Behind the Mask
Absolutemuddle — Nepal
Updated: Apr 8, 2021
The Instagram page @absolutemuddle is handled with lots of love with a hint of rage by two college kids from Kathmandu, Nepal who happen to be childhood best friends. Till date, we have more than 230k proven COVID-19 cases in Nepal and more than one thousand deaths. It’s been around six months since we had our first proven case. The lockdown in Nepal, which lasted 120 consecutive days, started on March 24: before then, was only a single proven COVID-19 case in our country. Lockdown is currently lifted with few restrictions. Schools and colleges are still closed, and big crowds are still not allowed. The cases are growing rapidly, especially in populated cities like Kathmandu, and hospitals are full. There are limited resources and people are living in absolute fear. As it often happens, the under-privileged sector of society is more affected than the privileged sector. Like someone on the Internet said, “We might be on the same sea, but we are not in the boat.” This difference displayed in this analogy is what makes all of our experience during the pandemic different. We acknowledge our privilege and understand that this is not the only time where we have different experiences from others due to differences in the social strata we belong to. What we believe is that with privilege comes the responsibility of acknowledging the privilege and actually using that to also represent the voice of others. The Internet, a virtual space where anyone can make their voice heard, has given us that opportunity.
2020 has been hard for all of us and the Internet is not really the escape from it. There are so many issues on the Internet that make us question if kindness has become extinct in the world. Luckily, besides that kind of content, the Internet has plenty of resources that educate about a wide range of societal issues. We needed a space where we could express ourselves and at the same time deliver content that could actually educate people and add kindness online. With this mindset, we started our page almost a month ago. Since then, the Instagram page has been a virtual version of what goes on inside our mind. We cover things that are more relevant to Nepali audiences: from current affairs to problems and taboos in Nepali society, we take the idea, do some research and form content. We believe that this is a perfect platform for us to learn and connect to like-minded people. In the first month alone, we have learned so many things about content creating, and we are still learning.
Creating content about anything comes with many challenges. It is very important to provide only correct information and since we cover sensitive issues, even one wrong piece of information can have a huge aftereffect. The biggest challenge we’ve faced till now is filtering information and including only verified ones in our content. That is something that comes with experience and we believe that we will learn to deal with the challenge and eventually come up with content that is not just authentic but useful as well.
— Kritika Dhakal & Roshani Tripathi, 20 & 20
Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, Nepal