Myth Buster-II: People Who Want To Be Funny Are Sad In Reality.

I won’t beat around the bush with a witty introduction paragraph for this post, because I’m a decorated member of the Bajrang Dal and I’ve delivered a lot of beating around the bush to young couples because, you know, Valentine’s week tha. In the past few weeks, I’ve come across a lot of Facebook posts stating that funny people are actually sad on the inside in reality. Now, I consider myself an authority to debate against this notion because 

a) I have had a career of laughing at my own jokes spanning more than 24 years of developed speech function in my body.

b) I share funny memes from various pages on my wall religiously, and even get up to 5 likes on a good Sunday. 

Being funny is not an easy business. OK sorry, I take too much for granted, so, trying to be funny is not an easy business. Based on personal experience, I’ve had to hear a range of personal insults, of which I must share my favorite ones here:

• Rahul Gandhi is funnier than you.

• Dude concentrate on quality, not quantity. 

• I’ve heard that one before, kidhar se churaya?

• If you stop laughing at your own jokes, a total of zero people will laugh at your jokes.

• I’d rather see a Sajid Khan movie than laugh at your jokes. 

That last one hurt me the most. Anyways, the point is that some scholars think that by trying to be funny, people are trying to suppress some inner sadness by joking around, and that humor is just a mask to avoid people from realising that they wet their pillows to bed every night(BY CRYING!), and that’s not true at all.

Of course, we all have our share of problems in life. I’m living in Shahdara, my thesis work and curriculum books laugh in my face almost daily, a few of my seniors think I’m good for nothing(except may be at preparing tea), my mother is worried that I may never refill the water bottle and keep it back in the fridge, my phone bill outshines my WiFi bill because of long distance and my browser history can put even Shakti Kapoor to shame. Still, I don’t see how that prevents me from having a completely normal life. I’m in a mood to bare it all today, so let me just tell you how my day normally goes, do that you can be the judge if there is any hint of sadness in my life. 

Like any normal 26-year old, I wake up just before 8AM every morning, rubbing my eyes and dreading my choices in life. Depending on temperature outside my quilt and the number of days elapsed since my body last felt water, I decide whether to take a bath or not. I scramble to pick out the least odorous shirt from my collection which,at any point of time, is almost entirely present on a chair, and head out to work while eating cold breakfast which was hanging outside my door since 7AM.

I work half- heartedly, gazing at my watch every 10 minutes wishing it to miraculously switch directly to 5PM, so that I can go back to my flat to enjoy solitude with a few snacks, cold drinks, followed by laptop, lotion and tissue papers. I usually take a power nap after such a rigorous evening schedule. I wake up and feel nauseous at the thought of ordering dinner, because I live in East Delhi, and every chicken main course is nothing but a random-number-day-old and re-heated version of the same chicken dish. I repeat my evening routine or drink or cry myself to sleep soon after, promising to myself “kal se to duniya badal denge BC”

See! Completely normal and happiness-filled life. But if you still think I’m sad, then I request you to pray to God to make me happy. 1 like=1 prayer. 

Well, was worth a try.

Click here to read previous myth-busting post

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My Tryst With Pseudo-intellect: Jaipur LitFest Diary

Last month I found myself doing something I had never done before in my life, but I will talk about taking my loneliness on Snapchat some other day. Also, last month, I attended the Jaipur Literature Festival, also known as the Confluence of Kurta-wearing-fluent-in-english-hence-not-to-indulge-with intellectuals: Indian Edition. I admit, it was nothing like I expected it to be. Not everyone was there in a kurta and jhola, talking about literature and world peace and politics and other things that both me and Arvind Kejriwal have no idea about. There were also pretty girls in crop tops and guys with beard thicker than a Yak’s tail taking selfies. Hence, it was also a mini Hauz Khas away from Hauz Khas, including the fact that I stood there like a sad single guy while people talked to each other about books and literature and why was I standing there oggling at them and drooling. 

It was a five-day festival, attended by who’s who of the literary societies of India and the world, which is a sentence I have copied from the official website of the festival, since I had no idea about who most of them were. I recognised Gulzar and Rishi Kapoor correctly, and incorrectly asked a somewhat mature and grey-haired gentleman to sign my copy of that day’s ‘Times of India’, only to hear “Abe Chutiye mai Shashi Tharoor nahi hu” multiple number of times while he ran away from me to alert some security official. I also saw William Dalrymple from a distance, and people were making a huge deal about him, though his significance in my life is limited to adding another chapter that didn’t make sense to me in my twelfth standard English curriculum, and I hated him for that. 

