It’s not a joke, da! It’s my life!

Since 2015, I’ve described myself as ‘an aspiring stand-up comedian’ to my close friends and on my Tinder bio. During my first trimester at IIFT, I even spent a couple of sleepless nights making a video in which I try to convincingly lie about how stand-up was my lifelong passion – all in an attempt to land a summer internship at GCPL. (I never landed the internship though…)

To be honest, I have tried my hand at performing stand-up whenever an opportunity came up while I was doing my undergrad at CET. Back then however, opportunities in Trivandrum were few and far between.

(The above video is from an event in 2017, when I was cooling my heels in Trivandrum, before moving to Bombay for work.)

I have tried my hand at a couple of open mics in Bombay (without much success). And given how the lock-down doesn’t look like it’s going to be lifted anytime soon here, I thought I might as well put up some random jokes/observations up on this blog. I have nothing to lose, am I right?

So here goes nothing…

During my placement interview back in college, I made it very clear to the interview panel that I wasn’t interested in a conventional nine to five job. They seemed keen on hiring me and said they’d be willing to give me some amount of flexibility with respect to working hours. Things are good now. I work from nine thirty to five thirty instead.

I find Hindi extremely tricky. I find the whole ‘gender’ concept extremely confusing. The other languages that I can speak (English and Malayalam) have done away with such pointless frivolity. To highlight just how difficult Hindi can be at times, a moving scooter would be described as ‘Scooter chal raha hai’ whereas for a motorcycle, the equivalent would be ‘Motorcycle khadi hai’. In an attempt to recall this better, I force myself to picture scooters with dicks and motorcycles with boobs. It’s probably not the best system but it totally works.

I love reading. I read everything that I can lay my hands on – such as ingredients in my shampoo, the nutritional benefits of eating 15 grams of Lays and the instructional booklet that comes inside a box of condoms. Sometimes people write the most fuck-all things like the folks who think it’s important to print ‘This is not a toy’ on plastic packaging. But sometimes, people can write the darndest statements. I once used a urinal which had this written right above it – ‘The future of India is now in your hands’. So fucking profound, so many interpretations.

Engineers are shmucks – they almost never do any real engineering. All that education gone to waste. You know who I respect? Doctors. What they learn is real. And moreover, they can carry over whatever they learn on the job to their daily lives as well. Take for instance, my paediatrician friend. When scared children visit his clinic for vaccinations, he has this way of reassuring them. “Don’t worry, I’m going to poke you with a tiny needle. You will barely feel anything and I’ll be done in a minute.” Coincidentally, this is what he tells his wife as well.

I love Bombay. It’s such a cosmopolitan city. ‘It is a veritable melting pot of cuisines from all over India. There is something in here for everyone.‘ Once you’ve been to Bombay, it’s so hard to live anywhere else. I was recently travelling long distance by train – going back to Trivandrum. The train had one of those new-fangled, eco-friendly bio-toilets, in which the poop isn’t just dumped onto the tracks. Instead, it has been efficiently designed so that a pool of sewage collects around your feet. And it’s funny how that bio-toilet reminded me of Bombay. ‘It was literally a melting pot of cuisines from all over India. I’m not sure if it had something in it for everyone but it definitely looked like there was something in it from everyone!’

That’s all, folks!

(The title of this post is inspired by my friend Abhishek, who would get offended whenever we laughed at the comical incidents that he would narrate. And he’d remark in exasperation, ‘Don’t laugh, dude. For you, it might be a joke. For me, it’s my life’.)

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