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    Aditi Mittal debuts her irreverent take on life and everything else, on  Things They Wouldn’t  Let Me Say.

    One of the few female faces in India’s standup comedy scene, Mumbai-based Aditi Mittal is debuting her first solo in Chennai tomorrow. “You have to develop a much thicker skin and brace yourself if you are a female standup comedian,” shares Mittal, admitting that, for her, comedy happened by chance. She had accompanied a friend to an open mic five years ago and found her calling, or as she puts it “that night I was amazing on stage to the point that people were carrying me on their shoulders… by one-o-clock I had an offer for my first Bollywood film, and I think by seven that morning, I won my Nobel prize”!

    Laughter roll call
    Mittal is performing Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say in the city, which she calls her “first child”. The show is an amalgamation of two years of jokes and has been touring the country covering places like Delhi, Mumbai and Vadodara. It is headed to Bengaluru next (on Sunday). “I have worked on idiocies and idiosyncrasies of being an Indian woman,” she says, adding that though she has performed it in various cities, she is looking forward to her Chennai debut. “Chennai definitely has one of the smartest audiences in the country,” she says.
    Her sketch which centres on the ‘quintessential Indian woman’ will include two characters she has developed: Dr Mrs Lutchuke, a Marathi sex therapist, and Dolly Khurana, a struggling Bollywood actress (or “a pervy old lady and an enthusiastic Punjabi girl”). So is standup a mode of social change for her, I ask? “Comedy is about evoking a laugh and when the laugh leads to a thought, then change happens. But the point is to make the audience laugh,” she believes.

    No joking matter
    Getting trolled on an almost daily basis comes as no surprise to this female comedian. Relating an incident that took place while she was performing her now famous piece on sanitary napkins, she says, “A boy from the audience got up and said that we don’t need to know about ‘your all this’.” And though Mittal had a pat reply for the heckler, comedians constantly face flak for their choice of material (much like ongoing Tanmay Bhatt incident, which has occupied a large space in public debates). So the question arises, where does one draw the line? Mittal says people are free to have varying opinions; but the retaliation for a joke should come in the form of a joke or a thought, and not threats of physical violence.
    Tomorrow, at 8 pm, at The Raintree Anna Salai. Rs 500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

    —Simar Bhasin


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