How did a ‘quaint Bengali man’, one of the many who don’t know what to say to women in a club, end up doing stand-up comedy?
I went to do an article for a magazine when London’s Comedy Store set up shop in Mumbai. That’s where I started. I don’t think I am a quaint Bengali man. I play a quaint Bengali man. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a club. That’s a story I made up.
You acted in Nautanki Saala. So what do you like more? Writing, acting, stand-up comedy or something else entirely?
Writing scripts, definitely. That’s the most fun. I don’t like performing but I can’t write stand-up for other people. I ended up in Nautanki Saala because I’d written a film for the producer Rohan Sippy, which was directed by Kunaal Roy Kapur. When those two ended up together on Nautanki, they called me for a part. It could be because I was hanging around on set and was available.
What are some of the craziest criticisms you’ve received for your work?
An old man once asked me when I got off the stage, “What you just did, what would you call it?” I said comedy. He said ok. And left.
How serious is it, being the comic and making people laugh? Were you always the funny guy in the group?
I didn’t have a group. I’m lying. I did… But everyone in my group was always very, very funny. And still are. So you had to be sharp, on your toes for the next one liner to give it a comeback. These were my closest friends from school who are still like that. Only I’m the unfortunate one to do comedy for a living. They just laugh at me now.
What is it that the nation DEFINITELY needs to know?
Can you corrupt yourself or do you need other people? That would be my question.
Describe yourself in three words.
Filling. A. Space.
What song would you like people to remember you by?
Falling Down by Tom Waits.
What is your favorite one liner?
I would never join any club that would have someone like me as a member.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
One question you would like to ask the following people:
Arvind Kejriwal – Do you miss working for income tax?
Edward Snowden – Why did you sell those secrets for free?
Miley Cyrus – Would we expect any twerking in future Disney movies?
Russell Peters – Why don’t you have a Chinese person on stage and do an accent face off (like a dance off ) with your Chinese accent and his?
Were there a film to be made on your life, who would play Anuvab Pal?
How do you feel about getting interviewed?
I’m not very good at them. Mainly because the questions are usually in English and I am new to the language