You’re back in India after two years. Why such a long gap?
I was hoping the controversy in India surrounding gay rights and queer sex would calm down a bit. Now that I’m a married homosexual, I anticipate a certain amount of respect and admiration. After all, marriage is the most sacred of vows. I’m also studying to become an Episcopalian priest, which takes much of my time.
What should the audience be prepared for this time around?
I’ll be discussing Jesus’ role in same-sex unions; and organised religion as a gay sceptre, in general. Bollywood is in the mix, mostly, as a threat to classic choreography and those with any respect for melodies. And, of course, I satirise
It’s a well-documented fact that your comedy isn’t for the faint-hearted...
I merely speak the truth. Some cannot handle the truth. But then, when I found out the Jesuit father of the Catholic University, that I attended, not only had a tan line, but also a concubine in the supple shape and sleek form of a gay porn star, I was very upset. I eschewed the Catholic doctrine for something a bit diluted yet palatable, hence my interest in Episcopalianism. I’m learning about their Holy Trinity, which somehow, includes a fourth spirit known as ‘Rock’. I’m once again, inspired.
Your acts touch upon gay life and racism too. Since homosexuality is still a taboo subject in India (despite a gradual change), what message would you like to share with audiences during your acts?
Not all gay men are the same. I mean, we’re all horny b@#$^&*s, but some of us do not hire male prostitutes or frequent toilets or take drugs or stalk heterosexual men or host sex parties, which last all weekend. Sadly, some of us work, and leave the fun to the lucky few.
Will you alter your content in any way, keeping in mind the sensibilities and sentiments of the Indian audiences?
I might cover my nipples with boxing gloves. My designer and I are in talks.
Going back to your earlier years, when and how did you decide that stand-up comedy is your calling?
Because of my devout Christian upbringing, I’m completely unskilled. My mild autism makes me easily distracted. I also have ADD, which means I cannot focus on anyone or anything for more than 10 minutes. I’m obsessively compulsive and small, confined spaces terrify me. Stand-up comedy seemed the only option.
What are the biggest challenges of being a stand-up comic? Have you regretted anything that you have done or said during shows?
The challenge in London is babysitting a room full of alcoholics for half an hour. It takes every pore of my being to not join them in a thick line of cocaine at the bar. Once, I asked an old woman in the front row if she was alone at a comedy show because all her friends were dead, and she replied, “Well, I’m actually in town to attend my son’s funeral. He died of AIDS.” It was hard to recover from that remark.
Do you believe that comedy is not just for comic relief, but goes a long way in changing people’s perspectives about important issues?
Finger painting might change perspective; comedy changes location.
Returning to London in one piece. Oh! And, world peace.
On November 15, 16 and 22, 8.30 pm onwards
At The Comedy Store, Blue Frog, Lower Parel.
Log on to www.thecomedystore.in
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