Showing posts with label standup comedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label standup comedy. Show all posts

I want to be what I was when I wanted to be what I am

This was a short story I wrote for an online magazine. But they said I have to pay ten dollars to get it published in their magazine.
So I decided to put it here.
Either ways, it is going to end up at the same place - Internet, right?
***
I got selected for the great Indian comedy show.It had been my dream! It was the moment I had been preparing for all my adult life. When my colleagues complained of tight schedule, I stayed back and coded their software modules too - so that I can write funny comments.
"This code is all wrong. I have to rewrite it completely!." My project leader shouted.
"Will you keep the comments at least?" I pleaded. He looked as though I was out of mind.
I didn't belong to the software world.


"I can't stand fat women. That explains why I end up lying down with them always." I started my act with a well rehearsed line. The audience squirmed uncomfortably. A red light went on at the back. Two more red lights and I will be eliminated. I didn't want to risk it. So I skipped the jokes about how conservative Indians are when it came to sex - all the billions of them. I went to my Golf jokes.

"You have the worst swing in the world, My golf partner mocked me. So I gave him a black eye. But he was right. I was aiming for his nose." The audience booed. Red light came on at the back. Both of them. It was curtains for me. I went backstage and sat defeated in a dark corner.

I cried.

"You know why Indians suck at comedy?" I looked up. It was a drunk foreigner.
"Who are you? Greg Chappel?" I asked. I don't take insults - at least not off stage.
"You guys see some mp3s downloaded from pirate bay and you think you can do comedy too. Look around you. Take a look at your audience. How many Indians play golf? Write for your audience."
A failed performance and I have to take advise from morons who come to see losers like me perform. I closed my eyes and retreated into me hoping he will go away.

"Time to open your eyes, kid."He said and moved.

I changed my act to make it more relevant. That meant sex and golf was out. Bollywood and cricket was in. But that's what everyone else was doing. I needed variety. So I added jokes about a cricketer in a movie and an actor in a match. I built a decent following. Loyalists who would come to hear me when there wasn't anything on T.V and it didn't rain and I performed near their office. I told them my jokes and they would smile politely. Then I would go backstage and get my free
drink, my wage for the evening. I would mingle with fellow performers - a transvestite, a teenager and a consultant. And I really hated the consultant.


Mingling with fellow performers have plus and minus sides. I get to meet popular and successful people before they became popular or successful.
"Jasmine won't come anymore. She got a T.V show." The bartender said as he pushed the drinks to me one evening.
"What! How is it possible? He is a..." I choked.
"She! Not He." The bartender said.
I broke down.

"Do you know why Jasmine made it?" I looked up. The drunk foreigner was back to conduct an "extraaa innings" of my failures.
"Because He is a she. And the audience like it vulgar." I said.
"No. It is because he didn't laugh at others. He laughed at himself! He is the act. He is the material. He is the show."
"But what can I talk about me? There is nothing about me to laugh at. I am just a... normal guy." I said as I sipped the beer.

"Time to look within, kid." He said and moved.

But there was nothing to look. I wasn't too fat or too thin, too tall or too short, too rich or too poor. My car wasn't too new or too old. My day job wasn't too interesting or too dull. If you walk past me, you won't even notice me. I am just an average guy except... except that I would give an arm and leg and maybe something else to be in jasmine's shoes or high heels or whatever.


"Isn't time to stop? It's few more than the laughs you got." The bartender said as he refilled.
"I just realized I am a miserable failure."
"Join the gang." He said.
"No more free drinks." The bartender said as I signaled to him five minutes later. So I paid. I paid that night, next morning and the morning after. Every morning and every evening.

Pretty soon I got a lot of stuff to laugh at me. It was gold! I had just moved from anonymous to alcoholic anonymous. So I did my shows - I had to drink before, during and after the show. And little later it got even better. I had to go on stage with a glass in hand. The audience, they loved it!
I became so famous that I got a request even from jasmine.

'Couldn't get a ticket to your show. Can you arrange one for me and for my special other?' - luv jasmine.
This.. This is what I wanted! I sent two tickets to my show - for her and him or him and her.

But that was my last show.
I collapsed on the stage. They put me in an ambulance and sped to a hospital. The paramedics tried pumping my stomach on the way.

I was floating in bright white light.
"Well, you got what you wanted." A voice came from beyond.
"Yes." I said.
"Any more wishes?" it asked.
"I.. I want to be what I was when I wanted to be what I am." I said.