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I wrote about The Comedy Store sometime ago. At the time they had flown down three comedians for a limited number of shows held at different venues. This event was a forerunner to the launch of the Indian Edition of The Comedy Store.

 Well, it finally happened. The Comedy Store has opened in Palladium, High Street Phoenix. As a part of their opening ceremony celebrations last week they were giving away free passes to the show. I got them, courtesy a friend who’s an investment banker.

“So how did you get the passes?” I asked.

“Oh well, I’m in business with them,” he answered suitably vaguely.

“Oh so you’re extorting money from them?” I quipped.

He wasn’t amused. “I’ve got equity in the club.”

Seeing a show my earlier quip fell flat, I resisted the urge to say, Same diff. Extortion *squealed in high soprano*. “Since when do private equity guys invest in comedy clubs?” I asked instead. “Don’t you have a more serious internet business model with no foreseeable revenue stream to finance?”

“Just because internet business models have a long gestation period doesn’t mean they are not viable business,” he said.

Have I illustrated the point several times already or what? Then again, you don’t have to have a huge appetite to invest in a restaurant.

Anyway, I went in with high expectations and it is with regret that I have to say that I was kinda disappointed. For one, the first comic and the emcee, Paul Tomkinson (?) repeated many jokes from his earlier performance at the Grand Maratha Sheraton. I hadn’t taken to his brand of comedy even then, and to have it repeated almost verbatim was, well, intolerable.

The second comic was even more insipid. And to illustrate the point I can’t remember a single joke he cracked. The third comic was a Canadian who was obsessed with Indians carving nude female statues on temples. I laughed at his jokes but only because he had the look of a madman and scared me little bit.

Afterwards, I remember feeling grouchy. That was royal waste of time and money. Okay, the passes were free but the cab cost me a whopping three hundred each way. And the three Margaritas I downed weren’t on the house either.  

I tried to analyse why I wasn’t tickled. I’m easy to please. I still laugh at fart jokes. And I had gone there ready to laugh. Did I mention the Margaritas? If that’s not priming for laughter, I don’t know what is.

And then it occurred to me like a blinding flash on a dark night. The problem was with the material. Observational humour about the Indian accent and Indians scratching their bellies and-slash-or crossing the road at whim, boring *also in high soprano*. Hack attack. Done to death in films and TV shows. (oh, come on, these days? When one Indian character is mandatory?)

However, but club should take heart from the fact that the rest of the people were, to use internet speak, ROTFLTAO. I looked around to see if it was just me who was left cold. Nope, my friends were too. My conclusion: People who’ve seen a fair amount of stand-up comedy will find it considerably short of awesome.  

PS: The Comedy Store is having an open mic night this coming Saturday. People who are interested in forging a career in stand-up comedy can contact The Comedy Store.

PPS: No, I don’t have their numbers. Get off your ass and look it up yourself.

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I’ve received such interesting commenst and views on what women want that it reminded me of a popular fable I’d heard some time ago. It goes like this:

King Arthur was one captured by a neighbouring king who agreed to spare the former’s life if he could answer one question, What do women want?

Since King Arthur didn’t know the answer, he sent his messengers all over his kingdom looking for anyone who did. In the course of their travels, the messengers came across an ugly, wizened witch who claimed she knew the answer. She would, however, only reveal it if Lancelot agreed to marry her. Knowing the gravity of the situation Lancelot acquiesced, whence the witch answered, “What a woman really wants is to be able to be in charge of her own life.”

As soon as they heard it, everyone, including the neighbouring king, knew that truer words had never been spoken. And so the wedding between Lancelot and the witch was solemnised. On their wedding night, the witch announced that she had the ability to be beautiful half the time. She asked Lancelot to choose: either she could be beautiful during the day or at night.

Unable to make up his mind, Lancelot said that he would let her choose. Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time, because he had respected her and had let her be in charge of her own life.

The moral of this story? It doesn’t matter if your woman is pretty or ugly, smart or dumb. Underneath it all, she’s still a witch. And if you try to control her life, if you don’t let her have her way, things will get ugly!

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Guys, in case you’re wondering where I have disappeared to these days, let me tell you, it’s not Goa (sadly). Well, not totally, although it may account for three days last week.

By now some of you may be aware that Piggies on the Railway is doing very well. Commercially, we sold the entire first print run (5,000 copies) in three weeks flat, and critically, we’ve had more good reviews than bad. So, I think, I can exhale now. Phew!

This success is bringing with it its own share of pressures. For instance, my publicity person is now exhorting me to write the next book ASAP. She calls me up to ask me how many words I’ve written so far. And she does this EVERYDAY. Ever had someone who does this to you every day? Wait a minute, I forgot, most of you have jobs. So you know the best way to suck joy out of something is to make it into a job.

And if that’s not enough to rob me of the will to live, my maids have taken off to their respective villages for the duration of the summer vacation. While I’m quite content to live in an inch layer of dust, eating out is proving to be a problem. A drinking problem.

