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From the Ongoing Protests to Drowning a BMW, Comedians Discuss News Headlines in 'EIC Charcha'

By Mihika Jindal 10 January 2020

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Comedy collective EIC (one of the last surviving collectives) has explored a bunch of content formats over the years. Besides their solo standup acts, we’ve seen Bollywood parodies, outrage rants, sketches, and talk shows. The latest addition to that ever-changing roster is EIC Charcha. A video podcast, if you like, in which some or all members of EIC (depending on their availability) are joined by non-EIC comedians to sit around and talk about the bizarre things happening in India (and there’s a lot!), in the way only comedians can.

Azeem Banatwalla looks like the leader of the pack, struggling to balance his laptop on his knees, often starting the episode by making a joke on EIC’s past. If you like hanging out in other people’s living rooms gathering their thoughts without the burden of chipping in the conversation, this is where you should be.

From Greta Thunberg’s anger issues to a Zomato rider’s religious identity, here’s all that EIC has been discussing through 2019 into 2020:

1. They chose the most happening week to kickstart the series, discussing Chandrayaan’s journey, Faceapp, Priyanka Chopra getting slammed by the internet for a picture in which she’s smoking, and the Ambanis killing us with a birthday video they made for their daughter-in-law, Shloka.

2. The one in which the EIC bunch are amused by PM Narendra Modi’s little outing with Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild, Zomato getting in trouble for their delivery boys, and the whole Area51 uproar (yeah, sometimes international news beats all that’s happening in India).

3. Abish Mathew comes in to continue the DC vs MCU debate, imagine what would happen if our Aadhar cards really got linked with our social media accounts, and how a guy in Haryana drowned his BMW because his father didn’t buy him a Jaguar.

4. Here they’re extending the Aarey Forest protest and bringing back (for the nth time) all of Mumbai’s problems and Nirmala Sitaram’s beef with millennials. Oh, and Azeem Banatwalla and Sapan Verma make way for Naveen Richard and Ashish Shakya as their guests.

5. Azeem is still missing in this one, but the panel is joined by Pavitra Shetty. Together they wonder what the #HowdyModi event must have been like and why comedian Hasan Minhaj was denied entry. How Greta Thunberg is daring to speak all our minds, and what the hell is up with babies on flights.

6. The four finally find time together again! This one’s about Amit Shah demanding more human rights (?), Rajnath Singh writing ‘Om’ on the Rafale plane while ‘taking its delivery’ in France, and the controversy around Joker.

7. The US claimed to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the EIC gang is wondering why Donald Trump is interested in shutting down late-night food joints in Mumbai. Then they talk about the odd-even rule in Delhi and how was it different this time.

8. And the last episode of 2019 brought on Aishwarya Mohanraj and Rahul Subramanian. This episode was released in the midst of political chaos that had started gripping the country: the President’s Rule in Maharashtra, the JNU protests (one of the first) and the Ayodhya verdict.

9. Azeem Banatwalla’s laptop has been replaced with a drink in hand; way to start 2020! Anirban Dasgupta and Rohan Joshi join the discussion about how we should all include protests in our monthly schedules because they are here to stay. Also, Bangalore is installing full-length mirrors on the streets where people urinated. Watch this one also to see Anirban zone out and then jump right back in, effortlessly.

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