Can history be a hoot? Did emperors have to chase homing pigeons across massive courtyards, among other lines of enquiry
From The Mental Floss History Of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits to the Big History Project funded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, there have been many recent attempts to rescue the past from its reputation—its educational pursuit has been known to bore students in stultified classrooms to sleep. Comic Anuvab Pal hopes to dip his feet into this stream of repackaging history’s juiciest stories in his new stand-up act, The Empire. “So much of stand-up is about names of contemporary celebrities, some bad language, and some random present news headline item. I like all that. But as a writer, I wanted to go back and look at very funny ideas in history. In our history. And revisit history, not as a serious set of events like we are taught, but as real people in real situations,” says the Mumbai-based comedian. “This starts from the Mughals all the way to how we speak English today. But it is not a chronological recounting of history. I just try and pick on fun things,” he says ahead of his shows in Gurgaon and New Delhi this week.