Things that have made my life annoying are usually where I go for my material,” says comedienne Radhika Vaz. And a lot has annoyed her—from people mistaking her husband as her son to being expected to give birth to be a real woman—a point that made her scandalously reference Angelina Jolie’s vagina as “the world’s most womanly vagina, an archway with exotic flowers” after the actress said she didn’t feel like a woman until she adopted her first child.
“Comedy is a great way to push a point. You can take a serious topic and, so long as your perspective is comedic, people pay attention in a way that they aren’t expecting to,” says the 41-year-old, who is bringing her one-woman show, Older. Angrier. Hairier., to the city for the second time this weekend. “This is my second hour-long show. The first, Unladylike, looked at the things that influenced my life till the age of 30. So my natural trajectory for this show was to look at everything that happened between 30 and 40,” adds Vaz, who has garnered international acclaim for her sketches and monologues.
Irreverent and a little kooky, Vaz is very clear that her shortcomings are her biggest strength. “Had I been a more secure and mature human being, I wouldn’t have written my shows,” she says, talking about how she was inspired to write her new monologue. “I had a shock when I was closing in on my 40th year. My husband’s friends were dating or marrying girls 10 to12 years younger. This made me insecure. However, being stupid about so many things, and letting it affect me and my relationship, has been a good thing—at least I have something to say,” adds Vaz, who looked to late comedians Patrice O’Neal and Bill Hicks for inspiration for the show.
Vaz’s works are mostly social commentaries as she wants people to start thinking. “If we can laugh at how we live and how stupid some of the things we do are, we can get through them,” she says, explaining that before her shows she reads a lot of feminist literature to check whether “what I am feeling is what other people have noticed as well.”
Vaz relocated to India from the US last November, and says the change has given her creativity a filip. “I already have a new idea for a show—marriage and how we all operate behind a curtain. I see all of this as a girl, and when you look at something from the female perspective, there is always something to bloody say,” she says. Does she plan on sticking on in India? “Yes, there’s lots of opportunity here, and I want a change. Also there is something about working in your home base that makes you very proud,” signs off Vaz, who is taking Older. Angrier. Hairier. on a tour of Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi, Gurgaon and Delhi in September.
On July 19, at Distil, Vivanta by Taj – Connemara, at 8 pm. `2,000 per couple (redeemable for beverages from a select bar). Details: in.bookmyshow.com / email@example.com
—Surya Praphulla Kumar