The moral police is sulking, asking for an apology, in spite of not being invited to the ‘roast party’. Meanwhile, everyone is asking everyone else to just chill. It seems the humour envelope that had been intentionally pushed is flying in the wind.
However, I stand mesmerised with the whole concept of ‘roast’. AIB painstakingly did explain what it means. At the cost of repeating them, this is what the poor man’s fountain of knowledge – Wikipedia, defines it as. “A Roast is a facetious ceremonial tribute, usually concluding a banquet, in which the guest of honour is both praised and good-naturedly insulted in a succession of speeches by friends and acquaintances.”
In a world where we are ready to get offended first and clarify things later, in a culture where we take ourselves way too seriously, isn’t a roast exactly the quintessential antidote? What if every year instead of cutting a cake and blowing candles, we get together with family, relatives and friends to raise a ridiculous toast – a roast, to us. Speaking of the megalomania we suffer with, of how we think we are the centre of this universe, of our quirks, annoying habits, endearing yet intolerable idiosyncrasies, little skits and mimicries being staged. What a phenomenal way to blow off steam both sides. It will do away with so much unwanted drama from our lives. Our worst fears will be out in the open and we will have nothing more to hide. The image that we build up in our heads of ourselves will disintegrate. The stories we keep telling ourselves about us and others will all evaporate. This in fact is a strategy that army uses where your ego, your sense of self is repeatedly challenged to ensure that you stay level headed, and keep focus on things that matter. What a tongue-in-cheek way to turn a year older. What a liberating idea to laugh our way to evolution.
The best part – everyone can laugh about it. The second best part, we come out so much wiser. This is the grown up version of year-books and diaries that we asked our friends to fill-in when we parted ways. The section ‘one thing you think I should change’, that we never read or took seriously. A roast can make us better people, sorted, face our demons and leave us smiling.
A word of caution though. Too much roast is called a burn. So in our lives, we better choose whom we allow to host the roast. It has to be people whom we hold in high regard. Well-wishers, who we think will actually mean well. Family and relatives who have seen us through the highs and lows. Friends who would not let the good get to our heads and the bad take us down.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us raise a toast to the roast.
[This article was originally published on The Times of India. Click here to read the article on the website]