I haven’t had the time to post in a while. There are a couple of reasons for this:
First, I’m experiencing a weird emotion that my friends tell me is called “happiness”. Apparently, when you feel this way you become pleasant and mellow and things don’t piss you off as much anymore while you sit around with a smile plastered on your face. I’m guessing it’s sort of like dementia. Or like the morning after someone flies off to
to bang a hooker. Either way, because this blog is a collection of things that piss me off – this has had a uniquely damaging effect on its updating frequency. (Some of you are nodding at this point, especially those who have told me that I’m not as regular as I used to be – at which point I will remind you that I updated just 2 weeks ago AND you’re not paying me for this so STFU) Thailand
The second, and more interesting reason – besides my having to give two entrance exams next month and somehow secure a Masters degree that will allow me to live off the dowry my wife to be will bring – is that I’ve been dragged into the world of stand up comedy, which again, some of you have come and witnessed.
What this has however given me, is the time to introspect not just about the blog but also about the state of stand up comedy in Delhi – which is mostly what this post is about. But first – let’s talk about the blog.
It’s sort of ironic that the day I get linked to two stories (one in TimeOut Delhi and another in the Times of India) is the day I get a copy of Tom Payne’s Fame – a book that deals with how society builds people and characters only to get possessed by our primal urge to cut them down – a phenomena that visibly gets repeated almost every decade. (I am waiting as hell for the day Justin Bieber fucks an underage girl and hits the slammer for 40 years while he sings "Baby Baby" being buttfucked by a Mexican with a heroin addiction)
I’m not saying I’m famous (Ok I sort of am in the popular science tutor in 10th grade who everyone goes to sort of way) but I am saying that it is a constant reminder for someone like me to not trust the process or the people who help create it. For example, I haven’t changed from the things I said 6 months ago when I had a 100 or so Twitter followers to what I’m like now – but it’s amazing how a joke which I know is lame that would probably get shat on back then now gets 20 RTs. It’s a reminder of how ridiculous it is, just how everytime I get asked how it feels like to be famous online having 6000 followers in a city of 1.8 million people.
Nonetheless, the fact that it allows me to engage with people who connected with my opinion of something on a visceral level, and that it turned from a personal blog about things that pissed me off into a “Comedy Website” that got tagged along the likes of FlyYouFools/FakingNews//KrishAshoksBlog etc catering to a demographic I didn’t know existed has been – well – amusing. So while I continue to do the comedy thing like I have been for a while, I think I’ll also balance it with writing about stuff I just feel like writing about – like I am now – and relook at creating a sense of community with everyone who came here for whatever reason. I think that got lost in the transition into being a comedy website – and it’s something I want to get back to. So for whoever’s been reading, thanks for the hits. What I have enjoyed the most however, is telling some brands I hate to sod off when they came knocking. (Also, I couldn’t stop laughing my ass off at being mentioned in the TOI)
Now to the more interesting aspect – that of the state of stand up comedy in
. As with everything else, I’m just going to give my perception based on whatever I’ve seen in the last month – and this is obviously not the be all end all: Delhi
- The number of Open Mic nights is steadily increasing: From what I’ve learnt, till about a year back there was barely 1 Open Mic night in a month – but in November alone there have been around seven. While this is totally incomparable to countries/cities where it’s an established art form, this is still a very encouraging sign and something I hope encourages more people to come and give it a shot. (If you’re reading this and from Delhi/NCR – please mail me or tell me how I can get in touch with you in the comments section)
- The community of comics is ridiculously small: From what I can calculate there are about 20 comics in Delhi who do this regularly, out of which there have been just 3 women. I’ll be honest, some people who perform including me are quite crap and don’t deserve to call ourselves comics. This puts off a lot of the audience who expect something better after having seen shitloads of videos on Youtube. This is also a paradox, because there haven’t been enough avenues for people to test material, add and edit and reach a point where the pitch/tone/timing becomes perfect. Whatever chances we get, is as much a learning experience for us – and it is a situation where I suspect the audience and the comics will have to learn and grow together – and audience support here is critical instead of getting pissed and not coming back
- Delhiites dress for Open Mic nights as if they’re weddings
- In my own experience, I’ve done about 6 shows so far with a total stage time of an 1 hour 15 minutes and the transition from the written form to verbal, and watching a pre-tested joke bomb is frickin heartbreaking. I’ve done hour long presentations in front of 500 Eastern European students, 250 of whom didn’t know any English and still felt better. Some have loved it, some hated it – and I already feel the need of a mentor to bounce ideas off. I have a feeling tapes and videos alone within our environment won’t be enough for those who want to graduate to the next level and do this full time – especially those who aren’t natural performers and are more comfortable writing. And there don’t seem to be too many mentors around. (Who do you call? Shekhar Suman? Pradeep Pallavi? Though this Pallavi fellow was probably destined to be funny given how much he must’ve gotten his ass kicked as a child) So for the circuit to eventually move from an amateurs only to a semi-professional level – it would take some doing or someone to break out on sheer natural ability
- If you tell a Delhiite you do stand-up, they ask you to tell them jokes. At this point you should ask them their profession and request their services for free while treating them like a Burmese refugee
- It takes the DJ to play one Himesh song to show you how popular you really are
In general, my experience with stand up so far has been quite positive despite having just started a month back, and I’m sure it will only grow. Bombay, as with everything else is supposed to have a better scene, but I’m pretty sure if things keep at the same pace we’ll have one which is as good if not better.
P.S. I’m not uploading videos so don’t ask. They’re embarrassing as hell and I'd like to believe I have a reputation to maintain.