When a ‘baniya’ made Lucknow go ROFL
Lucknow is a city of connoisseurs. Art connoisseurs. Knowledgeable people with eclectic taste, a veteran theatre artiste told me once after his play was not well received by the audience here. Having seen standing ovation as well as booing to plays, skits, mushairas, poetic sessions and dastangoi (story telling) sessions, I could not agree more to what he said. Techie-turned stand-up comedian Appurv Gupta, who performed in Lucknow on Saturday night, perhaps knew this as well and seemed to have come well prepared. The public response to his latest show ‘Kaafi Wild Hai’ suggested so.
A 90-minute ‘laugh riot’ proved to be an instant hit as Lucknow audience not just managed to keep pace with his “double meaning” meaningful jokes on simpler side of life but could also relate with majority of them.
And when a few from among the audience could not catch up with the “umbrella in the wallet ” type gig, they paid the price by becoming the butt of a joke, albeit in a decent manner.
Already an internet sensation with solo shows such as ‘Appurview’, ‘RelationShip Or RelationShit’ and ‘Laugh with an Engineer 2.0’ to his credit, Guptaji is one of those rare stand-up comedians whose comedy is based on self-deprecating humour as was evident from various ‘baniya’ jokes and none on ‘Sardar’.
Blessed with a weird sense of humour, Appurv’s USP is also his movement on the stage and his efforts to connect with the audience besides coming up with jokes that audiences of all age would want to hear after buying a ticket which is costlier than a Salman Khan starrer.
His jokes on marriages in Indian community where a ‘Chivas’ is replaced with ‘Royal Stag’, or his association with real life characters like ‘Himanshu Bhaiya’ who was the first one to coax him to set his eyes on the XXX material triggered quite a few guffaws.
The fact that the standup knows exactly how a bride with a heavy make-up feels when she is made to sit in front of fire for marriage ritual not just make audience go ROFL but associate with him.
Another characteristic that made this standup act stand out is the minimal use of expletives, perhaps keeping in mind Lucknow, the city of tehzeeb. In all, the show could have brought disappointment only to those who bought tickets for its title ‘Kaafi Wild Hai’ because it had nothing wild except for Guptaji’s imagination.