Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Your breath stank of mediocrity
your words were filled with despair
your condition was terminal
your personality beyond repair

Your beliefs were  the carcass of your ancestral fears
you spewed them as and when
the neighbors were a victim of your continuous 
unapologetic rant

You linked your beliefs to what you thought
the society actually felt
But a group of people without vision
were just a zombie camp 

To this zombie camp 
you proudly said you belonged
but little do you know
that you are ill-informed 

Sometimes in the name of religion
Sometimes in the name of faith
you kept repeating those words
kept making the same mistake

Till one day you met a woman
who spun your world around
she told you to step out the line
find your own ground

You didn't listen to sound advice
you just listened to the sound
for the advice you receive 
might not be important
till the advice is own self found

So your breath still stinks of mediocrity
and with mediocrity you shall die
unless you search your conscience and tell your fears goodbye

Connect the dots and not all dots might connect today
but one day when they all make sense
you'll thank thee that day
Everyone deserves greatness
Mediocrity is small play.

Sharul Channa

Sunday, 21 June 2015

My middle-class values.

So, what is wrong with saying Namastay to your older folks at a function, wedding or gathering. My parents taught me to say namastay to every uncle or aunty whenever i saw them -  as a sign of respect and that's what i have grown up with. That's not it. When i was young,my mom used to make me put my hands together and seek blessings if we passed by any temple, mosque or church. Once, i put my hands together to seek blessings from a building that looked like a temple..turned out it was a government office in Delhi!  I felt like an idiot.
 It used to be ok though to say namastey to aunties and uncles! Absolutely fine! Suddenly, the society decides its not. Apparently, its uncool to say namastay nowadays. Just say HELLO aunty or Uncle and the next statement you might hear is  - "Don't call me aunty..just call me by name!". That itself is such an aunty thing to say! If you are 20 years older to me…i'll call you aunty alright! Especially if you are Asian! With white folks, don't you dare call them aunty or uncle cos that's not their culture and its perfectly fine! It's not something they have grown up with. Every taxi uncle in Singapore is uncle and every lady is aunty.. this is just a sign of respect.

I am from a middle class family. We are brought up in a certain way and those values or teachings stick with us for life. Mainly also cos the values were taught using a stick. I am from the ' Don't sit on the sofa with your legs on them' and 'don't ever eat the last samosa on the plate' generation. Family functions at our place used to such an interesting affair. Every once in 6 months, all the middle class families would gather at one of the family's house. So if the gathering is at our place..the following would be checklist.

1. Ethnic bedcovers for each bed set in the house and once the beds have been tucked in with these dust exuding but colorful bedcovers, none of the children of the house could sit on the bed till guests have arrived and seen that we are a clean family!
2. 'Corning Corelle 'crockery out of the cupboard only after 6 months especially for family functions cos god forbid any of us ate in those 'crystal plates' and broke them
3. 5 Main Dishes with Basmati Rice cos Basmati rice meant you were rich and an oval salad plate decorated with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Daikon Radish (mooli), Lemon and Onions. It was our duty as kids to decorate this salad plate so we stay distracted and don't sit on the neatly tucked in beds.
4.  A tray with 4 goodies to be served with tea or soft drinks placed on the sofa table.

Families would trickle in with their little gifts which would range from our brand of middle class chocolates also known as - "ferrero rocher" and the one gift all the families had chipped in for - ANOTHER 'Corning corelle' crockery set.

As children, we would be obliged to bring the other kids in our rooms and sit around talking about redundant shit while our parents would sit outside talking about stuff that didn't matter. The fellow kids would be dressed in their best outfits that they were  forced into by their parents and obviously had a crying match as the material was too prickly and they felt like they were attending a child marriage or worse - were the child getting married.

Once dinner was announced, the kids would have the privilege to have their food first and moms would join along acting like they were feeding the kids but at the same stuffing their own mouths as they were tired from all the bragging about their child's talents and grades. While that would be going on at the ladies and children section, fathers would be busy with their whiskey-soda,non- veg platter and salad..occasionally getting nudged or eye-balled by their wives so that they don't get drunk and start behaving unruly. The fathers were usually forced by their wives to eat their dinner as soon as possible using their children as an excuse with statements like - "Bunty has art-class tomorrow morning..we'll have to leave soon..have your dinner."  Bunty, on the other hand, was busy having a pillow fight in the room with the other kids and has no idea he has been used as a pawn to get this father to eat."

Once the men started with their dinner, the dance and song segment started where the children were told to entertain the "crowds" by dancing to bollywood or Michael Jackon songs. This was usually done so that the ladies could have their fair share of dancing without looking like they wanted to do it. So basically, the kids were the first-to-be-on-the-dancefloor losers so that the cooler people could join in later!

