(This is a work of fiction. Characters and incidents are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)
It all began when someone, perhaps from the rival camp, thought it would be funny to spread the rumor that India’s foremost standup comedian would go to an American university and speak on artificial intelligence. By the time we received a clarification from his team, that it was really a speech on India and politics, the damage was already done. We were amused before he could even take the stage.
Nowadays, before our standup comedian takes the stage, one gets the impression that people are readying their popcorns and drinks for his act. His standup comedy is gaining popularity, and he is fast becoming a star. However serious the setting of his act might be, one can always rely on him to lighten the mood. I’m sure the readers of this article are well-aware of what I’m talking about. Do not expect me to list out his special moments though, for I’m only writing an article and not an eighteen-volume series.
The comedian’s managers say that he will now spend more time abroad learning about the world and preparing himself to take on a greater role in the future. This is of course as opposed to spending time abroad and doing whatever else (or whoever else) he used to do there up until now. But the fact remains that irrespective of what people were expecting from his speech at the university, this was a golden opportunity for him and his managers. He could have impressed the world, made India proud of having a public figure like him, and improved his managers’ domestic prospects.
As his fans in India waited for his speech and his interactive session with baited breath, the standup comedian took the stage. And he didn’t disappoint. This time, from an international stage, gems came pouring out one after the other. People in the audience complained that the interactive session was fixed to make the standup comedian look good, but that did not deter him from making a fool of himself anyway. If it was really fixed, he was too good to make it obvious.
One of the highlights of the session was when the standup comedian said that there were 546 seats in the lower house of the Indian parliament. After all, it isn’t like every little child in India knows how many seats there are in the lower house of parliament! And more importantly, it’s not as if our standup comedian is part of India’s lower house of parliament or anything, that we should expect him to know such complicated statistics! He’s just a standup comedian, doing his job, entertaining people and bringing a smile to their faces.
The other highlight was when the standup comedian told the audience that dynasties were the way of life in India. Perhaps he was projecting his own reality onto the entire country, since he comes from a line of well-known standup comedians. To rest his case, he named dynasties in every field- politics, showbiz and even the corporate world. The last one was the funniest, and struck a chord with many Indians. This is because most Indians consider his venture to be a family business anyway.
It’s not as if the standup comedian had political compulsions, or needed to be politically correct. After all, he’s a standup comedian, not the future president of a well-known political party. This allowed him to mock every hardworking Indian with dreams and aspirations, because his statement implied that however hard they worked for things, some things would always be reserved for people who belonged to certain families. He made fun of them for trying so hard, since some positions in the country were only the birthright of a predetermined lot.
Many outraged over this statement. The usual suspects even took him to task by conducting primetime debates about his act. Some pointed out that the times had changed, that this standup comedian and his family of standup comedians was steadily losing popularity, that they were in fact on their way out, that a path for meritorious people was being paved in India. What can one expect from these fascist hyper-nationalist communal unintellectual types, who cannot even understand the subtle art of standup comedy? And how can people take offense to this? Do they not understand concepts such as tolerance and freedom of expression?
He is a standup comedian for god’s sake, take a joke!
In my opinion, our standup comedian is the pride of India. He’s taking Indian standup comedy to the world, and showing the world that it isn’t only North Korea, that even India can produce such quality clowns. Personally, he has the same effect on me that Mr. Bean had when I was a child- I would break into laughter just by looking at his face, before he could even say or do something stupid. Some attribute his hilarious acts to the mind-altering substances he consumes, and others seem to believe that it’s the result of his genetic makeup. But I’m not here to investigate the origins of something that can only be god-sent. I think I speak for the entire country when I say that we thank our stars every day for this wonderful gift. And if this national treasure needed any validation, the guy just graduated from a domestic clown to an international clown. May god bless him!