Femina India – August 09, 2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1






discovered comedy as
a child, although I didn’t
consciously know it at the
time. I ended up going
througha series of education shifts, job
changes,and even career switches in my
huntfora true calling.
Growingup, I was considered
argumentative and always talked
backtomyparents. It was a thrill
tobeatsomeone in an argument with
a perfectly-crafted comeback. At school,
I wasgenerally hyperactive throughout
classes.I was a small kid who wouldn’t
swearandI remember being picked on
a fairnumber of times. I particularly
rememberthis one instance where
a kidwaspoking fun at my last name
andI retorted, ‘Please don’t push it or
thisBhatwill crack’. It got more laughs
thanthebully’s joke. I remember
thinkingthat if I made fun of myself
betterthananyone else, I had won. Over
theyears,comedy became my security
blanket,and I could comfortably be the
‘Bhat’ofmyown jokes!
Astheyears rolled on, I pretended to
makeupambitions, as a way to convince
myselfthat’s what I wanted to be. One
dayI wasgoing to be a neurologist, the
next,anastronaut or a gynaecologist.
Myfocuseven shifted to engineering
atIIT.Butinstead of prepping for the
entranceexams, I spent inordinate
amountsoftime reading everything else
butmytextbooks, and even listened
tomusic.My mom thought I was

always upto something; she just didn’t
imagine the innocence of it. This one
time she ‘caught’ me on the internet
looking at X-rated content. Fortunately,
I was committing the lesser crime of
downloading pirated music when the ad
popped up. Mom, if you’re reading this,
I wasn’t watching porn that day!
Anyway, my interest/passion/career
choices kept fluctuating, and you could
say I was a jack of all trades. Name the
job, and I’ve probably held it. Whether
it was journalism (I hold a degree in the
subject, FYI), or being a business analyst
at Goldman Sachs, I’ve tried it all. But,
something was always amiss.
While switching jobs, a friend
suggested I try my hand at stand-up.

Soon, I started attending open mics but
was too chicken to go up on stage.
A comedian friend pacified me by saying
the audience wouldn’t really remember
me, whether I bombed or not; that
helped me calm my nerves, and I
gradually learnt to enjoy the adrenaline
rush every time I’d get up on stage.
Over time I realised all those
temporary callings were fantasies about
the destination, not the journey. With
comedy, for the first time, it became
about the journey. I enjoyed the process
of creating a joke, and refining it—that’s
the fantasy—about doing an honest job
and getting better. That’s how I finally
know I’m right where I belong!
—As told to Kalwyna Rathod

I enjoyed the
process of creating
a joke, and refining
it_that’s the
fantasy_about doing
an honest job and
getting better.



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