Our own Nanette
Comic Punya Arora tells a deeply personal tale of being raised by a single parent, without forgetting to raise laughs.
A bit in comic Punya Arora's regular routine touches upon her having met only one of her parents. Delving further into it, she talks of her parents' divorce and the cause for it — a female child. The story is heart wrenching and she quickly switches over to lighter subjects, eliciting a few laughs lest the room descend into gloom.
It's now that we know where she was going with this. The Bengaluru-based comic is on tour with her new show, Meri Maa Ki!! stopping over in Mumbai this weekend. "That was me trying to test out material. I always wanted to do a show about my personal story but only found the courage after I watched Hannah Gadsby's Nanette," she says. "I never knew you could put so much personal detail in a story," she reveals.
So, her 10-minute routine slowly turned into an hour-long, full-length show. While staying true to her comic style, Arora tells a deeply personal tale that is in parts heartfelt and in others, hopeful. It involved research on gender discrimination in the country and brings up issues like dowry harassment. "Basically, I want people to listen to the story and not have a dull time. It took me a while to balance the serious with the funny," she explains.
This wasn't the only challenge that the photographer-turned-comic faced when putting her story out there. "I had to be comfortable with feeling vulnerable, especially in front of a bunch of strangers. Also, I had to be prepared for audience reactions that come my way," she shares. Talking about reactions, she recounts an incident that took place at a show in her home city.
"It was the first time my mother was watching the show, I hadn't let her in until it was complete. When it ended, people went out and hugged her," she says.So far, Meri Maa Ki!! has had mother-daughter and father-daughter duos in attendance among others. "They are able to connect with it in a different way. People are accepting and the reactions are much better than I imagined. When I start performing, it feels like, suddenly there is so much love in the room," says Arora.
On December 1, 9 pm
At The Habitat, 1st floor, OYO Townhouse, Road number 3, Khar West.
Entry Rs 350
Log on to www.bookmyshow.com
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