Attend Marathi stand-up open-mic night featuring a line-up of seven up-and-coming comedians

Feb 21, 2018, 15:16 IST | Snigdha Hasan

Laughter comes served with a regional tadka at this two-hour stand-up special in pure Marathi

Illustration/Ravi Jadhav

For Punekar Sumedh Natu, who moved to Mumbai four years ago, nostalgia often takes a linguistic route. "You just don't use words like rikam tekdya in Mumbai. It's an out-and-out Pune coinage," says the 25-year-old about the term fit for a person with a lot of free time but no idea of how to put it to use.

This Saturday, the freelance video producer and stand-up comedian will use Puneri vocabulary as he introduces Mumbaikars to his hometown at Zingaat, a Marathi stand-up open-mic night featuring a line-up of seven up-and-coming comedians. The event will be hosted by Aditya Desai and Chinmay Mhatre, both popular names in the comedy circuit in Mumbai.

Neha Bobde
Neha Bobde

While hosting a stand-up night is now seen as a foolproof way of ensuring a packed house by venues across Mumbai, the tacit understanding is that the acts would be in English, with, at best, a casual sprinkling of Hindi. "The Marathi stand-up scene in Mumbai is not at a nascent stage. It just doesn't exist. Having said that, it has great potential and if it picks up, I would love to do my acts in Marathi only," says Natu, who has been performing in English.

There is an audience for comedy out there that prefers to consume it through television shows at the moment, and we felt this was a good time to expose the Marathi audience to stand-up, says organiser and founder of Comedy Ladder, Jeeya Sethi.

Dhaval Datar
Dhaval Datar

Urjita Wani, another comedian to perform at the open mic, agrees. "There has always been a strong tradition of comedy in Marathi. Earlier, mimicry artistes would approach television producers to secure a slot. They would also perform at private events. It [the way comedy is consumed] has evolved now and there is a large section of the population that is untouched," says the 19-year-old student of mass media, who, like Natu, has been performing in English, and will try her hand at cracking gags in her mother tongue for the first time.

Urjita Wani
Urjita Wani

Each comedian hopes to bring a unique approach to the open mic, with the content reflecting on their relationship with the language. Neha Bobde, 24, who hails from Nagpur, found her release in comedy when she lost her mother a year ago. Her act will be laced with funereal humour, where she will bring up instances like how people mourned the fact that her mother couldn't see her daughter's wedding. "Stand-up is the best thing that I could have done because you can come out of a tragedy only when you talk about it," Bobde admits.

Sumedh Natu
Sumedh Natu

Comedy was equally healing for Dhaval Datar, who could come out of a rough patch only after he discovered humour. The Dombivali resident will share his experience of living in the suburb at the open mic. "Me 23 varshacha aahe. Maze 16 varsh abhyas madhe, saha varsh local train madhe ani ek varsh ticketchi line madhe gele aahe," he quips. (We'll not translate this one for you!) From international comedy stars like Russell Peters to iconic Marathi humorist PL Deshpande, the artistes draw inspiration from sources they hope would help them keep their brand of humour miles away from being slapstick.

And comedy is what they all hope to pursue full-time. "While I might take up another job after graduation, I would love to get into stand-up exclusively, as soon as possible," says Wani. "This a great time for us."

ON: February 24, 8 pm
AT: The Freakout Garage, Swatantrya Veer Savarkar Marg, Unit 002, Prabhadevi Industrial Estate, Prabhadevi.
CALL: 9920888379
ENTRY: Rs 250

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