Meet Pranav and his mom, Poonam. Together, they are spreading positivity and laughter with Poonam's words of wisdom.
BuzzFeed spoke to the mother-son duo, who said that when quarantine started earlier this year, Pranav began seeing photos on Instagram of people holding up signs with powerful messages. It sparked an idea that he should have his mom offer her wisdom in the same way. "It was on one of the days where I was telling Pranav to eat green vegetables because they are good for him. He said, 'Mom, you should give this kind of advice to everyone on Instagram,'" Poonam explained.
After some hesitation, Poonam decided to try it out for fun with her son. "Initially it was the basic things all moms would say — things like eat your veggies, wear enough warm clothes, etc. Then we realized that people were actually noticing and responding favorably. So we started putting more thought into saying powerful things," she said.
"As the pandemic spread worldwide, we tried harder to spread the word, to be more cautious, and to spread smiles and positivity," Pranav added.
Poonam's messages quickly started gaining attention, and the account has grown to over 125,000 followers.
"We were quite surprised at how it became so popular. We truly are grateful for the outpouring of love and all those comments full of love and good humor. They cheer me up and boost me to do more," Poonam said.
Poonam said that her messages are so important because young people are listening, and the postings allow her and her son to spread the right kind of messages. "I want to share things that are super important and things that do not get enough importance in the hustle and bustle of the day — things like mental health, posture, equality, our environment, and so on. There's so much to say, and what better than a space where everyone is willing to listen and contribute," she said.
People are now calling Poonam their "internet mom." She said, "I am so happy with this welcome — I always used to write some things for myself or sing a song or write a poem, but now I have a place to share them with the world. The fact that it helps others have a better day makes us try harder and do better."
Their messages are good reminders that will bring a smile to your face. "More often than not, I tell my son it's not important how many likes a post gets — what's more important is the invaluable smiles we bring to the faces of those who see the posts," Poonam said.
Pranav and Poonam said they get lots of messages every day from people around the world. "People keep sending messages asking how I'm doing, and they tell me that what we post helps them through their day," Poonam said.
She added, "They look forward to the posts, and in turn, that makes my day, too."
In addition to reading private messages, Poonam said, she reads and enjoys all the comments about her posts.
They constantly try to post a variety of messages. "Sometimes we try to motivate people to do better and keep trying — we want them to never give up and to know that when life is tough, they can be tougher," Pranav explained.
Poonam said that she enjoys sharing her life experiences and the lessons she has learned over time to help others.
Poonam's favorite post is her 100th post, where she and Pranav listed 100 reasons to be happy. "The thought was to try to keep looking for reasons to be happy instead of finding faults. In fact, come to think of it, that's the whole point of human existence — happiness. Isn't it? And from my experience, I can say happiness is in cherishing the small joys. It's not just achievements or things we possess; it's experiences, moments, and the simple things," she said.
Poonam added, "It's never too late to learn something. I'm 64 years young, and I'm learning music and art — sometimes, when kids' parents see me at music and art classes, they think I am the teacher and are surprised to hear that I, too, come there to learn."
And Poonam's words of wisdom are just what the world needs.