The Prime Comedic Principle

Comedy, in its numerous forms, is the finest remedy to a disturbed mind. But like every medicine, comedy works on a simple principle – which I call ‘The Prime Comedic Principle’

The Prime Comedic Principle

Comedy is mainly of two type – visual and verbal. In the past when recording device weren’t developed, visual comedy was the norm. And after the advent of audio recording and talkie films, comedy gradually became more and more verbal. Irrespective of which kind of comedy you prefer, it revolves around one principle.

The Prime Comedic Principle states that in order to be humorous sequence or speech must form an expectation in the minds of its audience and then overthrow that expectation.

Demonstration

Take a look comic scene from the hugely successful SITCOM ‘Friends’

Joey, Chandler, Monica and Rachel are looking at an old home video of Monica, when she was fat.

Joey points to fat Monica on the screen and screams

“Some girl ate Monica!”

The audience laughs.

Monica dismisses him quoting a popular TV phrase

“Shut up The camera add ten pounds”

Now the usual expectation is that the joke ends here.  But that expectation is overthrown as Chandler stretches the joke one last time.

“So how many cameras were actually on you?”

The audience bursts into laughter on this final punchline.

Conclusion

If you want to make someone laugh, create an expectation and then destroy it. The more expert comedians go the extra mile, destroying a single expectation two or three times over.  So if you are pursuing a career as a comedian or are just looking to improve your sense of humour, this rule is for you.

Note : The Prime Comedic Principle is just a rough guideline. Comedy is an art; art thrives on the occasional breaking of rules. So don’t follow the principle to the letter, but just keep it in mind.

 

Informal Education is a needless Taboo.

What is informal education?

Informal education is style of education that diverges away from the formal structure of education. Unlike the the fixed curriculum, a finite number of exams and the emphasis on physical presence in a classroom ( the features of a formal education), informal education promotes more flexible methods of learning which involve – self learning, experiential learning, out of the box thinking and acceptance of new trends.

The history of Formal Education

Ever since the modern education system began, a majority of the human population has subscribed to that system. The reason for this bias was that the formal structure of education was more dependable, predictable and had a potential to show consistent results. This is why, the formal education system spanned every nook and corner of the civilized world. There was no second thought to whether a different style of education might be better in some way or the other. Formal education became the way to go, if you wanted to become successful in life. And more so, after the beginning of formal education, every field adopted the structure. And before we knew it, engineers, doctors, accountants, artists and even military men were being subjected to the same style of education. Despite having contrastingly different occupations, they followed the same classroom approach to everything they needed to learn.

Since the system was proving to be successful, no one ever thought to question it. And by question it, I don’t mean completely overthrowing it. I mean thinking hard and sound about whether formal education is appropriate for oneself.

Think to yourself. After you’d finished high school, you would have spent days, even months on choosing a field of learning that best fits your interest. But you never even for one second, spent time evaluating your style of learning. If you had, you would have asked yourself this question –  “Formal and informal education, which of the two am I comfortable with?”

But instead we go on, without questioning the style. We dive into the water, without judging the depth.

Why is informal education a taboo?

We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.

-Christof, ( The Truman Show – 1998)

Now since the belief in formal education has been reinforced over many generations, usually everyone instinctively chooses formal education. Why wouldn’t they? It shows success and everyone follows it. From their standpoint it is completely logical to blindly follow formal education.

And a rare few stop to logically evaluate the two styles of learning. Some of them arrive at the decision that informal education is better for them. And to those who have stepped into formal education  with blind faith, choosing informal education seems completely illogical.

The fish in the water looks at the bird in the air and despises him.

That is why when someone chooses to follow the informal structure, they’re termed as crazy, lazy, and other degrading terms.  And since formal education is the norm everywhere in the world, informal education has become a global taboo.

Why it is a needless taboo?

It is completely illogical to not question your style of learning. And more mindless is to choose your style of learning based on what others have done in the past. What ever style you choose should be a reflection your particular strengths and weaknesses. Your style of learning is your identity and should be chosen after proper evaluation of the alternatives.

And if after such a process, one arrives at the decision that informal education is the best for them, it is their personal choice. No one has the right to insult a person who choses to educate themselves outside the bounds of a classroom. It is their own choice. No one  (Not even parents )has a right to interfere in what route of learning an individual chooses.

