My thoughts on A2Z Challenge 2020

When I signed up for the A2Z Challenge in 2020, life was chaotic and turbulent. With the Covid-19 pandemic engulfing our lives, it wasn’t easy being a doctor’s wife. When my husband was away on the emergency duty, it was difficult to balance the role of a mother to a 4.6-year-old, take care of my aging in-laws at home and continue working on my MFA creating writing assignments. By registering for the challenge, I was taking up the humongous tasks of writing and reading multiple posts daily on myself. Yet, the thrill of participating for the third time outweighed all the hurdles. I promised myself that the day the challenge became overwhelming, I would quit at that moment. It took away a lot of unnecessary pressure and let me write with ease.

In 2018, I wrote non-fiction posts on various aspects of my home state, West Bengal under the theme of ‘A dollop of Bengal.’

In 2019, I shared my real-life experiences related to the process of school admissions for my then 3.5-year-old son, Tuneer under the theme ‘Sagas of surviving a toddler’s school admission procedures.

In 2020, I thought of bringing some relief to the anxiety and stress around us by speaking about Indian stand-up comedians and comedy channels on YouTube under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’

My posts were about a bunch of versatile and talented performers who use humor to spread happiness, social awareness, make political satires, draw comedy sketches, and much more. At the end of each post, I added a link to one of my favorite videos by the artist to ensure that anyone who read my post left the page with a smile on their face. And while I was drafting these pieces and watching these videos before choosing one for my posts, my stress reduced because of my daily dose of laughter.

Amidst household chores, playing the role of a caregiver, and juggling weekly assignments, I finished publishing 26 posts on schedule for the third time in a row. I read 25-30 posts on a daily average and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with my fellow bloggers. I must admit that it is writing that kept me going through a difficult month.

Heartfelt gratitude to the team of International A2Z challenge, Blogchatter, and my fellow writers for being a part of my April journey this year. I hope to return next year with a new theme and renewed energy.

Z for Zakir Khan

There couldn’t have been a better way to end this series than speaking about the king of stand-up comedy, Zakir Khan. The comedian who has immortalized the punchline ‘sakth launda’ makes humor look effortless. The content of his videos on his YouTube channel makes it fairly clear as to why he receives a standing ovation from the audience after almost every show. This writer, stand-up comedian, poet, and actor is a versatile genius. He has a unique way of delivering his jokes that are high in humor but aren’t entirely devoid of profanity. However, it is his voice modulation that makes them sound ridiculously funny.

Zakir Khan - Source Insider.in
Zakir Khan – Source: Insider.in

Zakir is one of the first few artists with a huge number of shows on Amazon Prime. He is seen performing in two highly popular stand-up specials ‘Haq Se Single’ and ‘Kaksha Gyarvi’. He has also written and acted in a web series called ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare’ along with Kumar Varun. He was one of the judges in Comicstaan Season 2 and very recently, he was also invited to be a part of the show ‘One Mic Stand’ as a mentor.

There is also a sensitive and philosophical side of this multi-talented performer that manifests itself through occasional videos of him performing ‘shayari’ on his YouTube channel. It is also a delight to listen to him discussing the journey of life through the podcast of his show ‘Ummeed’ on Gaana.

This is the last post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge, 2020 based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Thank you for being a part of my April journey this year.

All the posts in this series are available here. As I say bid goodbye to this season of A2Z challenge, I leave you with this cracker of a video that is surely going to make you roll with laughter. Stay safe and take care.

Y for Sla(YY) Point

Two youngsters in their early twenties, Abhyudaya Mohan and Gautami Kawale are the brains behind one of India’s freshest, finest and funniest channels on YouTube, Slayy Point. These millennials cover topics relevant to the younger generation layered with ample doses of humor. They have a unique style of using social commentary while roasting cringeworthy content. At times, they also put up videos like ‘Getting Trolled By Subscribers’ using self-deprecating humor. The light-hearted comedy balanced with their priceless expressions makes their videos a delight to watch. Most of their content is found in the trending section of YouTube after release.

Abhyuday and Gautami from Slayy Point- Source socialsamosa
Abhyudaya and Gautami from Slayy Point- Source: socialsamosa

They have hosted YouTube fanfest Red Carpet 2019. They have also collaborated with Bollywood celebrities like Rajkummar Rao and cricketers like DJ Bravo as part of their interview series and YouTubers like Captain Nick and Flying Beast for their videos. These talented creators were recently invited for interaction by the YouTube global office in the US.  The duo took a step further and uploaded a few ridiculously funny travel vlogs covering their journey and experiences in the states.

This is the twenty-fifth post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the stand-up comedian getting featured in my last post for Z tomorrow.

You can read all the posts in this series here. It was quite difficult to pick up a single video for today’s post because most of them are pure gold. I hope that this one makes you laugh out loud.

X for Anisha Di(X)it

After Captain Nick and Mostly Sane, the next lady YouTuber spreading laughter and awareness related to issues/taboos that women face through her videos is Anisha Dixit. Anisha is more popularly known as Rickshawali though recently, she has re-branded her YouTube channel to her name. Born in Germany, this Mumbai-based witty content-creator is famous for creating a handful of characters in her comedy sketch videos. Dadi is one of the most loved characters though it is Anisha playing all the roles in different get-ups in her comedy v/s videos. She has immortalized the words ‘Hai Daiyya’ through her unique way of delivering the phrase.

