Blog: Why I didn’t find AIB Knockout Roast funny

Because it hurts. When a roadside-Romeo calls me a “bomb”, it hurts.

New Delhi | Published: February 10, 2015 1:01 pm
AIB, AIb knockout, All india bakchod Members of the All India Bakchod Comedy Company

By Cheshta Rajora

When our not-so-favorite Honey Singh comes up with another “Kudi Saturday Saturday” sorts, all we ‘liberals’ in the town share our anger at the way the singer objectifies women. Our angst reaches another extreme. We know this is outright abominable and so we rise in unison.

But AIB Knockout Roast. Somehow it slid down our throats pretty well. Why?

Oh, come on, it was a ‘joke’. Yes, the genre of comedy allows you to do a lot of things and get away with it. Writers and playwrights since time immemorial have used comedy as the most suitable genre to subvert authorityand highlight the wrongdoings of the State and society.

But when I watched the AIB Roast, I laughed, sure I did, but with hiccups. I laughed, not at the jokes (if there were any), but at the sheer audacity and the ease with which certain things were said. I laughed, but with an unease. A voice in my ears pinched me somewhere. I couldn’t just laugh and sleep off. I struggled to know why I laughed and still felt uncomfortable.

What went wrong with this comedy that it garnered attention more than it deserved?

For many, it was a liberal act. For many other, a progressive one. Liberal. A fancy word. What is ‘liberal’ for the modern society- to be able to create a space for doing ‘anything’ one wishes? Swear words. Yes. Is the ability to use swear-words openly “liberal”? The question here is not of being afraid of our sexuality and bodies. Swear and abusive words, if decoded, are actually a step towards further ‘objectification’ of our body parts. We are reduced to being nothing but a pair of testicles. What is it about swear words that makes the so called “conservatives” and “traditionalists” as we like to label them, uncomfortable, while the fellow “liberals” are openly using the F- word?

Because it hurts. When a roadside-Romeo calls me a “bomb”, it hurts. When I hear a man call another a #*%&%&, it hurts. Why would I want to write “ass” in my examination and not “buttocks”? Language is a slippery road. The larger question is how radical this liberal is? Let’s get this straight. Is being able to call someone various holes in the body openly on the streets, a sign of progression? What ‘radical end’ do we have in mind?

Second. It is said that it was all done for charity. Do we need to call someone a pair of testicles to raise charity? Will the audience only come to pay for charity when it knows it is getting a good deal of “liberal” food for thought?

Third. The show also witnessed a good lot of racial jokes cracked on the “dark” guy. Why? It is like being among a bunch of men who laugh at me, saying you are a woman so you will cook, and I get offended while they try to clean their stands saying, it was in jest, don’t you have a sense of humor? Yes. The first pre-requisite for humor is identification. If you crack a joke that no one understands, your joke will fall flat. So we play safe and crack the old Sardarji jokes or the “Black”-humor, to keep it general! Wow. Progression.

Fourth. We should clap, slow clap for Karan Johar for coming out of the closet. But let’s reconsider this. Number one. Why is someone’s sexuality and sexual preferences of so much concern to us? Number two. How un-closeted is this homosexuality? Why did Karan agree to come out and be able to say something like, “That is my position, Ranveer” in the ‘comic’ space? Should we be glad or concerned?

Fifth. We liberals love our freedom of speech. We celebrate the power of pen and the might of the mike. But who will ensure that not anything and everything is said? Where does this freedom stop and responsibility begin? What all are we going to allow in the public space to operate, in the name of “Freedom of speech”- vulgarity, obscenity, objectification, mental-verbal violence? Because of this we have had the “Birthday sex”, the “Blurred lines” and the “Blue eyes”.

Sixth. The audience. There is a growing audience which is ready to devour every last bit of entertainment from such sources. In the democratic, free, liberal public space, this consumerism and mental and verbal violence is doing something to our minds. With the production and consumption of this consumerism, what progressive, liberal radical nation are we moving towards?

Seventh. Swear words have an inherent violent nature. People, in a fit of anger, undo the last layer of decency by resorting to ‘Mks and the Bks’. In a peaceful state of mind, we never resort to this definition of ‘liberality’.

No matter how outspoken I am about my rights, I am the human who still feels uncomfortable every time “Birthday sex” plays in my gym. Or maybe when a car with a “playboy” sticker at the back crashes past my rickshaw, with loud “Bhen**** Sutta” buzzing out of the woofers.

Cheshta Rajora is pursuing her English (Hons) from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. Views expressed by the author are personal

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  1. T
    Feb 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm
    If ur so ed, read the pre-lim warning and shut the darn thing.. U watched it cos u got a kick out of it..
    1. D
      Feb 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm
      Author is litrate bht she is not gud with her education all her comments and ideas towrds is roast is little bit norrow, its been like people are taking it personally because they can not shut AIB team with words People are made to over react like these kind of thougts well author is gud with writing skill i would appriciate her but like same she should also appriciate the creativity of Aib and laugh on them they are here to entertain you not to bother your life or any others.
      1. S
        Feb 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm
        I think its a matter of absolute choice, when you sit down to watch something over the internet. And its totally immature to blame a programme of this kind responsible for the sick-minds roaming around Delhi? And racism? Did you just come out of seventh grade or what? C'mon! It was solely entertainment based video and they entertained a great group of which they chose to make charity. It was a mutual consent, for insulting and getting insulted at such a platform and with such intensity. If Karan Johar is alright, being open about his uality then why is it a bigger concerned for you. On one side we talk about accepting us the way we are and on the otherside we start to judge. Please grow up and spend time on other much serious issues.
        1. A
          Feb 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm
          Nope, I can not agree with the author even one bit. There was a clear message in the beginning, the following events will be offensive and those who are easily offended should not watch it. Any following argument against the show thus are simply redundant. The people who are behaving so high and mighty, weren't you ever roasted among your friends? Didn't you ever do something similar to your friends? If the answer is no, then I am sorry to say you have had a pointless life till date. The show was not meant for you and thus, you have no right to comment against it.
          1. A
            Afreen Sultana
            Feb 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm
            I totally agree with the author ;) and you know why this generation has highest number of suicides and depression attacks..cuz it's their freedom :p..e on people! Live a life of cl and happy don't require this ty piece of humor at all ;)
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