As I Sit down to write this on my breakfast table, I know tat I am seeking audience to two completely different set of readers. AIB-Roast with Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh , the talk of the town for the past two days, has generated two extreme responses. First, the ones who loved it for its COOL quotient, and the others who got a cultural shock looking at the concept it self.
Personally, I went to you tube to figure out what exactly was the noise about, bumped into links where the entire thing was divided in three parts and I made it a point that I go through all three videos. At the end of it somehow I could not convince myself to like the ‘COOL’ nature of the show and for me it was anything but cool. Now,Now, before some of you get into the roast mode and throw all those expletives at me for being the typical desi and an out of sync and mind individual, I will give you my side of the story…
As a starter, the roast as defined by wikipedia is
‘A roast is an event in which a specific individual, a guest of honor, is subjected to good-natured jokes at their expense intended to amuse the event’s wider audience. This type of event was created as a mock counter to a toast. Such events are intended to honor a specific individual in a unique way. In addition to jokes and insults, such events may also involve genuine praise and tributes. The implication is that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and it is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a “roast.” The host of the event is called the “roastmaster.” Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been “roasted.”’
Aping Hollywood blindly has been the favorite inspirational activity in Bollywood since its inception. I do welcome the idea of learning and being inspired from everywhere including Honolulu and Zambia, but the question is what should inspire you and what should not.India has seen so many horrific adaptations of Hollywood in Bollywood and we still refuse to let it go. The fact that the American society lives works and thinks in a different way altogether makes lot of things fairly normal to them. So when they do it, they are being themselves and hence they manage to carry it off well.We on the other hand make a mockery of ourselves just by trying to be them.
The concept of Roast includes being truthful and this also includes some genuine praise.AIB, never had any, may be either the people being roasted had never really done any good or may be the makers didn’t want to include it in the show and make it less filthier. Somewhere the makers made a statement that, in our society more the filth ,more it sells. Now if thats the mentality that’s ‘FILTH’
Well good writing has never been the key issue for our makers, but for AIB guys pretending to be creative,I feel they are far from it .Every writer will agree that writing humour is the most difficult thing to do, but writing outrageous things is not. These guys failed at that too. All their jokes were one dimensional , the only difference was the expletives and metaphors.for instance,
For Ashish : All jokes were on his skin colour.
For Tanmay : Everything started and ended with the diameter of his waist.
For Rohan : That he was cute with no credentials. Etc..
Even for the guest,
For Karan Johar : on his sexual preferences (..and that is something which has never been joked upon before)
For Arjun : I wish he had cleared his 12th grade….then at least they would have thought about something else.
For Ranveer : Women……. Deepika…… Women …..Deepika….and yes women.
The Cool Quotient
Agreed that the society needs to open its mind and stop being touchy about everything. Agreed that expletives are a part of day to day vocabulary and am not complaining about it. But using them just for the heck of it is definitely not COOL. We need to get out of the perception that being half western is cool. They have not become what they are by being someone else. If your upbringing has been like that, then it reflects in you all the time, you don’t need to pretend, and if you need to pretend, then…you know what I mean.
Finally…My two cents
Guys , yess we need to have an open mind and if needed learn from west, east or elsewhere but there are so many issues where they are light years ahead, all we do is pick up the ones that need least effort.Cant we have a similar show, where truth is spoken , good or bad without the stinky humour. Cant an entertaining roast be made without a mucky recipe?? But for that to happen ,we need seriously creative writing which we have failed to unearth. Its when the content is weak you need all the masala to make it interesting and that’s what humour today is all about. I absolutely fail to understand what the show aims to achieve or prove.The funniest part was ,that it was for charity. Well well, people I guess have done much much bigger charities without being cheap.
I belong to the same generation as you , but for me still, Hrishikesh Mukherjee style humour is far more COOLER than those cheap Ekta kapoor comics.