Where: Hyatt Regency Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Nagar Road, Pune
It’s cool to schedule a show at 8 in the evening. It’s not cool to begin at 8.50. After a not-so-decent hustle with the traffic, we finally reached Hyatt at 7.30 PM. Sipped coffee while we waited in the lavish lobby, puffed and puffed till it was time, only to realise we’re the first ones to be seated in the ball room .. wait, graaaaaand ball room of the 5-star hotel. “The show will begin in the next 5 minutes” went on till the next 45 minutes. Finally, it began.
Enter Neville Shah, the host for the evening. The half-Parsi half-Gujju doesn’t quite like himself this way. For the first 10 minutes, I couldn’t figure out if he’s trying hard to be funny or the audience is just not in the mood to laugh. But boy, does he know how to hit the right chord. His jokes did remind us of Russell Peters. But then, doesn’t every Indian stand-up comic do? Nevertheless, I laughed more than I should have. And yes, some of his jokes were so funny, I wanted to live-tweet them and impress my followers.
Comic Nomads is famous. A treatise by Oranjuice Entertainment & Horseshoe Hospitality & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the two-hour joyride thrives on making its audiences chuckle and chortle and split their sides. From raging hormones to your religion, singles to the ones (un)happily married, Delhi to Andaman and Nicobar, the comedians have a joke for everything. And the best thing? You don’t take them seriously. Instead, you laugh at the disparities between a Sindhi and a Muslim. You can’t help but burst into laughter when the comic (intentionally) mistakes you and your friend for a gay couple. And you can’t help but snort when he says you’re a disgrace to your family.
Daniel Fernandes, the second comic for the night, was introduced as a heart-throb; stylish and humourous. Stylish he was. Humourous, not so much. It was fun to learn about his Catholic upbringing, his mother’s despair for his non-catholic girlfriend and his tacit hatred for Mumbai (which they always pronounced as Bombay). All in all, it was nice to ‘make a conversation’ with him. A conversation where he spoke and we listened. But yeah, whenever he cracked a joke, you couldn’t help but spill your pint for you laughed like a maniac. Telling you, he can capitalise on his looks. I, however, hoped he did it a bit more.
Just when you thought the show’s over and so is your ‘beer quota’ for the evening, you are presented with Kunal Rao. It’s said that good things come in small packages. If Kunal Rao doesn’t manifest it, I know not what does. He’s a bomb that exploded in the form of intelligence and wits. Perhaps, his rich experience in the comic field speaks tons for him. The geeky-looking South Indian was formerly a Chartered Accountant. Pissed with the fact that one can’t ever hope to get laid while doing Chartered Accountancy, he took to stand-up comedy. Can’t say if he got lucky now (lose the specs, man!).
You know, unlike other forms of art, it’s easy to review stand-up comedy. If you laugh like a hyena, the show is kickass. If you don’t, it’s a total dud. Comic Nomads was a verbal slaughter of the Gujjus, particularly Falguni Pathak. I’m glad the NaMo bhakts present in the audience took it sportingly, mostly because there was only one in the crowd! I’ve seen better live stand-up comedy and yes, we’re talking Indian. Nonetheless, I’ll still go watch another show of these nomads for some of their extraordinarily witty jokes. I’m no grumpy cat, after all.