The Literary City

Rubi Chakravarti Battles Bigotry With Bluster And A Beatific Smile

February 16, 2022 Explocity Podcasts Season 1 Episode 8
The Literary City
Rubi Chakravarti Battles Bigotry With Bluster And A Beatific Smile
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The most enduring mnemonic of theatre is the twin masks of happy and sad. Comedy is Yin to Tragedy’s Yang. The most enduring vision of the Side B of a comedian’s personality is the sad mask. We have all heard the stories; we all wear those twin masks every day.

When we are all done with the predictable platitudes of lemons and lemonades, we are all in the realpolitik. But women have additional battles to fight in this realpolitik.

And when you are an entertainer, your workplace is the stage under a spotlight, a barely attentive and unforgiving audience are your workplace colleagues, and your battles are more real; where acclaim and criticism mix with misogyny and you can't tell one from another.

But my guest today, actor-comedian Rubi Chakravarti, wants none of this sad sack business. Rubi’s funny side seems to have emerged from a happy place.  Either that or she has made whatever she had into a happy place.

Explocity first encountered Rubi when she was playing a role in a play in Bangalore. Her first performance. Our review of the play, written by jazz singer, then Explocity features editor, Radha Thomas could have been reduced to its most striking—albeit cliched—headline… A STAR IS  BORN!

This was in the late 90s and it was the first time anyone wrote about Rubi. We happily take the blame for unleashing Rubi on the world.

Since then, Rubi’s career has taken her across India and overseas in performances as an actor—both screen and stage, a stand-up comedian, a columnist and much more…boiling up to be named by the BBC as one of 100 women to have made a difference in 2014.

It’s 2022 and Rubi Chakravarti is wife, mother and a busy entertainer. Her success is made sweeter by the fact that she decided to become famous only when she had turned 40.

For the podcast, Rubi reads her favourite lines written by her muse, Khalil Gibran.

Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in the segment titled "What's That Word?",  (or named by Ramjee's whimsy), to peel back the meaning of the word "slapstick", the origins of the comedic style.

If you have a word or phrase you would like to explore, join us live on the show. Reach us by mail: or simply,
Or, Facebook:
Or Instagram
If your word or phrase is selected, we'll call you.

Join our Facebook group, Bangalore Literary Society. It does not matter if you are not in Bangalore. This group is for anyone interested in language and words.

The Literary City encourages you to give to those children who struggle to get an education.  We ask you to contribute whatever you can to The Association of People with Disability. The link to donate is: Visit their site and take a look at the wonderful work they do and find it in your heart to, well, teach a child to fish.

What's That Word?! SLAPSTICK