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Funny Man
Text by Nasrin Modak
Published: Volume 20, Issue 3, March, 2012

Author and stand-up comedian Saurabh Pant believes that humour is the weapon of choice for the rejected....

At a very early age, stand-up comedian Saurabh Pant discovered that, to get attention, he had to be funny. “I wasn’t tall, good looking or Sonia Gandhi’s son – the only thing I had were jokes.” Not much later, he learned that from being a mere defence mechanism, humour could make people feel good, so he worked hard at it. Now, anything inspires him. “It’s actually anything you feel strongly about – whether negatively or positively. It usually starts with talking about news, current affairs and then you get into relationships and the world around you.” This could be anything – from Sharad Pawar’s sugarcane policy to how your morning chai has to be precisely brewed. “With time, you learn the formulae, hack tools and shortcuts and just fire away.”

His easiest prey? “My wife. She is someone I spend 16 hours a day with, so the jokes just write themselves!” His recent book called The Wednesday Soul is full of puns and sketches and gags. “There’s nothing more liberating than being allowed to open the doors of your psyche as you pour out words for a novel eight hours a day, but there’s nothing more exciting than a 1000 people falling off their chairs because you made a pun on your ‘Pant’ surname. I’m an author and a comedian; I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Saurabh thinks that the stand-up comedy scene in India is superb. “We have enough people interested in comedy and enough people to annoy the hell out of us to write about it. It’s the perfect balance, but to become a professional, it takes time and patience and a couple of wrong jokes.”

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