Laughing in the face of adversity

Sep 04, 2018, 07:57 IST | Shunashir Sen

A new podcast offers bizarrely humorous solutions to the country's problems

Laughing in the face of adversity
Husein Merchant and Keshav Naidu (in white) record Far From Fact

We might sound like an Urban Naxal here, but the fact is that our country is riddled with 101 problems. Don't believe us? Try boarding a Virar Fast local at 6 pm from Dadar station. Or if you have a car, try driving it down the Andheri flyover. You could also take a stroll in Noida at 2 am if you're a woman, but that might be downright suicidal, like it might be to get yourself admitted in one of Kolkata's government hospitals. So please don't attempt anything of the sort and simply take our word for it when we say that life in India - despite all the promise of the future - can be a veritable nightmare for its ordinary citizens.

We understand, however, that it's far more constructive to offer solutions than merely point out issues. So, here's news about a podcast that throws up innovative answers for some everyday hurdles, the only concern being that implementing the same would be a logistical challenge.

Take what it has to say about tackling the rising number of lynching cases. The solution that Keshav Naidu and Husein Merchant - the duo that hosts Far From Fact, the podcast in question - offer to combat this social menace is building a super-hero called Captain Touch. This character is impervious to any physical sensation of pain. All he thus has to do is fly in wherever there is a blood-thirsty mob and bear the brunt of their blows. That way, not only is the mob's lust for violence satisfied, but Captain Touch also fulfils his social service of ensuring that no lives are lost. It's a win-win situation.

Then there's Dr Robokar, a robotic surgeon who can help solve the country's healthcare problems. Except, hospital authorities garland it before its maiden operation - since that's what we do before inaugurating new machines - and the flowers restrict the robot's limb movements. Then there is a power-cut. So, God help the person being operated on.

There are other similarly oddball answers that the podcast offers over the nine episodes aired so far. But we ask Naidu about one particular issue that gets his goat the most. "It's how little it takes these days to be labelled a seditionist," he answers. So is that a concern they will address in a future episode? "Not before we have a legal team in place, since I'm broke right now," he says, revealing how we aren't the only ones here facing the risk of being branded as anti-nationals, or Urban Naxals, if you go with prevailing lingo.

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