The world of shudh desi online humour
Remember the Alok Nath jokes (#I'mfeelingSanskari) that had everyone in splits? Or Alia Bhatt memes that came up post her Koffee With Karan outing? Welcome to the world of online humour.
"How funny are you?" If Indian Internet were to take this Buzzfeed quiz, the result would be "Wow, you are getting good" - and a dog with painted eyebrows next to it. Now, there are at least two popular Indian versions of Buzzfeed (Storypick and ScoopWhoop), hilarious indigenous meme trends (Ab Ki Baar, Sanskari Babuji), ubiquitous Bollywood and TV-show-based GIFs and punchy, political parody videos.
Earlier, online humour was confined to relentless tweets, a funny picture here, a comical video there - 2014 is clearly the year funny hit puberty in India.
And despite its awkward stage, we couldn't choose any other subject for our third annual issue on humour. Our first humour special in 2012, The ROFL Issue, featured stand-up comics (you saw them all here first, btw) poking fun at celebrities. For the Comics Special in 2013, we got the country's most popular graphic artists to draw exclusively for us.
Up until now, we were content with borrowed Nicolas Cage memes and US TV show GIFs, this year saw an explosion of local content.
There are Indian versions of popular lists (eg: 10 Things Indian Girls are Tired of Hearing) and videos (the side-splitting video spoofs on Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi changed the election entirely, turning the great Indian circus into an online reality show.)
Everyone was suddenly funny - even on Twitter timelines and Facebook newsfeeds. Witty repartee, punchy memes and reaction GIFs exploded on social media. The Internet gave us the funnies and the feels. Even chats bristled with funny stickers instead of regular responses. And when a troubled, moon-faced emoji expresses your particular state of gaucherie best, who needs them words anyway?
So, go ahead and devour our funny pieces on online humour. And before you Facebook, tweet, comment about it, yes, we fully understand the irony of presenting it to you in print.
Text by Yashica Dutt