| Aditi Mittal and (right) Kunal Rao |
Shillong, Oct. 28: Two guys, one girl and complete madness...a storm of laughter from Mumbai awaits the CALM in Shillong.
Shillong, which has rarely hosted stand-up comedians from beyond its frontiers, will unbolt its doors to three versatile and well-known prescribers of mirth — Neville Shah, Aditi Mittal and Kunal Rao — during the Creative Arts, Literary and Music (CALM) Festival, 2012.
An initiative of the Sahaki Society, a local body of professionals, the festival, a first in the Northeast, will begin on October 31 at the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture near the picturesque Ward’s Lake and will continue till November 3.
Shah, Mittal and Rao are scheduled to add laughter to the fun on November 2 evening.
Speaking to The Telegraph from Mumbai, Shah sounded edgy, as he, along with Mittal and Rao, will be venturing into almost uncharted territory.
“Of course it is important to know the taste of the audience before we perform in front of them. For the past few weeks, we have been doing a bit of research about Shillong and its people.”
One of the tricks of the trade is to start the performance with easy jokes to enable the performers to gauge the mood and taste of the audience.
Though stand-up comedy is not new to a country like India, which boasts of the likes of Johnny Lever, stand-up comedy by Indians in English has been a recent trend. But according to Shah, who made his debut in New York about four years ago, English stand-up comedy is gradually burgeoning in urban India.
Comedy can be “serious” business in the cities and towns keeping in mind the presence of a young population, which is fluent in English, said Shah. “Even towns like Kochi and Coimbatore are now hiring English stand-up comedians to make their day.”
On the style of comedy, he said it would be a general observation about life around us. “It is also about politics, sport and relationships and often self-deprecating too.”
Sambha Lamarr of Sahaki Society said the whole idea behind roping in Shah, Mittal and Rao was to motivate others who shared a similar kind of talent.
“Even comedy is a creative performing art, which needs to be encouraged. Here in our place too, we do have quite a few of stand-up comedians. The whole idea of bringing Shah, Mittal and Rao is to motivate others and make them consider stand-up comedy as a career option,” Lamarr said.