Snippets from my life

Exactly one year ago, I got around to evaluating whether pursuing a degree was right for me. I reached the conclusion that I wasn’t comfortable with the structure of formal education. I wanted to learn things on my own terms. My interests are highly divergent. I have a professional interest in a variety of fields such as engineering, physics, filmmaking and writing.  Having such a wide scope of interest, being subjected to the a singular field of interest for half my day is uncomfortable.

And when I communicated my thoughts to my parents about me wanting to discontinue formal education, they erupted into hysteria. They called me crazy. When I said I didn’t want to be like everyone else, the asked me why the hell did I want to be different? They didn’t understand me back then, and they don’t even now.

So to them, I have this to say.

I love learning but on my own terms. I’m uncomfortable dedicating 4 years of my life to a singular interest. I want to learn everything, and I want to do that all the time. From your standpoint this might seem logical, but it isn’t. What is illogical and completely psychotic is that you yourself have never evaluated your style of learning. I pity you because you cannot see through my eyes, because you are missing out on all the sides of this world that I can see and you can’t, because you have closed your mind.

So whatever you say or do to force me into formal education, the reality won’t change – you followed the masses blindly, like mindless sheep. It was your choice. And to not live blindly is mine. I didn’t interfere in your choices, please leave me alone in mine.

 

Parenting is the art of Parent-making.

Good parents raise their kids for success. Great parents raise them for parenting.

People have forgotten what it is to be a great parent. And all that remains of the field of ‘Parenting’ is just a matter of delegations. Parents nowadays outsource their responsibilities to various institutions. They rely on religion to teach their kids values, on schools to make their kids knowledgeable and on law and order to discipline their kids.

This blatant delegation of tasks is happening because parents are too engrossed in earning money. In the pursuit of being the providers, parents have forgotten how to raise kids.

But becoming a great parent isn’t impossible.

Of course, the  Art of Parenting is difficult to master, but is governed by a simple principle.

Raise your kids for parenting and success will follow.

This simple rule is the pillar of parenting. If you don’t agree, give me a moment to convince you :

According to nature, our purpose is to reproduce and further our species. We do that by becoming good parents and ensuring that our children survive. But what if you go the extra mile? Teach your kids to become good parents. This will ensure that their children will survive. By raising your kids for parenting, you have made them strong and intelligent. And more so, you have made them great parents, so that they raise their kids the right way. In doing so, you have not only ensured the survival of your children, but of your grandchildren too. You have done more than nature demanded of you. You have excelled in your role as a parent.

I’ve seen many people in my life who’ve knowingly or unknowingly followed this principle.  And one such person has been my mother.  Not once in my life did she treat me like a kid. She treated me like a parent-in-training. She imbibed in me all the necessary qualities that were necessary for being a great parent. And for that, I’m eternally grateful to my mother. Her timeless dedication in raising me to be a good parent, is the reason I am able to write this blog or do anything for that matter.

So, Thank you Ma!

P.S  – If my blog has survived the weathering of time, and somehow, my future child is reading it, I just want to say:

I’ll strive to be a good parent all my life. I will put you above everything else. I will spend a lot of time with you. And I will raise you to be a great parent. And we’ll have a lot of fun.

Can’t wait to see you, kiddo 🙂

baby-499976_1920.jpg

 

 

 

 

God needs no middle man

Every religion has a structure that consists of various religious heads, priests and priestesses. This structure acts as the intermediary between god and man. Man must communicate to god as per the rules defined by the clergy. Also, the messages of god are interpreted by the priests and priestesses and then conveyed to ordinary people. But this structure leads to a lot of misunderstanding and false conveyances.

The relationship between a man and his god is a personal one. One need only talk directly to god, without the interference of middlemen. Because if god is in fact omnipotent and omnipresent, he will hear you irrespective of the fact that you speak from within a holy place or not. All that matters in your relationship with god is that you speak to him. The ways and rituals of how you communicate don’t matter. Even if you speak casually to god, like he were your friend, he would listen. Sometimes you don’t even need to speak. Just look around you, he’ll be there. He’ll know what you are going through. He’ll know what you need. And he’ll do his best to get you what you deserve. All you need to do is have faith, in him, and in you.

So the next time you want to talk to god, just talk to him. Don’t bother about what the world says. No one has the right to come between you and your god. Certainly no middle men. God Bless!

An empty mind, the demon’s den.

