Tickler of the funny bone

bhuvan bam

Bhuvan Bam talks to Sangeeta Yadav about carving a niche for himself and becoming a millionaire in only 10 months just by posting funny videos on the Internet

Amid the din, crowd and busy narrow lanes flanking a mosque, temple and a construction site in Malaviya Nagar, stays 22-year-old Bhuvan Bam, a millionaire in just 10 months and with a huge fan following.

The millions came his way in a hatke style, thanks to a hatke business — through funny videos on his Facebook and YouTube channel BB Ki Vines. From random funny videos on parental issues and exams, to web series on reporters (News Reporter), Dr Sehgal (on doctors) and Angry Masterji (on teachers), his shorts are inspired from his very own daily experiences.

“There used to be a teacher in my school who was angry and irritated all the time. We used to trouble him a lot. He is the inspiration behind Angry Masterji though the series itself is an exaggerated take on him. The second series is on reporters which I thought of making after watching a news story on TV. The report was on Kashmir floods wherein the reporter asked a crying mother who had lost her child ‘how does it feel?’ I thought is he mad or what? Dr Sehgal is based on a real person who stays two blocks away from my house. I hate this man because when I was a child, even if I had minor cough problem, he used to give me injections. To take my revenge, I decided to make fun of him through my videos (laughs),” Bam tells you.

An alumni of Green Fields School and a History Honours graduate from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Delhi University, Bam is an out an out entertainer.

“I was an entertainer even in my school days. One day, I made my Facebook page and randomly came up with the name BB Ki Vines and uploaded some funny videos on it. My friends told me about YouTube monetisation and I started making videos on a daily basis on topical issues around me,” Bam, who creates content for an 18 plus audience, says.

Asked how his parents react to his videos, he turns diffident:

“I can’t show these videos to my parents and tell them that I am actually doing something very creative and making people laugh. My parents wanted me to do something good in  life. ‘Your web series will not take you anywhere’ they would say,” he tells you.

They couldn’t have been more wrong. It was his mother’s colleagues who got hooked on to his videos and told her that her son was creating really funny content.

“When they saw it, especially one of the videos on Mummyji and Papaji inspired from them, they had a laugh riot. They couldn’t believe that it’s them I was talking about,” Bam recalls.

Bam is extremely popular in Pakistan  and recently collaborated with comedian Mansoor Qureshi and Daniyal Sheikh of Karachi Vynz for a special web series A Lost Neighbour on Independence Day last year.

In July, YouTube had a Comedy Hunt contest where Bam participated. Even though he did not reach the final five, he was given a special shoutout on the finale that was held in Mumbai and was also called for the YouTube Fanfest Academy in the Capital.

“I was a great honour and an overwhelming experience to share the stage with AIB. They appreciated me for doing all this singlehanded and making a living out of it,” Bam tells you.

For the past four months, his videos have been in the top five in India. In the week before Valentine’s Day, he had close to 70,000 subscribers on YouTube. Following his Valentine’s video, he had an immense rise in subscribers and popularity. Currently, he has over three lakh subscribers.

Bam shot to fame in a very short span. He now uploads two videos a month and earns around Rs 5 lakh from them. What makes him stand out is not just the original and creative content but that he is a one-man army who scripts, films through the front camera of his Nexus 5 phone, edits and also uploads his videos daily at zero  production cost.

Being a millionaire in zero cost production really got other people going.

“I never used any high-end equipment or software. I shoot the video holding the phone in my hand. For editing, I earlier worked on Movie Maker and now I’ve learnt Final Cut Pro by watching tutorials on YouTube.  I took advice from my elder brother and did the rest myself,” Bam says.

So how will he spend all this money?

“I want to buy a new house for my family. We live in a very bad condition. I know how I shoot in that place. I get up early in the morning, shoot and edit my videos in a very limited time. Whatever I earn, I spend Rs 500 and save the rest for this house. My other dream is to act in films,” he says.

One thing that this brilliant and innovative achiever can’t do is a nine to five job.

“Creative work takes time and I can’t work on deadlines or a regular nine to five office set-up. I need free time. When I participated in the YouTube Comedy Hunt, I had a really tough time working simultaneously for my channel and for the competition. I couldn’t balance it out under so much pressure. But now I have brought back the fun and the balance by coming out with two videos in a month,” Bam says.

(The article was published in the Pioneer newspaper  – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/tickler-of-the-funny-bone.html)

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