Once dinner-dance was done, families would start trickling out of the house as it was too late while the nicely tucked ethnic bed covers were on the floor cos the kids had a pillow fight and the sink was filled with crockery waiting to be washed. Once everyone had left, a very drunk father would be sitting on the sofa watching the late night hindi movie and mum would be making the tired kids pose for pictures using the kodak camera. These pictures were usually taken against a flower pot or a mirror for that double effect. After this was done, mum would bring out the gifts given by the other families in hope that one of the gifts would be for her…but alas - the corning corelle crockery would appear and she would put it away to use after 6 months. We, the children, didn't bother cos we could sit with dad and watch a late-night movie for once without being told to go back into our rooms.

The one thing common in all these parties was that every kid said Namastey to each other's parents when they came in and before they left the house and till today these now grown up kids say namestay to my parents when they meet them. I do the same to their parents. Mutual respect.

So hey, Namestay.
Yup, you too aunty.
Live with it.


Sharul Channa

Saturday, 20 June 2015

I am not a dirty girl.

I am not a dirty girl. Wait..i am not a girl anymore. Thanks for calling me a girl but what is dirty?
I 've recently heard people in their 50s come up to me and say - "I love your work sharul, you dirty naughty girl!" Hey..thanks for the compliment but what's with calling me dirty or naughty? What do you mean anyway? Is my face filled with mud or am i wearing soiled clothes? So then i figured. They mean i spew these bad words sometimes and might say some inappropriate things like for example : SEX. May i ask? Why is sex considered dirty in asian countries or why is it considered dirty anyway?
Don't you folks sit around your group of men and women and share these sex jokes during parties and laugh to yourselves. Then why is it wrong if i take the mic and tell a couple of sex jokes. To be completely honest, i hardly have any sex jokes but even if i did..EVEN if i did..why is it naughty?

I am no dirty girl. I thought i was when i was little. I thought it was wrong to even think of sex till the age of 18. Cause that's the legal age for many things..i thought one day when i turn 18..suddenly, it'll be ok to think of sex and all these thoughts would just gush into my mind cos they finally have permission to but till then..let me just control all these thoughts and not let them in. Suppression. I suppressed my sexual thoughts for the longest time. Of course i was human so when thoughts would enter this little sharul's head at the age of 14…she would close her eyes shut tight and start praying and then her thoughts would be a culmination of sexual positions and deities which would then lead to more guilt and suppression. Is it just me? Is it? No, its not. I am sure that millions of asian teenagers have been through the same.

Around that same age, i started liking a boy. Or i thought i liked him. It was  flowery imagination of singing around in a park with him and being a submissive little lady with household chores as responsibilities. I let myself indulge in these thoughts about him for years. So did i like him? No. I liked the scenarios i created around him in my head with him being my hero. Was he that hero? No. Did i have sexual thoughts about him? No. It was all emotional. So i emotionally developed and sexually became so much more suppressed. I didn't know why i had so much pent up frustrations in my body. My body was extremely hot and i don't mean it sexually again. You see? I had hormonal issues..pimples popped onto my face like it was some sort of 'pimples unite gathering'. Till today, my skin breaks out with these pimples. I have just learnt how to live with them now. I blame this sexual suppression for the cause of my bad skin. I do. No release.

It's weird cos we are never meant to enjoy our sexuality..boys or girls. Why don't we ? Why do we  get shy at the prospect of masturbation. Why don't we talk to our children and tell them that it is alright to feel these emotions. So many people out there go without being sexually active even after the age of 18 because they think its something they can live without. No. It's not! It is in our basic nature to be loved physically and enjoy our bodies. So am i dirty? No..i am not! I am absolutely healthy and i let myself be explored by my partner. So if i happen to talk about sex on stage someday and its a joke that happens to make people laugh..i will perform it! Cos its not dirty my friend, its life.

Thank you!


Sharul Channa

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Big Leap.

hey people.

So i have decided to get traditionally married. Yup. You heard it right and you heard it from a freakin blog..that's how i do it! You know i just really want to avoid the whole..this relative heard it from this relative heard it from this friend and then i have an argument in the house about who leaked the news out. Things are meant to be if they are meant to be. To be honest, i don't believe in the concept of 'the marriage' cos i have seen enough marriages with commitment issues. Marriage and commitment can co-exist but don't necessarily do. Still, i think our families need closure and i think alright.. let's give it to them. It's happening in November and i want it small so if you don't get invited…just don't invite me for yours! It's that simple. If you did invite me for yours and i can't invite you for mine - i am sorry..we have a quota! Its money people..i rather save that money for a holiday with my partner than spend tons making it huge. Its a personal ceremony anyway and all we want are your blessings. Which now boils down to the following QUESTIONS..

1. Where shall the wedding be held?
2. Do i really have to go india to shop for my wedding?
3. What food do we cater?
4. Can i not do some of the misogynistic ceremonies that are all man-made..(i probably won't)..

If you catch me looking lost and slightly disjointed..its is cos i am looking for a place to get married.


Pretty much. That's it.



Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Do I self-censor myself?

