With Malice for All
Karthik Laxman 29 C.S. Krishna 33 FOUNDER The Unreal Times, Delhi
Do we have the ability to laugh at ourselves? Two IIM
A graduates are testing our humour quotient with a website that pokes fun at all and sundry, especially politicians. Karthik Laxman and C.S. Krishna were in rural Bihar working full-time with a BJP MP on development initiatives in his con- stituency, Purnia, when they turned to humour for relief. “We posted a blog after the 2011 Union Budget on how dropping money bags from the sky was the best way to implement a direct cash transfer programme for poverty alleviation. We got such a kick out of it that we went on to start The Unreal
I love their satirical take on current affairs. To get comic relief while being able to follow a topical matter is always welcome.
Gul panag, Film actor
Times in April 2011,” says Laxman. The website is managed by them as an alternative passion and has already had a few hit videos, especially one of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as Manmohan Singham, destroying price rise and corruption with his flying kicks. “A few Congress supporters filed a complaint against us. But slowly the issue died down,” says Laxman. Then there was this hilarious piece on a
CNN broadcast journalist interviewing Bollywood actor Imran Khan, taking him for his namesake, the Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician. “The Imran story was an instant hit in Pakistan; Indians noticed it only thereafter,” says Laxman. The Delhi-based duo is now focusing on building a strong reader base and on uploading content that doesn’t malign anyone but lights up people’s faces. “Writing a piece for The Unreal Times allows us to flush out our frustrations through a creative outlet. Importantly, it complements our work on policy issues,” says Krishna. For now, they make money through the advertisements. Sustenance of a website demands only Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 as hosting charges.
Serious Business The Unreal Times gets around 2,000 hits daily on an average, 10,000 on a really good day. A regularly updated Twitter account draws in more readers every passing day.
Inspired Idea The duo has modelled their site on British satirical website Thespoof.co.uk and hopes to take Indian political humour to the level of American websites such as Theonion.com.
LAXMAN (LEFT) AND KRISHNA