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I Was Bullied By My Teacher & Peers. But My Traumatic Past Drove Me To Spread Joy Through Memes

I get to work with multiple movie production team with it.
Bullying is more than just one getting pushed or shoved around by a bunch of unkind people. In fact, it’s a form of physical and mental torment that can leave an indelible mark for years to come.

One such individual who experienced the pain of bullying firsthand is Shivaraaj Khumar, a content creator popularly known as Shiva Baby and the person behind meme page Plantababy.

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Despite being a victim of bullying, Shiva never let it get in the way of him studying in the aviation field at the Emirates Aviation University and bringing positive vibes through content creation.

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Shiva studying aviation
Photo courtesy of Shiva

Endured intense bullying

Shiva’s early years were mostly marked by deeply distressing experiences he suffered at the hands of his teacher and school peers.

During elementary school, he endured severe abuse from a tuition teacher who not only inflicted physical punishments like 400 squats and beatings with a cane for minor errors, but was also racially and emotionally tormented.

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He was even once locked inside a dark room despite the teacher knowing well that he had a phobia of the dark.

As for the bullying, it escalated throughout Form 1 to Form 2, where Shiva was frequently assaulted by his peers for not being part of the “pack”.

I faced severe threats of disfigurement and humiliation.

“Despite reporting these incidents, the school authorities did little to help, forcing me to cope alone in a daunting environment. However, I didn’t disclose these things to my family as I didn’t want them to worry,” he recalled.

Watched movies as a form of escape

In order to cope with these deeply stressful incidents, Shiva found solace in watching movies, using them as a form of escape.

“Whenever I’m at the theater, I know I can stay away from everything for one to two hours,” he reflects.

His favourite movie is ‘Ratatouille’, which resonates deeply with him as it tells the story of a rat named Remy who’s largely seen as an underdog but defies all odds to become a chef in France.

I’ve watched it countless times and it still motivates me to this day.

Shiva also added that he watches tons of Tamil and local films and has found a deep connection with all of them, which has left him with the desire to contribute to the local movie industry in any way possible.

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Shiva favorite moive  jigarthanda
Photo courtesy of Shiva

Spreading joy instead of pain

After switching schools at the age of 15, Shiva finally left his traumatic past behind and was finally able to make friends and regain his shattered confidence.

It was also during this time when he discovered his passion for bringing joy to others by creating memes and becoming the class clown.

I wish I could bring joy to everyone, including my bullies as I think they are also suffering deep inside.

Shiva didn't reveal his face at first
Photo courtesy of Shiva

“This newfound purpose led to the birth of Plantababy, a meme page aimed to not only bring joy to people, but also aid the local film industry,” he said.

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In 2020, Shiva founded Plantababy, a meme page which he admitted was initially meant to be a “funny venture and impress my crush”. In a nutshell, Plantababy is a page that creates memes using Tamil movie clips and scenes, humorously highlighting everyday life topics.

Growing the page

As the days flew by, Plantababy began to see a steady rise in prominence and the birth of a community that Shiva grew to love and cherish.

Some members of the community have even reached out personally to Shiva to share and seek his advice on matters relating to relationships or simply to air their personal sorrows.

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Due to the page’s rapid growth, Shiva invested more in his work by purchasing better equipment to record videos.

“When I first started, whenever I need to record clips from my phone, I have to do it inside my washing machine to avoid recording ambient noise,” he shared.

Eventually, Shiva’s name became a household name and caught the attention of Tamil movie producers. In the end of 2020, Jhangri Production House reached out to him for the promotion of the movie Athigaari, allowing him to earn his first income purely from creating memes.

“More collaborations then followed, and I began helping to promote local Tamil movies on a modest budget.”

Shiva has collaborated with numerous movies and series with Astro, and he is also actively working with Lotus Five Star Cinema.

“When I first saw my name on the big screen in the special thanks section, I was deeply moved—it was a dream come true,” he recalled.

Credit with planta boy
Photo courtesy of Shiva

‘Never thought this was possible’

Although Shiva has enjoyed much success through his collaboration with local production houses, he doesn’t consider that to be his greatest achievement.

“There was a time when an audience member who was teetering on the edge of suicide reached out for help. After holding several conversations with her, she gradually regained confidence and improved her quality of life.

Gift for shiva from his fan
Photo courtesy of Shiva

For me, my greatest achievement is my ability to help his audience through their struggles. It means the world to me.

“Looking back, I never would have imagined achieving all this when I was younger, considering everything I went through,” he reflected.

Shiva studying in dubai
Photo courtesy of Shiva

Shiva confessed that he was deeply insecure about his past for a long time but was encouraged by a very special person to share his story with others.

“I hope that I can be an encouragement to others and help them proudly embrace life as it is, be it good or bad, just like I did.”

He also mentioned that he is proud to contribute to the Tamil movie industry and hopes to do even more in the future.

“I plan to continue growing my page so I can contribute more to my favourite storytelling art form in Malaysia.”

Shiva collabs with movie
Photo courtesy of Shiva

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