(Photography by Evan Murphy)

Do i self-censor myself? Sometimes. I am guilty of that. I live in a country like Singapore where i am forced to cater to groups of people from different ethnicities. Does that stop me from pointing out the cultural differences that i happen to notice? Nope. It doesn't. There is a fine line between making fun and simply pointing out our cultural differences. Then there are the audience members who say - "I am into smart know? Intelligent jokes? You know not about race? Witty humor?"
I always laugh at such comments. Mr Bean has been making billions of people laugh with his physical humor..sometimes knocking himself down and sometimes getting himself involved in the most awkward situations ever. We burst out laughing at those "Just for gags" tv programs where people are punked into believing certain situations. We all laugh at those jokes. What is witty, intelligent , smart humor anyway? If you are making a room full of people laugh..its are funny. Stand-up comedy is all about personal experiences and often as comics we start off stating the cultural differences between different races that are obvious to us. And hear these statements. Smart humor might make you want to "think" but people watch stand-up for different reasons. Some want to hear your funny stories, some don't want to think at all and some want to be challenged. To those who want to feel mentally challenged..all i want to say is - there are other for example Sudoko or a maths class. That's what i think. At least that's what i laugh at. Simple observations. We all get better as writers. The more we perform and watch other comedians..our writing gets better. Stage time is key here. You can't trade off stage time with anything. We jump up on stage and find new things every time we do. Sometimes we don't find anything. We get bored with our own jokes and then crack our heads to write something that means something to us but we try to take a different approach. 1000 ways to look at one subject. It isn't easy! I can tell you that! Having said that, if you love the art of stand-up..the writing process is such an exciting journey. From the writing pad to the mic - the joke evolves. Some jokes are funnier when written as a status update but the moment you say it loses its charm. 
The one thing i am scared of is though  is self-censoring myself. I might have started doing that in the fear of hurting people. I need to get out of that bubble. Someone is bound to get hurt..i find my personal experiences painful but hilarious. When i am over the pain, i will be able to pick up the pen and write about the absurdity of it all. I am in process of doing that. In the middle of it all, i break down and then i continue writing till i start humoring myself. If you look close enough, every funny story has shades of tragedy in it. Nope, i am not depressed about anything. I am just trying to awaken those numbed areas of my experiences that i never wished to acknowledge. That process requires some shaking and waking up! You know how you sleep on your hand and then wake up feeling like its dead and then you frantically rub it into life again! Yup, that one. Awakening in process.
See you at the next comedy show.

Warmest regards,

Sharul Channa

Wednesday, 11 March 2015



We enter the room with our little notebooks
mumbling to ourselves
fist bumping fellow comics
whispering remarks to our peers
We glance around the room to see
how many are there
how many seated
front seat
Looking at the line up
we see our position
we see who closes that night
One eyebrow raised and a smile
we eagerly wait for our turn
pacing in and out of the room like maniacs
Sometimes sharing new jokes with a trusted comic
Sometimes keeping to ourselves
typing statuses on Facebook to perform to social media
Fear, sweat, excitement,nervousness
Time to perform
We throw all that we have and make them laugh
some hits
some misses
End on high and leave
We scribble on our little notebooks again
Think why something worked
Why it didn't
Feeling optimistic that next time would be even better
with a hope to write an hour
with a hope to get more laughs
with the eagerness to perform yet again
We reach home
Slouched over
Looking at our laptops
and hoping we could perform this new joke
That just popped into our heads
to an audience
eagerly waiting for the next time
and the next
and the next

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Long Overdue.

Hey hey folks!

So yeah, my previous rant was rather hard core and i didn't know what to blog after but i've come around and decided that i have so much more to say. Blogs are a thing of the past aren't they?At an age where we could just switch on the camera and say whatever we wanted to and just upload it on youtube, how many people actually want to type out and write a blog that might/ might want not be read. Having said that, writing just helps you release something off your chest and makes your 2nd level thoughts surface faster. That's where ideas for jokes rest. The second level. What does that mean anyway? I guess i mean to say..ideas for jokes rest in the subconscious mind and till you don't scratch the surface and talk about the don't quite get to these hidden emotions,thoughts,expressions that are waiting to be felt,heard and expressed. So many things have happened in the past months. For one, I was part of a two handler stand-up/comedy skit show called 'The Rishi and Sharul Show' but apart from that i was just going through some emotional turmoils which i have pretty much sorted out now. Yes, it is extremely difficult for artists to write, perform and express when they have a sea of unresolved issues brewing inside of them  but i guess there is a way to cope and in the past few months i learnt how to do exactly that. Being able to use that chaotic energy to perform. There is something therapeutic about performing to a group of people. For an hour and a half - you just have one goal and that goal is to entertain. It helps you release the stress that you've been harboring inside of you from the turmoil. Theatre healed me these past few months. It's personally been a great learning curve.

I have decided to write so much more now and this blog seems to be an outlet i could use. Sometimes you just got to put it out there. It doesn't have to be funny all the time. It just has to connect. So here i am connecting.  Hope to write so much for myself now because i think it is even more important in a time like this to speak the truth or write it.

So, i ll be here writing much more and if you happen to find me here....perhaps i could somehow connect with you.

Love and regards,
Sharul Channa