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Monalisa Das | The News Minute | February 17, 2015 | 04:32 pm IST Follow @Mona_Lisa_Das Twenty-six-year-old Biswapati Sarkar is the Creative Director of The Viral Fever (TVF) Media Labs, a popular organisation that churns out viral content for the internet. If Sarkar’s name doesn’t ring a bell, his alter ego's might. Sarkar emulates the man who seeks answers to the nation’s questions each night on national television - Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. Only, Sarkar goes by the name of Arnub - with a U in it, also known as a 'rebel without a pause'. TVF's show Barely Speaking with Arnub - a spoof on the original Frankly Speaking with Arnab - has Sarkar hosting celebrities, and obviously, he barely allows others to speak.  “Arnub is all powerful, all authoritative. In fact, he likes to think he is a bigger celebrity than those who come on his show’, says Sarkar, who has somewhat earned himself the status of a celebrity by portraying one of India's top journalists. Set in a "farcical universe", the show is an exaggerated take on the original, he says, adding that they have no ulterior motives or bad intentions behind the show. "If Arnab Goswami sees our show, we think he will understand. It is all in good spirit. We would want him in the show some day”, he says, answering one of the commonly repeated requests made by audiences across social media, an Arnub vs Arnab face-off.  The show, with just three episodes since it debuted in October last year, has garnered millions of views on YouTube till date. Although the character of Arnub appears on other shows, like Qtiyapa, Barely Speaking is one of the most popular among them. Born and brought up in Bhubaneshwar in Odisha, Sarkar went to IIT-Kharagpur to pursue a degree in Mathematics. “I love Maths”, he says. But he soon realised that a 9-5 job was not his cup of tea. An internship with TVF led to a job in the organisation, and Sarkar was happy to skip placements in college to pursue his dream in Mumbai. The role that has catapulted Sarkar to fame has in sorts become a part of his identity. From people referring to him as ‘Arnub’ to a grocery shop boy once asking him, “Bhaiya, maine aapko kahin dekha hai” (I have seen you some where), for his audience, Sarkar is recognised by his alter ego: Arnub. One of the reasons behind launching the Barely Speaking series was that 'the TVF team found the debates on several news channels to be funny'. "We felt", Sarkar says, "there was untapped humour in those". Besides, TVF also wanted to host a talk show with celebrities - minus the pretensions. That is perhaps the reason, apart from the celebrity status of the guests, that attracts audiences - the ability of the stars to take a joke, Sarkar feels. "Shah Rukh Khan was very sporting. He took all the jokes in a good spirit. When people saw the show, they were seeing a side of a celeb not seen before", says Sarkar about their first guest on the show. Arvind Kejriwal, who was the guest on the latest episode of Barely speaking, 'is a man without any air', states Sarkar, who hilariously grilled the now Delhi CM on everything from his fashion sense and his love marriage to the perennial cough that he is famous for. "He is as polite as he is patient," he adds. India is country driven by stars, he states. He knows that roping in a big name also gives them a reach which is otherwise difficult. Sarkar however adds that the videos without celebrities are more 'closer to our hearts' and 'impactful'. Although compliments pour in often for the show and for Sarkar on social media, of late he’s also being 'recognised' on the streets. “I had gone to Delhi recently, along with a couple of friends. We were in Connaught Place, when people started approaching me. We almost got mobbed”, Sarkar says. “As of now, I have mostly got praises”, he chuckles. “I hope it remains the same way”.  The TVF team believes in quality over quantity and so has no plans to increase the frequency of the show. "We don’t want to make it a regular thing - like a weekly show", asserts Sarkar. "The novelty of it will otherwise wear off". In terms of writing too, it becomes difficult to come up with stuff which is not repetitive, he believes. For those looking forward to the next episode of Barely Speaking... though there is no show in the immediate future, Sarkar says they are in talks with a few people at present. "I can't reveal anything about it. We are in talks with a few big and surprising names. But they aren’t from Bollywood or Politics".  Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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