Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022
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Village Stars

Love: Man, Women And A Viral Story

Maharashtra tribal man and his two wives find stardom in dancing to Bollywood hits

Pawar couple Dinesh Pawar with Pooja.

Against the backdrop of an undulating barren terrain, the ‘heroine’ sways to the tune of a  pop­ular Bollywood number. The ‘hero’ steps into the scene, as he catches the aanchal of her printed cotton sari. They couple gazes into each other’s eyes as the video ends, rather abruptly, but not before making you smile at the rustic innocence of the actors. Pick out another video on YouTube and the scene remains the same, as does the hero. But the ‘heroine’ changes as a new face enters the frame. Swaying to another Bollywood hit, with cotton and sorghum fields in the backdrop.

Welcome to the world of Dinesh Pawar (29) and his wiv­es, Pooja (27) and Lakhani (25)—former TikTok cel­e­brities and now rising stars in its desi version, Moj, as well as Instagram. Far away from the glitz and glamour of tinsel town, in Jamde village in Dhule district of Mah­arashtra, the Pawars are dancing their way to stardom, churning one viral video after another in their own inimitable style. Their first brush with fame came about two-and-a-half-years ago, when one of their dance videos on TikTok received one million hits. With around 30 lakh followers, the trio once earned Rs 1 lakh a mon­th till the app was banned in June 2020. Pawar and his wives—he married two sisters—suffered a huge setback, financially and emotionally. Last year, during Navratri, Dinesh, his wives, four children and a sizeable population from their village shifted to Bardoli in Gujarat to work as daily wagers in the sugarcane fields. Forced to work for Rs 100-a-day as farm labourers, the Pawars took a break for mental recharge.

Pawar couple Dinesh Pawar with Pooja.
Pawar couple Dinesh Pawar with Pooja.
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