Editor | Fiction
Red Card, is a coming-of-age, football story set in a Mumbai school of the mid-2000s, by screenwriter and stand-up comedian Kautuk Srivastava. Heartwarming and insightful, the narrative follows the adventures of the protagonist, Rishabh Bala, on his journey to manhood.
When Rishabh Bala reaches the tenth standard, life takes a turn for the complicated. The bewildered boy feels the pressure of the looming board exams and finds himself hopelessly-and hormonally-in love. But what he yearns for most is victory on the field: at least one trophy with his beloved school football team.
Set in the suburban Thane of 2006, here is a coming-of-age story that runs unique as it does familiar. Hopscotching from distracted classrooms and tired tutorials to the triumphs and tragedies on the muddy grounds, this is the journey of Rishabh and his friends from peak puberty to the cusp of manhood.
Kautuk Srivastava told Arrackistan: “Long before I became a stand-up comic, I wanted to be a novelist. There was one story, in particular, that I wanted to tell; that of my year in the tenth standard. The tenth standard is daunting. It’s the climax of your school life, the crescendo of your puberty and the high-point of the pressure you’ve left up to then. It was no different for me. Thankfully, I had football. The sport not only provided relief from the hysteria of the board exams but also taught me invaluable lessons about how to conduct myself on and off the pitch. This is the story of that year and how football salvaged it. It is an effort to articulate my experiences – the highs and lows, the jubilations and the heartbreaks and the unending drama of the last year of school – to serve as recollection for those who’ve gone through it and solace to those going through it.’
Manu Joseph, journalist and award-winning novelist, said: “Comedy is attainable by a very few. There is more journalism in Kautuk’s stand -up acts than on TV news and there is more anthropology in his comedy than in most novels.”
About the author:
Kautuk Srivastava is a Mumbai-based writer and comedian. He is a member of the popular comedy collective SnG Comedy. As a screenwriter, he has written many successful TV and Web-based shows, including MTV Reality Stars, Sumit Sambhal Lega and Shaitaan Haveli. His previous stand-up special, Anatomy of Awkward, is featured on Amazon Prime Video. This is his debut novel.