By Aishwarya Deshpande Thru’ NYWC :: There’s a video on YouTube titled ‘Indian Super Mario’. It’s the Indian version of the popular 90’s game. Instead of Mario and Luigi, the players are called Anil and Mukesh. The mushroom that makes Mario grow is called ‘Maa kaa ashirwad-Sanskari growth’. The turtles are replaced by uncooperative rickshawalas. When Mario eats another mushroom, he turns into Rajnikant who forces the dragon protecting the princess to commit suicide. Then he calmly walks on air to rescue the princess, only to be met by her moustache-twirling father who informs him: “Sorry, your princess belongs to another caste”. Then the video proceeds to hilarious parodies of DDLJ and Salman Khan.

A single video that makes fun of the Indian caste system, annoying rickshawalas, crazy obsessed Salman Khan fans and pretty much everything else that is considered taboo by the mainstream media. This is one of several videos made by AIB (ALL INDIA B*****D), a comedy collective run by Gursimran Khamba, Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya; some of the best standup comedians in the country. Their brutally honest, politically incorrect and insanely hilarious videos and podcasts have revolutionized the comic scene in India. From political and social satires to musical comedies and Bollywood parodies, there isn’t one aspect of Indian life that they haven’t made fun of.

For instance, there is this video called “Honest Indian Flights” which depicts what would happen if everyone on an Indian flight really spoke their minds. The air hostess with a failed modeling career who badmouths everyone on the flight, the baby driving people crazy with its incessant crying, lecherous passengers, old men cracking disgusting sexist jokes and terrified old ladies……the priceless experience of traveling in an Indian airline is captured perfectly in this video.

India is a very funny country, but without a sense of humour. The smallest things hurt our sentiments. We are obsessed with our image, culture, religions, and our sense of “Indianness”. And this obsession is reflected in our movies and TV soaps. Politics, religion and sex are topics that are considered taboo. They can’t be made fun of. This is why AIB’s brand of irreverent, no-holds-barred humour has come as a breath of fresh air.

So while the Kapils of primetime TV are content cracking clichéd jokes about women, AIB dares to joke about ministers marrying at the age of 80, watching porn in the Assembly, Rahul Gandhi’s doses of wisdom and Arvind Kejriwal’s publicity stunts. AIB is nurturing our sense of humour, teaching us to laugh at ourselves, giving us the hard, undiluted truth, sans all the hypocrisy prevalent in mainstream media. So when Yash Raj Films didn’t allow them to upload their parody of Dhoom 3, they just had to make fun of that as well. The resultant video probably received more views than Dhoom 3 ever did!

With concerns being raised about the freedom of media and attempts by politicians to smother voices that don’t speak favourably about them, the fact that AIB has over half a million followers goes a long way in alleviating these concerns. Hopefully, there will come a time when the full form of AIB won’t be taboo anymore. 

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Aishwarya Deshpande, is a student of Lokmanya Tilak College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai (SE Comp. Sciences). Her hobbies include reading books, sketching and watching Japanese anime, when she’s not busy mourning the loss of fictional characters. This is her first article for NewsWithChai Young Writers Club.
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