In the race for the clown?s crown | india | Hindustan Times
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In the race for the clown?s crown

My wife picked up my mobile phone and threw it at me. When I asked her what was that, she said, 'This is outgoing, absolutely free.' THUS JOKED Pratap Fauzdar, one of the finalists of the second season of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, in Lucknow to promote the show, accompanied by fellow finalist Khayali Saharan.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 00:15 IST

My wife picked up my mobile phone and threw it at me. When I asked her what was that, she said, 'This is outgoing, absolutely free.'

THUS JOKED Pratap Fauzdar, one of the finalists of the second season of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, in Lucknow to promote the show, accompanied by fellow finalist Khayali Saharan.

“Sardars are a combination of bholapan (innocence) and bahaduri (bravery) and whichever race has this combination is bound also to be the source of some mirth too,” reasoned the turbaned Sikh, who owns an automobile parts business, explaining why most jokes in India were about sardarjis. “Jest runs in my blood as in the blood of any member of my community. My tryst with the audience didn't begin with the Star One show, since I have been taking part in poets meets as a hasya kavi,” said Fauzdar who has also authored historical books after thorough research into the lives of Shaheed Gokul Singh who was torn to bits literally and whose body parts were scattered all around and of Sikh Yoddha Hari Singh Nalua who was martyred serving Ranjit Singh.

“It is this habit of reaching late that saved so many Indians from dying in the 9/11 holocaust,” jested Khayali Saharan, explaining the delay in appearing to speak to the Press. “My first comic performances were in school where I would often be exempted from work and made to stand and entertain everyone mimicking different people,” said the stand-up comedian who served in the JCT mills in Ganganagar before recognition came with opportunity to act on stage.

He won an award for his debut show and went on to anchoring innumerable shows for Harbhajan Singh Mann, Sukhwinder, Jassi and later some Mumbai film artistes.

“The Star One show got me a couple of roles in Hindi films. My forthcoming films are Red Zone and Mujhe Ishq Hai Tumse. But it is not just comedy that is my forte, so I am doing some villainy too,” said the lanky entertainer who has covered quite an arduous journey from being a mill labourer to being in the spotlight.

“If you find anything cheap in these comedy shows, blame it on the TV channels. They are the ones who include saucy stuff to please viewers in remote Himachal or rural Punjab,” said Fauzdar, fielding the allegation of choosing to play to the gallery with bawdy lines.

“There's a market bigger than our film industry for comedy in Pakistan. It is their style that makes sometimes even the most mundane and recycled of jokes fresh and mirth-evoking,” said the two comedians about inclusion of artistes from across the LoC. “It would be so good if the two neighbouring nations could just laugh their problems away,” they chorused.