Ssumier S Pasricha aka Pammi Aunty shares details about his life
Social media today has become a way of life. There are some people who are on social media for work, others 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 appearance 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 the beloved “Pammi Aunty”. But to me, Ssumier is a dear friend who happens to be a true artiste or should I say, a complete artiste. 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 years 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 dancers and dance-lovers who had gathered from all over India to showcase their talent. I was fortunate to work with him and make him dance to my tunes for a theatre production, Amavas Se Amaltas Tak, which was directed by National Award-winning director Smita Bhartiji where he beautifully played the role of an autistic man alongside stars like Jayati Bhatia, Ankita Bhargava and Chitrashi Rawal.
Pammi Aunty is just a small significant dimension of Ssumier’s life. But today I want you all to meet this complete artiste — the original Ssumier Pasricha who is a lot more than a lookalike to superstar Shah Rukh Khan. He recently performed for Kalashree Lata Surendra event, 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 artiste and this is what he had to say;
Tell us all about your training in dance and music.
My mom says I started dancing at the age of five when my sister began learning Kathak. I would move my feet to her rhythms. Later at school, I was active in all dance concerts and shows but the turning point happened when I was 18 and got a chance to perform with Yamini Reddy for a show where her father, Kuchipudi legend Padma Bhushan Raja Reddyji saw me dance and offered to take me under his wings. I learnt for over six 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 seven years under the guidance of Guru Vipin Chandra from Gandharva Mahavidyalya and light music for six years from Guru Baisakhi Samajhdar.
Why did you keep the dance side hidden from your fans?
(Laughs) Honestly, I did not hide my dance talent. 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 guruji, I shifted to Australia for higher studies and could not follow my love for Kuchipudi there due to the absence of 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 pursuit my passion for acting. Films, television serials, theatre, television commercials took up a lot of time and I guess in all that rush, dance took a backseat. But I am thankful to Lataji for igniting the fire back again. For this performance, I went back to guruji in Delhi and brushed up my skills of Kuchipudi. 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 dancing. I want to learn dance again from the best of the best and that is my guruji, the dancing duo Radha-Raja Reddy. I will stick to my promise made to guruji because for me, dance is not just an exercise but a discipline, a prayer for me and I love doing it.
Dancing, acting, singing, photography, playing various instrument you know it all. Anything more that you wish to explore as an artiste?
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 us about everyone’s favourite character, Pammi Aunty. How did she come around?
In my life, I am doing everything possible and all that I love to do. Only a few people get a chance to do so. I feel I am the chosen one by the Almighty. Pammi Aunty is an unplanned kid of mine. Two-and-a-half years back, I had taken a 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 and now Pammi Aunty has reached a level through which everyone knows me.
So now will we see Pammi Aunty dance?
Pammi Aunty is a typical Punjaban woman. She performs Punjabi folk dances — the gidda and the bhangra but she will not do classical dances. The world of classical dance and music is the 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 artiste who left is 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-rounder 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.