His day start after reading ten newspapers — in English, Hindi and Punjabi. His definition of a ‘difficult day’ revolves around it too. “The days after Diwali, Holi and Republic Day are not easy.
But, I keep some ‘back-up’ in the form of magazines,” says the king of comedy and satire, Bhagwant Mann.
No prizes for guessing the source of his fresh, up-to-date homour. So, in his patent style, Mann once again brings comic satire in the form of an audio cassette, Kulfi Garama Garam 2, after a gap of four years. “Kulfi Garma Garam was released last in 1993. After two decades, we have tried to revive the same charm. Old characters, such as Beebo Bhua and Bhanka Manga are still the soul of the album. A few new characters inspired by real life have also been added.”
But, would it have the same impact in today’s world? “We are not even dependent on selling audio cassettes. We released the whole CD on YouTube and other social networking site a while ago, and have received an amazing response,” says Mann and adds, “There was a dearth of rich content in the world of audio cassettes for a while now. Gone are the days when Bhalla ji [Jaswinder Bhalla] used to come up with Chankata. In fact, Gurpreet Ghuggi and Jhandda Amli also haven’t come up with anything since long.”
Talking about comedy, the current obsession of Punjabi cinema with it comes to mind, to which Mann says, “I don’t understand why have we made our cinema just about comedy. Are we not capable of anything else? Putting ginger in a sabzi will add to its; we wouldn’t like a sabzi made just out of ginger.”
“Nowadays, comedy is not even double-meaning. In ‘double-meaning’ we would at least get one part right. Comedy now has become very single-track — vulgar — the reason I couldn’t survive for long in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. When I went to Comedy Circus, I refused to enact such scripts, as I didn’t want my image to get tarnished,” he adds.
He doesn’t take political questions but does clear the air by saying, “I have no regrets in life. Bhagwant Mann is above politics. People loved and recognised me before I joined politics. If they love me, it’s not because of the party I represent.”
On his calendar are two movies, says Mann. “I have written Moga to Melbourne via Chandigarh - a story revolving around the student visa of three friends being played by me, Harjit Harman and Ravinder Grewal; dubbing for the movie is on. I’ve written another Punjabi film, for which only Tej Sapru and Upsana Singh have confirmed so far. I’m also in talks for a Hindi and a Punjabi serial.”