I went to the festival alone so that I can stare at young girls bask in literature uninhibited. I came up with a challenge to myself that I would try and chat up at least one intellectual-looking member of the opposite sex, so that after a prolonged discussion over authors and genres, I can eventually disappoint her by saying that 5 books out of the total 7 that I have read in my life have been written by Chetan Bhagat. Well, the other two were written by Charles Dickens, and I only read them because they were in my curriculum, which I used to call syllabus till MBBS, and thank heavens I didn’t know what ‘Dick’ was a slang for till then, else it would have been one of the most comically inspiring academic events of my life, second only to my Biology teacher pronouncing you-know-whats as KAN-DOM in full glory. 

I attended a few interesting sessions too, like the one on how Sanskrit was used by Mughals to make their way into Indian culture and popular vote. My most favorite part of the session was learning that if I tilted my head by 30 degrees and bobbed it at a rate of 15 nods a minute, it will look like all the gibberish they were talking about was actually making sense to me. The other session that I was looking forward to was on Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, but I was disappointed as no information manual was provided on how to join Bajrang Dal so that I can take a lathi and beat up couples on Valentine’s Day this year. Not that I am a violent guy, but it’s just that I can go to any extent for a free uber-fashionable free bright orange tee and shorts. 

I have a lot of somewhat funny stories and incidents to share about my trip, but due to lack of space and the fact that no one would read this anyway, I would let it rest in secrecy forever, much like how heartbroken I was to finally realise I would never be an intellectual guy. Apparently reading Chetan Bhagat doesn’t make you one. 

Yeh Zaalim Duniya, I tell you!

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I’m Unibrow And I Know It

Being a handsome guy comes at a price. You get more attention from girls than you can handle, your bro-friends hold envious feelings for you, and your parents are worried that you may run away to Mumbai because you are too gorgeous for mundane jobs. Of course, I have never experienced any such feelings because on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is, say, Hrithik Roshan, I am just a few decimal places short of Raju Srivastava in his youthful days, which were probably three centuries ago. 

Yet, I feel there are a lot of public attractions on my face, like the aam-aadmi-version of Akhilesh Yadav’s nose, the wheatish complexion (if the wheat was spoiled by rain and had a dirty brown fungus over it), multiple scars due to accidents involving cricket and/or alcohol, and eyebrows so thick, they could be useful for unmarried couples in summer season. 

I have Punjabi roots, which clearly means that I am a loud, drink-friendly guy who must have butter present in/on/around his food items. That also means I’m a very hairy guy, and other than ‘obvious’ places that I cannot mention here because apparently it embarrases my dear ones.

I grew up with much hair cover appearing elsewhere on the body, so much that I look like a brown bear when shirtless, but not the cute one, a thoroughly malnourished one instead. I was kind of ok with those developments, preparing myself for an arranged marriage so that the above facts were more of a surprise than a compromise for my future wife. So let today also be the day that I come out of closet, and tell you all that I’m a Unibrow, and I trim/raze/do other things to NOT stay so.

It’s not easy being a Unibrow in this world full of impeccable, dark and threading-done-by-Jawed-Habib eyebrows. During my childhood, Kajol brought the Unibrow into fashion, but dancing around in a towel and romancing SRK on screen were a few confounding factors that weren’t present in my case. Right through my adolescence, I have grown up watching my eyebrows complete the Howrah bridge on my forehead, and it was, like other Bong things I could never understand, not a good feeling at all.

One fine day, I decided to get rid of it, so I picked up the scissors, and proceeded towards the mirror to break the permanent hand-shake on my forehead. 5 minutes and about 850 different angles later, I wished that I should have gone to a professional, and then didn’t step out of my room for the next 20 days to avoid showing my forehead which looked like as if a mongoose went all ninja over it. 

With time, me and people around me got used to the fact that I, depending on the day of the week, may have variable levels of proximity between my eyebrows. 

Handling my Unibrow did help me mature as a person who is not embarrassed of his facial features, or can simply lie about being comfortable with his looks very confidently. I recently read an article on how women in Cuba find unibrow sexy, but that makes me regret their existence more than my decision. See! Such maturity. 

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