Stand-up comedian S Aravind, who goes by the stage name SA, wants to set right the wrongs done by Chennai Express. "SRK having curd rice mixed with noodles — no South Indian does that! Chennai Express really ruined it for us Tamilians," says SA of the 2013 Bollywood film that featured the hit number Lungi Dance. SA, 28, is in the city today to present his set, Madrasi Da, through which he hopes to introduce audiences to what's actually comical about being Tamil.
Stand-up comedian S Aravind
"'Madrasi' has two meanings —there is what the rest of India knows it as, and then there is what we Tamilians identify with," he says. A stereotype: that all Tamils are dark, the men are lungi-clad, and everyone brandishes vibhuti (sacred ash) on their foreheads. An insider joke, unlike all those stereotypes promoted by Hindi movies, is that the Hard Rock Café in Chennai does not serve alcohol, says the comedian. But don't mistake SA's sarkiness for disdain; a thoroughbred Chennai boy, SA says he has "tremendous pride" in his Tamil bearings.
Growing up, SA recognised his interest in stand-up as well as a growing angst about outsider depictions of Tamilians. "Instead of going to a psychiatrist, I put my frustration on stage," he jokes. After good runs down South, Singapore and Sydney. Mumbai is going to be SA's newest conquest, albeit in broken Hindi. SA, who has performed before in the city at various comedy festivals, is excited about his solo debut, and says, "When people call me 'Saaley Madrasi', it strangely makes me feel at home."
WHERE: Canvas Laugh Club, Palladium, Lower Parel
WHEN: June 19, 6 PM
ENTRY: Rs 600