I have been waiting for the movie “Ranga Maarthaanda” ever since it was announced because I am very interested in films, film making process, how the actors lives are, etc. Yesterday the “Ranga Maarthaanda” movie got released, and it is about the life of a very talented and popular stage actor. I have watched the film and since then so many thoughts are going through my mind continuously. Somehow I feel I am doing the same mistakes as the lead character in the movie did, who ended up having a miserable life at the end of his life.
The desire to be in limelight
If you think software engineering job is difficult, then I guess you may not know much about film industry. Becoming an actor/actress is 1000 times much harder than becoming a software engineer. I have a couple of friends who have been trying to become actors for more than a decade. After all these years of tireless efforts, they barely make it into being one of the member of villain gang standing behind the main villain.
As well-wisher, of course I asked that reasonable question:
You did your best, but somehow it is not going well. Why don’t you quit and look for other career opportunities?
And, the response is:
Cinema field is not like other fields. Once you are into this colorful world, it is very hard to quit. Once you experience the magic of those claps and whistles for your performance, you will be willing to go to any lengths to keep yourself in the limelight.
Now, wait a minute. Why I am feeling this is familiar to me.
Yes, in the beautiful world of social media now everyone is a small-time celebrity trying to become more popular. The Likes, Retweets, Subscribers Count, Views, Watch Hours are our claps and whistles.
You may say: dude, don’t generalize things like that. Not everyone is trying to become popular. We are here to just share our views and knowledge. That’s all.
Well, you maybe right. But the tricky part is, you don’t even realize when “I am just here to share my views” turned into “Let me check Twitter if anybody liked my tweets, 12 times in 15 minutes”. You never know when your casual usage of social media turned into an addiction. There is a good chance that you may get addicted to social media especially when people are appreciating your content (tweets, blog posts, videos).
If you think all your success is because of your talent, think again
When you are gaining more and more popularity, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking “it is because of your talent, and you deserve it”. Of course, you may be very talented and may have worked hard to get to that point. But don’t forget that there will be lots of people’s sacrifice that helped you to become successful. Unfortunately we are in the trap of worshipping popular people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs etc praising them as Visionaries, Influencers, Thinkers etc. But if you ask their family members then may be you hear a quite different song about them.
Running a start-up is hard, writing a book is hard, making videos is hard and becoming popular on social media is also hard. Don’t think all these things happen with Work-Life-Balance. Those who made it are too afraid to openly admit that they don’t have any work-life-balance in their life. At best, they may chalk it upto “I owe a big chunk of my success to my wife”. If I have to translate that fancy sentence into plain English, it will be “While I am busy becoming a successful person, my wife took care of every goddamn thing in my life and I was never there for her”.
Taking care of family involves tremendous amount of work. I am not talking about equal rights, feminism etc. I am talking about the simple fact that:
Don’t take your life partner’s sacrifice for granted. You being a successful person while your life partner burnt out is not really a “successful life”.
How is all this is related to me
Well, many people ask me how do I get time to do regular job, writing blog, making YouTube videos, be active on Twitter while being married and having a newborn kid. I neither have 48 hours in a day, nor I am a mad genius to be able to do all these effortlessly. I have been spending a lot of time to do all these activities(blogging, creating videos etc) while my wife is taking care of most of the things. She very well understands my passion for the technology and teaching, so she is supporting me to do the things I love to do.
I have been creating YouTube videos to teach Java, Spring Boot etc. Creating videos is a lot of work. The video creator has to plan what they want to cover, in which order, prepare code samples, record the videos, edit the video, publish the video with a catchy title, clickbait thumbnail, having right keywords in the description, timestamps etc.
All this time is coming from my “personal life” which I could use to spend with my family.
How all this relates to that movie “Ranga Maarthaanda”
As I said, the movie is about a very talented and popular stage actor who spent most of his life playing amazing roles and receiving claps and whistles. People come to the show, enjoy the play and carry on with their lives. But guess, who is experiencing the “absence of a supporting person”. At the end of their(the lead character and his friend) careers, they realize that they did blunders in their personal life.
You may say, dude it’s just a movie. Nope. If you know a little more about Tollywood then you will understand that it is not just an imaginary story. It is the real story of so many great actors/actresses in Tollywood.
What is going to change?
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my friend, and he said something that is hard to digest, but it is true.
On Twitter, when you are becoming popular you get more followers, and you get some haters too. Your followers appreciate your informative tweets, like them, retweet them too. But, when some haters attack you verbally talking nonsense, no follower will pitch in and defend you. None of your followers is going to interfere and support you in that heated debate, especially when that hater is an asshole. That is the reality of these “Social Media Relationships”.
So, what is going to change? Nothing much. As I said in one of my tweets, I used to wake up at 4am to create videos because at that time there will be less disturbances and distractions. Going forward I may spend that time for doing some exercises to take care of my health. Or do baby sitting my kid while my wife is doing some chores.
I am going to continue writing blog posts, making videos etc because I enjoy doing it. But not as frequently as I am doing now.
Taking care of health and family is more important than we realise. Better to realise this before it is too late.