Anisha Dixit - Source: India Web Fest
Anisha Dixit – Source: India Web Fest

Anisha has collaborated with famous Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra, Karthik Aryan, Sara Ali Khan, Rajkummar Rao and well-known YouTubers like  Lily Singh, Technical Guruji,  Mumbiker Nikhil, Captain Nick among many others. She also uploads funny videos of prank calls to her Youtube colleagues and Bollywood stars.  She addresses her followers as ‘rickstars’ who feel delighted by her amusing and entertaining content. But it also worth mentioning that she has faced quite a lot of struggles in life before reaching the zenith of success today. That’s why her straight-talk videos speaking about the journey of her life make her comes across as an honest and straight-forward personality.

Last December, she was invited as part of a panel discussing women empowerment with former American President Barack Obama in Singapore. She also runs a second channel simply Anisha Dixit where she posts about fashion, lifestyle, travel vlogs and other personal content.

This is the twenty-fourth post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the content creator(s) getting featured in my post for Y tomorrow.

Since we are nearing the end of this challenge, you can read all the posts in this series here. Hope this video makes you chuckle like me.

W for Karunesh Tal(W)ar

The primary similarity between the content of stand-up comedian Karunesh Talwar and the Bollywood movie ‘Thappad’ is about making the audience uncomfortable about issues that have been normalized for too long. This cynical writer and comedian believe in choosing humor as a medium to communicate his angst against such happenings while also initiating a conversation around such topics. I discovered Talwar through one of his hard-hitting YouTube videos on women’s safety long back. Back then, he would mostly perform while sitting in one place. It was way different from the usual way of acting out jokes by most of his contemporaries. Over time, the chair has disappeared from the stage but the style of the act in the form of a conversation stays the same. The man with an expressive set of eyes only uses content and voice modulation to get his point across.

Karunesh Talwar - Source: Facebook
Karunesh Talwar – Source: Facebook

During his performance, there are no histrionics on stage, no over-the-top performances and no intention of sugar-coating jokes. He is one of the most sensible, straight-forward and intelligent comedians. He also belongs to the rare group of feminist artists who highlight issues from a woman’s perspective. I identify him as a stand-up humorist who tries to show the mirror to a patriarchal society.

He also cracks jokes about the current political scenario and a few unique topics like the Masterchef show and Bollywood. He made a stellar debut on Amazon Prime with his brilliant stand-up special Pata Nahi Par Bolna Hai’. Talwar’s performance is a classic example of using words as a medium to stir the conscience of its audience while tickling them with humor. Recently, his homemade joke videos on life during quarantine turned out to be a laugh riot.

This is the twenty-third post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. Stay tuned to know the details of the content creator(s) getting featured in my post for X tomorrow.

You can read all the posts in this series here. Hope this video brings a smile on your face.

U for Abhishek Upmanyu

I discovered Abhishek Upmanyu, a curly-haired and bespectacled confident comedian with a unique way of delivering jokes in one of Biswa Kalyan Rath‘s videos. He was the only one among a handful of comedians who could make a bunch of children laughs with his impromptu gig. His pace of conversation is so unique that it earned him a show titled ‘thoda saaf bol.’ Over time, this Delhi humorist has got himself a make-over (both the specs and curls have disappeared) while his content has evolved into humor that’s witty yet insightful.

Abhishek Upmanyu Source: YouTube
Abhishek Upmanyu-Source: YouTube

This sharp-witted comedian started stand-up shows speaking about how ugly he looked while as a new-born baby to speaking about the unnecessary pressure on kids to respect elders, life in Delhi v/s Mumbai, friendship, obsession with the show of crime patrol, and many other topics. This observant performer draws inspiration from the mundane things in life and fits the relevant issues within the context of his show.

Of late, he has also started uploading unedited versions of his trial shows and videos of live audience interaction. His self-deprecating humor while roasting people with the same first name as him is ridiculously funny. Upmanyu’s content steers clear of unnecessary profanity and abusive language.

This is the twenty-first post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’ I will see you tomorrow when I disclose the featured funny man in my post for V.

You can read the previous posts in the series here. Don’t forget to click on his video to know why Upmanyu has a special attachment to the crime patrol show.

T for CarryMina(T)i

Creating content that roasts people, movies, performances, and other topics have become a rage for the last couple of years. Carry Minati rose to fame with his videos dissing cringe-worthy content since he was 16-years-old. Though he began posting videos at the age of 10, he rose to success with roast and parody videos. The work of this 21-year-old YouTuber is high in humor quotient though it isn’t devoid of profanity.

Carry Minati - Source IWM Buzz
Carry Minati – Source: IWM Buzz

Carry Minati aka Ajey Nagar is a content creator, comedian, rapper and gamer. It is not just the choice of words that make his videos fun to watch but it is also his lively expressions and relevant voice modulation that add spark to the fun. Speaking in Hindi, his standard way of introduction ‘to kaise hai aap log?’ in all the videos has become a trademark identity for this talented artist.

Carry is famous for his series of videos roasting Gujjar boys, singer Dhinchak Pooja, singer Om Prakash, self-styled Godman Baba Ram Rahim Singh Insan, shows like Big Boss and Pakistani roadies, and apps like TikTok and Vigo among many others. He also runs a gaming channel Carryislive.

In 2018, he was also invited to interview Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill for their movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout in India. He won the Impactful Influencer of the year in 2019 at the MTV IWM Buzz Digital Awards. In 2019, he also featured in the list of ‘Next Generation Leaders’ worldwide by the TIME magazine.

This is the twentieth post in the Blogchatter A2Z challenge based on the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’ I will see you tomorrow when I disclose the featured funny man in my post for U.

You can read the previous posts in the series here. Don’t forget to click on his video where Carry roasts a TikTok sensation Rocky.