Lifestyle Books and Art 07 Jan 2017 Decoctions of a comi ...

Decoctions of a comic nature

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAMITA GUPTA
Published Jan 7, 2017, 12:25 am IST
Updated Jan 7, 2017, 12:26 am IST
Comedian Karthik Kumar pokes fun at life in the middle class in his performance in the city.
Karthik Kumar
 Karthik Kumar

He promises to bring the roof down with dollops of humour this weekend. Actor, stand-up comic and founder Evam Theatre Group, Karthik Kumar will bring guffaws and gags galore at the Second Decoction Comedy Special in the city. After the success of his first #PokeMe, this one is a celebration of all things that are second best; things people reserve for themselves, because they don’t deserve any better! After Karthik’s national tour, he will create a laugh riot in Bengaluru, as he celebrates middle class upbringing, filled with hope, dreams and life savings, combined with his sharp observatory tongue-in-cheek wit.

He has an ingenious, sarcastic and plain take on everything under the sun. Besides his India tour, Karthik who has been called the rising star of the comedy scene in India, has also performed to packed houses in Singapore, US and UK. So is it just another day at work when he’s taking digs at the middle class, we ask Karthik and the suave star explains, “It’s a show that elevates the middle class mindset. I reflect on how the middle class is defined by its mindset rather than its bank balance. I started writing this script after the Chennai floods. And recently even after demonetisation, it was the middle class that got affected the most. It really doesn’t matter to the upper class. The upper class drove Uber and stayed in upper floors and flew away without being affected by the floods. It’s the middle class that couldn’t leave as they were worried about their homes, because their sofa and their beds were sinking. So really, they’re the ones stuck in the middle, it’s not up and neither is it down, they’re like 
the side middle berth that the Indian Railways tried to introduce. Theoretically it could have existed — but practically only the middle class can fit into it. Because we’re adjusting like that! Like how we say in Kannada-swalpa adjust maadi!”

 

“I’m putting a comedy clip on sexual harassment on my YouTube. Every man represents the Indian man’s mindset. Are we one of those standing and watching the molestation happening down the street? Look how Bengaluru reacted to the steel flyover and said that they can stand together to protect themselves. What do the women have to do to come around and men do to own up. They can’t say that women should not go out. I will also joke about the Bengaluru traffic and the Indian man. I will confront the elephant in the room. Bengaluru, for any artist, is great as they can experiment here as Bengalureans don’t want the conventional format. It’s a cool, young city. Now, we need to answer what happened on MG Road. Has a young man changed?” questions Karthik. 

 

Talking about how comedians play an important role in bringing about social issues to the fore, Karthik concurs, “I’m also a batman. We do have a responsibility, to raise a voice against corruption and cultural reforms that are regressing. It doesn’t necessary need to be politically correct but it is important to be sensitive to basic human emotion. I think stand-up comedy is a great medium to provide a social statement that lets people know that somewhere, we can collectively raise our voices. I have a conscience and I’m answerable with my art to my conscience at all points of time. You see what happened in Kamanahalli and MG Road, you get angry, but one needs to calm down and translate it into comedy, so that it can make people think and wonder. Not think of it from a high horse. We are all perpetrators. We are also those three people who were standing and watching. What does one need to do in such a situation?” 

 

He will be performing at Vapour on January 8 and MLR Convention Centre on January 21.

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