       God is the origin of everything in this universe. It is then obvious why most of us don’t care to investigate the origin of God himself. But a curious mind must question everything, even if it means questioning the creation of the creator himself.

      Before we begin, I must put forth a cautionary disclaimer : Hereafter when I say god, I refer to the human concept of God and not the actual creator himself.

When did we first think about God?

Before farming came about, everyday was a struggle for the basic necessities. Animals were hunted, fruits and roots foraged and communities were on high alert for predators and other external threats. When the day was finally over, there wasn’t enough energy left over for philosophical thought. Our ancestors couldn’t spare time for pursuits that didn’t directly supplement  survival.

The rise of farming brought about a bit of stability to the human mind. But still, there was a lot of work to be done. Farming was a 24/7 job. One had to watch the field every waking hour to make sure it was guarded from pests. Having such a jam packed schedule left little time for existential questions.

Who created the world?

What is our purpose in life?

Is there a creator?

Of course, when natural calamities ravaged crops, our ancestors attributed these happenings to a supernatural power that needed to be appeased. But that concept of a divine entity stemmed out of fear and poor knowledge of weather. God had taken birth in the mind of man but he hadn’t yet become a necessity.

Many generations later, the world had progressed rapidly.  All of our ancestors were farmers. But we didn’t have to be. Only a small portion of the population stayed farmers. The rest proceeded on to more clerical, sedentary jobs that left a lot of free time. And then came the Industrial revolution. Machines reduced a lot of manual labor. Now, our mind was ridden of the fear of predators, worry of crops and the struggle for basic survival. Our mind was empty. And an empty mind is craves something to think about. And in those curious cravings, we created God, in our own image.

Whether the actual creator of the universe exists or not – is still up for debate. But the God that we created, is certainly a figment of our imagination, created by the devil’s workshop.

Where there’s light, there’s darkness.

The most serious pests plaguing the whole world are terrorists. One is forced to ask, why are they only now popping up on the world map? Well, the question is fundamentally wrong. Terrorists have always been their since the dawn of mankind. The only difference is in the meaning of peace. In the past, peace meant peace for your own kind of humans. So anyone that intruded in that peace was in fact a terrorist. In today’s times, peace has been standardized to become a global phenomenon.  The contemporary meaning of peace entails that all of the human population on this planet lives without a security threat. It is this globalized meaning of peace that lead to the word called ‘Terrorist’

Terrorist – Any person that causes harm to life without a criminal motive.

In a way, peace and terror are like light and shadow. The need for peace gives recognition to the obstacles in the path to peace. These obstacles are then given various names, all connected loosely or closely to terrorism. So in a way, if there is peace, there will be terror. It can’t be avoided. Of course it can be curbed so as to cause minimal harm to life. But the terrorist problem is akin to cancer. It can be minimized but never eradicated completely. And the only way to cure cancer (as of now, fingers crossed) is to kill the body itself. If the need for peace is given up, terrorists will have nothing to feed and flourish on. Because then, there will be no difference between peace and terror.

The choice rests with the people of the world. Do we fight them and suffer some bruises? OR Do we become like them to avoid the bruises altogether?

The decision is yours.

Noise on the outside is silence within.

I happen to have the luxury of an air-conditioned bedroom. The benefits of this facility are twofold : 1) I can keep my cool on hot summer days 2) The room is deathly silent, which makes for a great concentration booster.

One day, I opened the window in my bedroom while the air-conditioner was still running. I heard an incessantly loud noise – like somewhere close a car had an engine running. But there wasn’t any car around with a running engine. So looked at the compressor unit of the air conditioner fitted into the bottom grill of my window. It was this machine that was making that awful noise. So I closed the window. The room fell silent once more.

Today I was reminded of that incident. I realised that the silence the air-conditioner gave me had a cost. My room remained silent while another noise was added to the world outside.

And then I thought, humans have a similar affliction. Those that make the most noise on the outside, have a deep silence inside. If a person talks a lot, incessantly so then it is because he’s trying to avoid the silence inside his mind. Also, you’ll observe that the most shy of people are those who have the most worthwhile things to say. They speak seldom, but they speak gold. They’re like a dam, holding back water, and sending forth useful energy for people to enjoy.

To put this principle in a few words,

What you see on the surface, is the opposite of what is inside.

This principle isn’t a universal one. Human nature is much more nuanced to be governed by a singular principal. But what I’ve said is something to think about. The principle isn’t completely useless.