of us, the fact that we are all sitting at home - if you would have asked me a year back, what would you do to have a month sitting at home and doing absolutely nothing - I’d be like “wow I’d take that" - 100% I would have been so happy about this.  I was actually even dreaming about this to be honest, and now that it has actually happened I’m like “whoa.”I can’t imagine that we are all actually doing this.I think the real world is pretty funny.I think the political world is really crazy and that is the kind of stuff that I like to read about.

MB: I think as far as I go, I can totally agree with Pravan - a year ago we would have signed up so fast for this month at home but after this I don’t think I am ever working from home, ever again.Even if I have to crawl to the office, I am heading in. Yeah, that’s me.

PP: I was thinking like six months back, that there should be compulsory one week holiday for the entire world to refresh, and recharge and reenergise and now we have been given that.

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