'The best writing is done with your ears': Social media influencer Freddy Birdy on what makes him tick as a writer

The multiple-award winning advertising copywriter and popular Instagram personality's witty takes on Bollywood often go viral

By Sadiq Saleem

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Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 6:26 PM

What makes social media influencer, Freddy Birdy, so popular among his followers? It is his wit, rant and thoughts. It is his Instagram posts that strike a chord and evoke an emotion in his fans that only few can manage on an allegedly frivolous social media platform. His incisive, funny and surrealistic posts have made people fall in love with him and many have lauded him as the person who kept them going through the tough pandemic years. His words have also stirred up a storm in Bollywood, but it has not dented his fame or form. This Delhi-based copywriter and bar and restaurant designer is the latest crush of all desi sapiosexuals on Instagram.

Khaleej Times recently caught up with Freddy Birdy, India’s most loved Instagram wordsmith, to talk about his writing, his dream run on the social media platform and the battle royale with a Bollywood icon. Edited excerpts from an interview:

You post almost on a daily basis. How do you manage to keep it sharp all the time?

Not just on a daily basis, mostly thrice a day. I take inspiration from everywhere. New movies. TV serials. Bollywood. Art. Fashion. Architecture. Conversation. Relationships. Modern love. Food. Almost everything but politics and sports. I like to think of it as an instant magazine, a light fun read, but mainly with words.

How does one stay a good copywriter? Do you face writer’s block?

One has to stay contemporary and relevant. For that, you should be in touch with all the new things happening around you. Everything should interest you. The minute you’re jaded, you’re dead. Everything must continue to be a source of absolute wonder and surprise. When I get the writer’s block, I simply don’t write. Maybe for a day, maybe for a week. Then suddenly, straight from God, the words appear, and you are good to go again!

Which post of yours got you the most limelight and which one got you in hot waters?

I can’t name one single post. People like different things. But I think my posts on love and loss gather the most comments. I want to cover so many things: travel, hotels, restaurants, life, movies, food but without losing touch with the everyday ordinariness of life. Once you build a body of readers, they are very faithful to you. They spur you on to create more with their comments. The most enjoyable parts of my page are my readers’ comments.

What really happened between you and Deepika Padukone?

What happened with Deepika is that a post of mine was used to publicise an entire film (Gehraiyaan), which was a shrewd marketing strategy by all those concerned. Funnily, I enjoyed the movie, and I am happy to contribute in part to its success. Dharma Productions owes me (laughs).

Who was the first major celeb that followed you?

I think it was Shweta Bachchan. She messaged to say, “I’m stalking you.” I don’t know exactly, maybe Kareena or Anushka. Anushka sometimes messages me about where to order something to eat in Delhi. It makes me feel so happy that someone values my opinion.

Do you think that due to social media, writers are now more visible and heard?

Instagram isn’t a writer’s medium. It’s a visual medium. So good writers normally stay away. I guess that works to my advantage. I’m lucky that people want to read me. That they find some sort of connect in my words. Mostly, people tell me that they are thinking exactly the same thing, but they can’t say it like I do. We all relate to the same human emotions.

Do you still post what is in your heart or is it more strategic now considering you have a huge following?

There is no strategy to my posting. It’s all random. About things that I feel at that particular moment or in memory. It has to be real, or else, nobody will be interested to read you. You must have something to say, and you must say it excitingly. You can’t just be a Sponge Cake; you have to be a Baked Alaska.

Has fame made you cautious?

It has not made me cautious. But sometimes I think twice before posting something. These days there are too many people who make it a point to be offended.

Your aircraft conversations are one of the best ones to read. Are they fictional or something you heard first-hand?

They are all real. I’m a terrible talker. But I’m the world’s best listener. People tell me their stories. All one has to do is listen.

Given your witty one-liners, it is hard to believe that you have not been approached to pen a full-fledged comedy script as yet.

A few friends who are producers have asked if I have a script for them, but the truth is that I haven’t. Scriptwriting is a different art. I don’t know if I can even do it. But maybe, I might, someday. If I write, I don’t think it would be a comedy, it’d be more about stories of the heart, love, loss, memory and with a lot of food.

Would you consider stand-up comedy?

That is one thing I can never do. I’m so envious of people who can. For me, it would be the hardest thing, performing in front of an audience. Going to a party terrifies me, making useless party conversation is just something I could never do. That and sitting with strangers on long tables with placards — a nightmare. And stand up? Great respect for those who do it.

And lastly, name three people who you think have the best sense of humour in the influencer/film industry?

Farah Khan Kunder is fabulously funny. And real. In Bollywood, everyone takes themselves too seriously to be funny. I think Karan (Johar) has the capacity to laugh at himself. Neetu (Kapoor) is lovely too, not just great looking, but she laughs a lot on many of my posts.

A piece of advice you would like to give to writers out there.

Write. That’s it. Keep on writing. And observe every minute detail around you. Everything. The best writing is done with your ears.


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