Meet the crew of Tadpatri Talkies, the comedy collective behind the viral 'Gari-B Ki Kahaani' video

Anurag Tagat

May,07 2017 09:38 15 IST

If you’re looking out for the latest fire in desi hip-hop, you’ll also get laughs for free. Mumbai-based comedy group Tadpatri Talkies recently introduced a new character named Gari-B, a hard up rapper who lives on a lifetime supply of bhel, but knows he’s the best in the biz.

'Gari-B Ki Kahaani', which has over 12,000 views on YouTube, is in equal parts a piss-take on fake rappers as it is about Indians. Gaurang Bailoor says, “Gari-B, as a concept, came about pretty much as a shower-thought of ‘what if there was a desi rapper, talking quite literally about the struggle, while being earnest to himself?’” And within 45 minutes – like any good idea – rapper Anmol Gawand came up with the first draft of the song, which understandably had everyone in splits.

Although they’ve tried their hand at post-modernist news parodies, question-answer freestyles and a compilation of very specific vocal harmonies by Ila Arun for about six months, Tadpatri’s most successful video right now remains 'Gari-B ki Kahaani'.

It seemed as though Tadpatri Talkies knew they were onto something with this song, which explains why they took over a locally-organised rap battle in February, having Gari-B’s character — played by Sidharth Raveendran — overlook proceedings, calling himself a “cheap guest” and gain fans ahead of the video release. Sidharth recalls, “I was just struggling with jobs and irritable scalp psoriasis. There wasn’t a better time to be near-bald and broke in life...and have a laugh about it at the same time. Being a smartass on the mic comes naturally to me, so things just fell into place from hosting the B3 (Battle Bars Bombay) India event.” To top it off, Gaurang recalls that Sidharth’s antics — which included presenting one of the rap battle’s winners with Rs 500 in change out of a garbage bag — were insanely appreciated by the hip-hop diehards.

If people in the comments section smash out the typical “I don’t get it” response to their Δ NEWS segment, when there’s something as deliberately mocking as 'Gari-B Ki Kahaani', of course there were a few angry keyboard warriors. Gaurang clears the air about what Tadpatri Talkies set out to target with the song: “It’s sad to see most of these new rappers emerging who bank on the whole ‘I am too poor to afford food’ story and this song perfects in making fun of that attitude. While many rappers got offended because they took it personally, this song still has to be the best mockery there could be about the same story all these rappers have to tell.”

Tadpatri Talkies

Tadpatri Talkies

Tadpatri Talkies came together for the love of all things out-of-the-box. Founding members Gaurang and Nandan Kini were joined by Aseem Chandaver in late 2015, frustrated with digital media’s play-it-safe attitude. Aseem adds, “We had initially called it Tarpaulin Films until Gaurang just said why not just give it the colloquial word for a tarpaulin sheet — tadpatri — the sheet being an ultimate symbol for jugaad.” Everything from Bill Hicks to Monty Python to The Eric Andre Show and Dave Chappelle, the boys in Tadpatri Talkies were down to make edgy, wtf-inducing comedy, all on their own.

They all agree that one of the reasons they can bring their weird, often absurd but hilarious ideas to the Internet is because of digital video and YouTube being a highly watched and revered platform. Aseem says, “We are genuinely sitting on top of a rebellious generation that just doesn’t know how to vent it out there.” Whether it’s phone cameras or editing software, this generation does a lot more at its disposal in terms of technology, which leaves more room to just think about the content. Sidharth says they want to break away from the sterile comedy that shows up online. He adds, “Our content works like myth-busters to these questions.”

If that does end up offending people, Nandan jokes that they’ve already got a contingency plan. “Before every big release, we prep ourselves mentally to give up Aseem to the authorities — or any powers that be these days really — in case anything goes awry.”

They're armed with many more comedy scripts that can shape up short films, sketches and music videos (of different genres too). Gaurang, however, adds, “We do not want to keep ourselves tied to labels as comedians. It’s an internal understanding that we can write a lot more than just comedy, and we will definitely be exploring more genres.” Anmol sums it up in a sort of signature humour, “This channel is like Jumanji. You can never guess what’s coming out of it.”

Published Date: May 07, 2017 09:38 AM | Updated Date: May 07, 2017 09:38 AM