Getting 'Naked' with Papa CJ

After packed shows abroad, Indian comedian Papa CJ returns home for another round of his stellar show, Naked

You just don't wake up one day and become a stand-up comic. And even if you do, there's plenty to learn about how to make people laugh without offending them. This is a cue that the new breed of Indian stand-up comics can take from Papa CJ. The stand-up comedian is all set to bare his soul and body in the show, Naked, which will be hosted this weekend at the NCPA. Extracts from an interview:

Q. An important part of the show, we hear, is you taking off your clothes. Why do you think people would want to see you naked?
We all know what it's like to struggle. We all have felt pain in our lives. I am using various facets of my own experiences in the show, and the audience identifies with it. I think, at some point of time, they think I am talking about their lives, and that makes the show relatable. The clothes don't mean anything. They are just a metaphor of the walls that we humans build around us. Over the course of the show, I remove these walls, a brick at a time. I am exposing my vulnerabilities and pains in the show. I think, when you are completely naked, you are completely free.

Q. So, you won't be wearing any clothes at all? Do you blieve, it may offend some members in the audience?
I can't reveal everything before the show. You will have to watch the show. The ticket starts at R500, and there are still 700 seats left (at the time of the interview). I am in the business of happiness. I am not here to offend people.

Q. From what we understand, apart from the entertainment, there's a therapeutic appeal to the show as well. Will this be the takeaway for the audience?
I don't like to go with a goal. It's a piece of art. It's my most raw, honest and compelling show till date. Many times people have come to me after the show, and shared their personal stories. They have also written letters talking about their experiences. I am not telling them what to take. But, I think, each person will take something different from it. It's up to them.

Q. Has the recent controversy around Tanmay Bhatt's Snapchat video impacted your show and performance?
No, there are no changes in the show. It's the same show that I have presented everywhere. I do not expect the recent controversy to affect my show for three reasons. Firstly, the person who I largely make fun of in this show is myself. Secondly, this show is clean. And lastly, since most of my work is performed live on stage and almost never broadcast in the digital space, I can convey my intent to the audience and therefore, there is a lower possibility of people being offended by any of it.

On: June 5, 8 pm
At: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
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TICKETS: Rs 500 to Rs 2000

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