Comic Relief: Based on the life of Venkat Ananth

Great philosophers tried to warn us. Woodstock tricked us into a culture of free love. As the wheel was turning, the horror that was going to be slapped on our ears was slowly growing. Convergence, one world, joint ventures, oh, the world tried to make up for its mistake, but they failed. Political parties waved its flag of regionalism, but the globalized society would not hear a word. From fail, this effort was epic fail.

The dreaded day arrived. The world met the coloured, globalized, secular, whatever fuck you wanna call it, inglorious accent of Venkat Ananth. It happened to me day before yesterday. Mr. Annoying met Mr. Accent and both dove into the depths of this man and dished out a concoction that was heady, but not in a good way.

He was alright before. Bearable without an accent. Hiding under the alias of Gajesh or Gajju, this harmless creature came across as an innocent lost boy. When we should have acted, we followed the great Ramiz Raja’s words and ‘commiserated’. And how we regret that. We’d seen glimpses of what we would face in the future, but never did we imagine that it would sock us in the face, the way it did.

Let me tell you a bit about the epitome of identity crisis, our beloved Venkat Ananth. He is a Tamilian raised in a Mahrashtrian dominated Thane. A die-hard cricket fan who favours Sri lanka over India. And this has nothing to do with his colour. (See, not racial). We still don’t know the reason behind his fascination. To commoners, it comes across as he’s the guy who loves being different. Loves the underdog. Or rather always supports the second favourite. Which should translate to him being a fan of Liverpool or Arsenal when it comes to football. It’s just a logical way to look at it. But he supports Manchester United with a nationalistic pride you won’t find in an Indian cricket fanatic. When I said epitome of identity crisis, I was backing it with facts. I won’t get into the London chapter of his life as I was privileged not to know it. But with great sadness and amusement I bring to you an ongoing chapter of his life or as I call it a fun evening.

I had heard tales about his latest quest to find himself. Some found it annoying. Others found it amusing. And as the man walked in wearing his glasses over his head and greeted us, I burst out laughing. It was like you’ve been bombarded by books of ‘man walks into the bar’ jokes. A Tamilian from Thane had picked up a Haryanvi accent. As he kept on vomiting horrible hindi on our plates, where every sentence was rounded and lingered, he was becoming Yo Yo Honey Singh. “Kya kehriyaih? Gurgaonavan mein? Kabhi milyon hume. Oh yaar, samjha kar.  Oh Saket-uh”. Behen had become Bainnuh. All this with a put on accent and traces of a nasal South Indian accent. Within this projectile vomit, the tamilian with a Haryanvi accent added a Marathi touch with “Vaapra nahi hai”. Somewhere deep down, we knew he was special.

All jokes aside, the frustrating part is when this man speaks in English, he is just fine. And when he is not ranting over something stupid, the man has a brain too. We spoke for an hour. From Agassi to Nadal to Barca to stadiums of hate.  From Bhogle and his writing styles to the dreaded IPL. We spoke of journalism and commercialization and how both will juice the sport for its benefit. We spoke of passions and professionalism and the undercurrent we need to live by for the monies. The man is a voracious reader, a very good writer, but most importantly a good man!

Don’t know if he chooses to humour people or gets humoured in the bargain. While his incessant banter about inane things may fuck your brains over, his accent will always provide a comic relief.

Happy birthday brother. Drop the fucking accent.

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