Direction : Vir Das
Writer : Vir Das
Cast : Vir Das

HISTORY OF INDIA - VIRitten play review

Afsha Khan

HISTORY OF INDIA - VIRittenIf you have already seen Vir Das perform, you'd know that he just isn't another stand-up comedian telling politically incorrect jokes. He is a performer, a one man show who has his audiences struggle to keep their pants dry.

HISTORY OF INDIA VIRITTEN opens with a bit of a geology lesson from Kavi Shastri who takes us through the boring bits of how land masses on earth broke away and separated. He takes some snarky jabs at Australians, Africans and everyone in between, namely us. He doesn't stay long, which is a good thing because his comic timing was a bit off even though his jokes were extremely funny.

Das admitted on stage that he was a bit concerned about the material of this particular show - what if it wasn't well received (politically)? But since he played the longest, the most star studded rendition of the Indian national anthem at the beginning of the show, we were sure he'd be all right. And right enough all went well and ended in a standing ovation with dazzled spectators screaming for more.

There are many who might think that history is no laughing matter. Those who beg to differ must drag whoever these uptight people are to watch Vir Das' take on the History of India. There is a lot to be learned. Like did you know that the first emperor of ancient India took orders from a fish? Or that Hrithik Roshan... sorry, the Mughal emperor Akbar had a Christian as well as a Hindu wife? You probably don't even know what the British probably thought of us when we started following the Gandhian values of Swadesh and Satyagraha. But the best thing you'll learn from the show is how to motivate Indian men to stand up against issues like poverty and illiteracy among others. You might be familiar with it... If not ask your dad about Sanjay Gandhi's programme for "family planning".

Illustrated through great lighting and more than 200 projection slides, Vir Das in his sherwani has a great show going. Sure, there were a few micro-seconds when he lost his audience, and once when he bumbled up a punch line. But he rebounded so well that you wonder whether these goof-ups are for real or just part of his act.

Don't miss the Viritten version of the history of our great nation because Das has outdone himself. Word to the wise -- the show is a funny, seat wetting crash course in Indian history. Please go prepared.

*Afsha Khan is a Mumbai Based writer and blogger.

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