Rakin Absar is a famous digital content creator. He is most popularly known as Mr. Absar on social media platforms, where he plays multiple characters in a video. With his humorous appearance before the camera, he addresses a plethora of ongoing issues.
Recently in a rendezvous with The Business Standard, this young and talented content creator spoke about his work, life, interests, and the many characters he plays.
The Business Standard (TBS): You have been posting videos frequently for the last year or so. Where is this burst of energy coming from?
Rakin Absar (RA): I'm an introverted person. I don't participate on social occasions if I don't have to. I spend all my energy creating content and this gives me time to think about my content. Many people think I go through a lot of stress but I know how to deal with it.
TBS: How do you come up with ideas?
RA: I love to think. You may call it overthinking. Although my therapist once said overthinking hinders people's mental health, I like to think it helps me and gives me strength. Overthinking helps me come up with new ideas and ways to venture out on different topics. So when I get an exciting idea, I stop everything and start shooting.
TBS: How was your experience playing Spiderman in your latest video?
RA: Star Cineplex approached me asking if I want to act for their promotional Spiderman video. I immediately agreed without bothering to know more about the project. We shot this video at the very last moment and I had to cancel a few of my plans to shoot this. We shot the video in SKS Tower at six in the morning. I never script any of my videos. I did the same with this one. I simply wore the suit and turned into Spiderman. But after the shoot, I figured out that I essentially played Deadpool under the Spiderman suit.
TBS: Tell us about the Rakin outside the camera.
RA: The real me is an amalgamation of a lot of things. Mr. Absar is just a narrowed down version of who people get to see on camera. The real me is 60 percent of what people see. I personally believe that everyone has curated versions of themselves on social media. It's no different for me. In real life, I like to read a lot, research, talk about life and engage people in deep conversations. Besides, I like to run conversations on economics and politics. A lot of people say that I'm more grumpy in real life but I like to say that I'm a man with taste.
TBS: Do you make videos targeting any particular audience?
RA: Well, I was never an obedient child. Since my childhood, there was something different about me and I always wanted to prove others wrong. I still have that in me. I got expelled from a few schools just because I would get into arguments or debates with the teachers. It works the same way for my content. I never thought that I have to play bigger roles throughout my journey. Rather, I make sure the content I make is for me only. I'm my audience and I believe that there are other people like me who I share a similar bond with.
TBS: How do you take the negative responses?
RA: I started my journey in 2012. Back then negative comments would impact me. But when I restarted content creation with Mr Absar after a four year gap, there was significant growth in me as a person. I realised that apart from myself, nobody else could hurt me. But at the same time, I understood that mental health has a large impact on us. But I see myself in a birds-eye view and hate comments are just mere comments. At times, I actually enjoy them. It helps me to understand that the people posting these comments don't know me at all and yet are making snide remarks about me.
TBS: What are your future plans?
RA: I don't have any. I always try to follow my heart. Not having plans actually panned out great for me. I've previously had so many plans that didn't work out and left me mentally traumatised. So, I decided to go with the flow and see what happens.
TBS: How challenging is it to play multiple characters in one video?
RA: Well, it seems very easy but it's a challenging task because each character is different from the other. I have to visualise these characters as separate entities. As I've mentioned, all my videos are improvised and not prewritten or preplanned. I only visualise the video in my head and start shooting. This is how it has been for a year and a half.
Shifting from one character to another takes a lot of time. For example, when I play my character 'Mirpur', I at least need an hour to relax and get into his persona. On the flipside, 'Dad' is easier to portray than 'Rekina' or 'Mother'. All I have to do is deepen my voice and seem serious. But 'Rekina' and 'Mirpur' are my most favourite characters.
TBS: Tell us about how you address sensitive topics in your videos
RA: I may speak about sensitive issues in my videos but it's the execution that makes all the difference. I never do it in a manner where it's too on the nose. I keep it subtle and you have to put your brain to good use to see it from a different perspective. I actually talk about more sensitive issues compared to other content creators. I made three videos about sexuality and several videos about mental health and female empowerment. I don't shy away from addressing controversial issues. In fact, it actually motivates me to create more content.