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When the Spotlight Fades


By Pooja Marwah

At the cost of sounding overtly presumptuous, everyone enjoys fame to extents that are variable to themselves. As human beings, we are designed to bask in the knowing that we are popular, that we are successful, that we are rich beyond means. And this begins at school level where we have popularity contests, where we all want to be in the so called ‘cool’ gang or befriend people that are acing on the sports field!

So, my question here is – what happens when the spotlight gets turned off? Who do you become? Or, more importantly – what?

The projection of our outer self is a far cry from who we are inside of us. A lot of us rely on pretence just so we can fit in or be a part of a conversation. Some of us go as far as even propagating and presenting versions of ourself that we really are not. So, why are we in a constant state of pleasing people just to gain some sort of external validation? And the icing is that this validation isn’t even heartfelt; it isn’t even real.

I’ve read of numerous people on social media, most specially Instagram, who base their whole life on a number of followers, likes and comments. But if you see them in real life, most of them are hiding behind a mask. Deep inside they aren’t even happy. Momentarily the wave of fame is high, but the price one pays when this wave ebbs, turns out to be very unfortunate at times.

Not everyone is the same person in front of the camera and behind. If I were to give examples of the Bollywood fraternity, I can tell you of moments when I’ve met actors who have been so gracious and respectful, that I’ve ended up feeling like the Star. And in the very same breath, I’ve also met a few stinking ones who don’t even deserve the recognition they get – Simply because they lack basic mannerisms of communication.

In the city I live in, people socially portray a clout of togetherness and integrity but I can unabashedly say that having been a part of it, I know that all it is, is a mere projection. Inwardly they wouldn’t care two hoots, but outwardly make you feel as though you’re the most important person they know. I think an apt metaphor to define this would be – ‘She is like the makeup she uses’. Once used to enhance beauty, makeup now has a whole new meaning. Like it covers up your flaws, smoothens away the fine lines and spots; it also disguises your real self, your real motives and perhaps somewhere the real you.

So, yes, when that spotlight fades, and fade it will someday – my question for you would be … Did you really ever know the person that you were?

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)