We had barely walked into Jamjar Diner in Andheri (W) on a sunny afternoon, when we saw Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba get accosted by a young fan for a picture. This wasn’t a selfie. It was a real photograph; one that involves inconveniencing another human being to stand up, hold the phone with both hands, click a picture, and not feature disproportionately in it. All that trouble, only for AIB (Shakya and Khamba, along with Tanmay Bhat and Rohan Joshi comprise the famous comedy collective, All India Back**d or AIB).
Yet, all of them were unbelieving when we told them we wanted to put them on the cover of HT Café. They admit they “haven’t understood this ascendancy” of theirs.
The fact is that it is impossible to survive this metropolis without a sense of humour. The rate at which the city’s stand-up comedy scene has flourished since 2005 is proof of that. It is possibly one of the most powerful forms of expression to have emerged in the last decade of Mumbai’s popular culture.
So, for this special anniversary edition, we caught up with these four satirists over lunch to learn what they felt the city got right in the last decade.
Five famous people in this city you would like to Roast?
Rohan: Aamir Khan, with or without his consent. Who else…
Gursimran: This is so easy.
Tanmay: There are so many. Mukesh Ambani. We would love to Roast him.
Gursimran: Then next day, do a much smaller version for Anil Ambani.
Rohan: With cheaper tickets...
Gursimran: Just to keep the family thing intact.
Rohan: Sachin Tendulkar. That would be amazing content.
Gursimran: It will be tough to Roast him. What will you say?
Tanmay: We should do the Roast, and then just take really long to end it. And get Vinod Kambli to be the Roastmaster. That’ll be hilarious.
Tanmay: I think Rakesh Maria (Mumbai police commissioner) would be fun.
Everyone: No, no, no…
Tanmay: I think Aditya Thackeray is cool as of now.
Rohan: Raj Thackeray?
Tanmay: We’re not saying it. Lata Mangeshkar?
Gursimran: No, please don’t say that either.
Tanmay: Amitabh Bachchan.
Everyone: Yes, yes.