I can’t help it. Ever since I graduated from college, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten out sans booze. Well, there was this one evening bang in the middle of something stupid the Maharashtra Govt observes. A Gandhi birth week during which they force prohibition down our throats (I would’ve have punned here but I can’t think of a clever punch-line to the set-up). But that was only out of ignorance. Usually I’m pretty up to speed on dry days but somehow that one escaped me. Must be ’cos I was new to Bombay.

In any case, I don’t think it’s that big a deal but my friends seem to think that Margaritas in the afternoon are a sign of alcoholism. I tell them it’s not alcoholism, it’s melancholism. I’m drinking to drown my sorrows. But they’re not amused.

I’m also writing a screenplay for an animation movie. I’m doing this because it’s a friend’s project and also it’s a huge amount of fun.

I’ve got my life somewhat under control now. Not totally sorted but managebale. And I hope to be able to post more regularly from now on. Ciao.

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Recently, I was asked to write a column on what women want. I figured I’d check out what’s out there on the subject first.  And this is what I found. It’s so hilarious, I just had to put it up. Enjoy!

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Australian Open is over and so are my days of vegetating in front of the telly. *sigh* No more excuses. Now I have my butt down to work. I make a half-heated move to slide my butt off the bed. Okay, but before I go, I really should figure out what else happened while I was away. So I randomly switch channels and discover:

A) Man U won their match against Arsenal 3-1. I try to get excited but find I’m unable to care. I do follow the Premier League but only because several friends are football fanatics (read Manchester United) and it is impossible to have a conversation with them unless you know who’s where in the premier league points table. In fact, I currently support Chelsea only to piss them off. Chelsea vs ManU should be cracker. Meanwhile I’m more curious about the Russian Billionaire and owner of Chelsea. I wonder if wasshisname is on his yacht with a bevy of models. But since the boat comes with an anti-paparazzi photo shield, there’s no way anyone is gonna find out is there? BTW, there’s Abramovich owning Chelsea, Usmanov part owning Arsenal…what’s with Russian billionaires owning English FCs?

B) There’s some furore going on over some BT Brinjals. Everyone is screaming at a beleaguered Jairam Ramesh and I ask myself if I want to find out what fuss is about. The answer is an emphatic no. I mean I do like the occasional baingan bharta but not enough to try and make sense of the din. I move on.

C) A nine year old girl has been raped in Goa. Hold on there’s something that puzzles me. As I listen further, I find the girl is Russian. And suddenly it’s all very clear. Ah, so that’s how she escaped the first eight years and nine months unscathed.

D) The stock market is down but not enough to interest me. Yet.

E) Some Nooria Yusuf or Haveli chick went on a demolition derby after consuming…hold on, one can of beer??!!!! Come on, you can lie better than that. I am the worst drinker around and get buzzed when I’m merely down half a glass, but even I can’t get drunk enough to ram a taxi and run over traffic constables on one can of beer. Pop a date rape drug and pretend amnesia. When you ‘come to’ say someone spiked your drink while you were looking elsewhere. Shout rape and become the victim instead. Deflect suspicion from your homicidal jaunt.

*Sigh* Time to get a move on. Truly. But hey, what’s that? I’ve got a message from a friend. It’s Margaritas in the afternoon today. I guess work can wait another day.

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As I was posting the link yesterday, I got thinking about the stories I’ve been asked to comment on in recent times.

  1. Do women prefer cold cash to hot sex? My reply: Of course. It’s a no brainer.
  2. Are men better at writing sex than women? Do women get soppy, and bring too much emotion into, writing about what is primarily a physical act? My reply: Men write porn, women write erotica. Depends on what you prefer. (Can’t find the link)
  3. ‘Do Bad girls go places?’ or is it just a smart phrase? My Reply: D-uh! (Can’t find the link)
  4. Then of course the piece de resistance, the futuristic story I was asked to write about a scenario where women rule the world and men are their sex slaves.

Then I got thinking about search terms that people employ to, and successfully, to arrive at my blog: Smita Jain sex (easily tops the list), kinky sex India, hot naked teens, hot lesbian fuck videos (don’t know where that came from), middle aged aunty sex (DEFINITELY don’t know where that came from), sex.com (okay, that I can understand).

WTF?! Going by this one would think I’ve written a Jonathan Black! Guys, it’s only chicklit. All right, all right, so I do have some sex in my books, but it’s only max two-three scenes. Okay, okay, so it’s four-five scenes, but still. It’s hardly enough to bestow upon me the title of expert. Or is it?

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Sometime ago, the Times of India was doing a story on how more and more men are shedding tears these days. They wasnted my opinion on whether it has suddenly become acceptable, fashionable even for men to cry? Or are these men sissies and the fact remains that real men don’t cry?  

I had forgotten about this story and finding it was quite serendipitous. Interesting read. And not only for my expert take :-).

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