3 great things amidst a boring day: Alex Babu and talking life with friends overseas

It’s 8pm today. By any standards, this is just a normal Friday for me here at Bangalore. But then 3 things happened in the morning that cheered me up.

While preparing to do my boring but regular workout (after being extra pumped by David Goggins the previous night), I came to know about one Alexander Babu from a few stray youtube comments in one of my favorite depressing songs (Ullathil nalla Ullam).

In just 2 short clips (one was just his #AlexInWonderland trailer) I fell in love with him. When you discover a person’s art for the first time, if you are like me, you’d want to know everything that person has done, as soon as possible. Next few hours of my life went in service of that madness.

Alexander Babu is an up and coming standup comedian. He’s tamil. He’s chritian. He’s funny alright. But he sings too with a God’s voice. And he plays tabla. Speaks great Thanglish. I was enamored. And then as if that wasn’t enough, I came to know he’s also a Yoga instructor, worked as software engineer for 15 years including in Amazon in USA and writes tamil & english verses for his songs. He looks 30 right? No, he’s 44. Can you believe that?

He filled the gap left by Louis CK inside of me. There was no doubt about the comparison. There were many great standup comedians that I love. Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, Bill Burr etc. But only Louis CK had other skills like editing, directing, acting, writing screenplay and coming up with funny and poignant skits. These other skills stood him out in the top from the other great ones by a miles distance. Alex’s music skills sets him apart from the others here.

I couldn’t contain the excitement I was feeling after finding this man. So pinged my friends in whatsapp to see if they know him. Of course they all know him. One insulted me with a selfie they took with him during a live contest they attended in US!

I’m saving up his #AlexInWonderland show to see with my family this weekend. It’s going to be great.

This whatsapp prompt started 2 conversations 2 friends - one from US and the other from Singapore. In parallel.

With the US friend, we talked about parenting, contentment and how our own parents can harm us unintentionally with their good intentions.

The Singapore friend was vicariously living our college excitement days when he said he wanted to hear about my recent chennai trip where about 7 of my friends met over the weekend. We were just reminiscing about the good old days there.

And then all of a sudden he said he’s into spirituality and is teaching english to poor kids in Chennai? What? Turns out the charity he regularly contributes to, had asked him if he’d mentor one of these poor college going kids occasionally. He talks to one of them once in 2 days for about 30 minutes and teaches him some English. This is great stuff! I thought about it over the day and decided I too want to do this. I feel like my work doesn’t impact that many people directly. There are a lot of people that I could help with, but I’m not doing it.

So, ya, shit, I thought this post is going to be awesome. Turned out weird. Anyway, I just want to note here what it felt like discovering Alex Babu and then using whatsapp to have meaningful conversation with friends sitting across the world.

Thoughts on the post are welcome! Mail me at prasanna@npras.in or .