Gangtok, June 8: There are few things that would make one laugh in a situation as the world is facing right now. The West has reached its tipping point with systemic racism, the East is subdued on the surface but paying a heavy price for the wet market originated virus that led to a pandemic which brought economic activities in many countries to an abrupt halt.
In Sikkim, 7 positive cases have been reported and citizens are apprehensive about the possibility of ever going back to the old normal. What does one do then? Especially those who are subjected to institutional quarantine? 14 days of social isolation and the feeling of unease only increasing as they wait for reports, some must only want to let go and laugh, an important remedy for these times.
It takes a certain delicacy to cheer people’s spirits at a time such as this, but the Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim collaborated with the quartet of standup comedy in Sikkim – Hasais Katle, to organize a one-hour session at Palzor Namgyal Girls Senior Secondary School, which is currently an all-female quarantine facility centre.
“The IPR department had called me a few days back and were just looking for an infotainment sort of thing, just to uplift their spirits because it’s not the best of times especially for them because of the constant fear and all.
“I did a set for an hour, just to spread smiles. But the credit goes to the IPR department for this idea” – Biswas Timshina, Hasais Katle
Although all members of the group weren’t present, Biswas Timshina of the parody songs fame came to rescue the bored residents at the centre.
“Nirmal da is in Siliguri, making sure that ration is provided and gets across the border; Saroj is making sure that people come in from outside the state and Bkey is in North Sikkim. I was the only one in the East.”
Biswas explains that since there were people from all age groups, he had to expand his range of comedy which is otherwise aimed at the youth since there were elderly people in the facility.
“This was also the first time I played my parody songs because not an ideal set up for stand up, since it is done in a small space with everyone’s attention right there”, says Biswas.
“So all the quarantined people stood on the balcony and I stayed downstairs maintaining social distancing. Hopefully, they enjoyed it! I did a set for an hour, just to spread smiles. But the credit goes to the IPR department for this idea.”
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