Theatre Review

Make Chai not War

Make-Chai-Not-War

Yesterday this stand-up comedy “Make Chai Not War” show happened in Egmore Museum Theatre, Chennai. It was organized by U.S.Consulate General in Chennai in association with Evam Entertainment and Times of India. The stand-up comedy was by 3 Indian Americans – comedian Hari Kondabolu (www.harikondabolu.com), comic Rajiv Satyal (www.funnyindian.com) and Azhar Usman (http://www.azhar.com). The show was brilliant, over two hours of non-stop laughter and a bit to think over. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much in my life on some clean comedy. A fantastic effort by U.S. Home Department to foster friendship with India and its people through some multi-religious, multi-ethnic jokes and not through handouts or military aid. There is so much for all of us to laugh about our diversity in this world than to fight for.

Rajiv who is from Ohio, a Hindu (he stresses it often for effect & to poke good fun at), born to Punjabi parents who immigrated to USA. He covered everything in his show – from Indians refilling with water the almost empty Soap bottles to how Gujaritis save money. He touched nicely on the diversity of Indians and India – saying unlike USA in India the smart people are put up in South.

Hari who is from Queens New York, born to parents from Andhra Pradesh is a performer in Comedy Central & HBO Comedy Arts Festival. He seems to have a stated dislike towards British and Colonization that he made fun of at every turn. Yesterday he appeared a little sombre but still funny enough to make you laugh.

Azhar who is from Chicago, hailing from immigrants from Bihar and a title ‘America’s funniest Muslim”. He was the super-star yesterday firing all cylinders. He started by how to spell his name – Azhar like in Buzzer with a B, it gets pronounced as Uzzer. His experience of Auto-drivers in Chennai hailing him first for Sight-seeing, then for Girls and finally for Marijuana. He closed his show with a profound thought – we are all birds in a cage, each of us can see all the 7 billion people in the world but not ourselves (for which we have to look inside us). His story of scaring a British Gentleman in a flight was hilarious.

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Overall a superb, brilliant, hilarious show you shouldn’t miss if they come to your city.