The best way to end a day at the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is with a good, hearty laugh. And the crowd at Irish House was doing just that on Tuesday, drinking merrily, hooting for the performers and occasionally shouting out their own epilogues to jokes.
With people occupying all the tables, barstools and even the standing area, the English stand-up comedy show was a hit.
Kunal Kamra kicked off the evening with this quip: “There’s a special place in hell for people who don’t drink... and it’s called Gujarat,” setting the tone for the rest of the evening.
In keeping with the tradition of stand-up comedy in India, most of the comedians resorted to self-deprecating humour (the short guy joked about his shortness, the fat guy about his weight), hazed each other and (obviously) brought up the AIB Roast.
Parsi comedian Arzaan Khambata resorted to anecdotal comedy and shared a brief history of the Parsi culture, throwing in community jokes like, “The Parsis leave dead bodies for the vultures, but even the vultures are going extinct now. Half of them died because there aren’t enough Parsis to eat, and other half died of cirrhosis of the liver because Parsis take to alcohol at the age of 20!”
The stand-up comedian who got the most laughs was Chembur-based Rahul Subramaniam, who spoke of the inconveniences of living in that far-off suburb, and of the insubordination of autorickshaw drivers — things most of his audience could relate to. One of his gems: “I want to be reborn as a Bangalore rickshaw-wallah, so I can go about demanding fares like Metre+20Rs, Metre+50Rs, 500Rs…”
After a long, tiring day at the festival, this was the best way to unwind, said Priyal Shah, 24, a PR executive from Churchgate who attended the show. “A good laugh never hurt anyone.” If laughter really is the best medicine, give these stand-up guys an MBBS degree already, we say.