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Laugh your Pant off

CATHERINE RHEA ROY
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PEOPLE Mumbai-based comedian Sohrab Pant tells CATHERINE RHEA ROY you can nip and tuck a joke to suit the audience and the city

WORKING ON A BOOK TOO A fictitious take on the afterlife by Sohrab Pant Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
WORKING ON A BOOK TOO A fictitious take on the afterlife by Sohrab Pant Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

“C ollege was very fruitful; I took part in JAM and a literary bakra that went out on the road. Then I briefly slacked off for a year, when I pretended to be a model and also an actor with a movie ‘Husn, Love And Betrayal',” rattles of Sohrab Pant.

Matter-of-fact and factual, he performs his jokes and looks up almost in surprise, that you might find him funny, before he breaks into a grin, as he enjoys the joke with you.

Sohrab was in the city for a performance of his show “Pant On Fire” at Toit.

For someone who did not have a very promising start, the guy has done pretty darned well for himself.

“My career in comedy took off when I started as the opening act for Vir Das's show, ‘Walking On Broken Das' in 2008. The first time I was on stage I was so nervous that I had a seven-and-a-half minute piece which I finished off in three and a half minutes; not the best beginning.”

But from his anxious break Sohrab has become increasingly popular — something that he credits to practise, hard work and alcohol.

The Mumbai-based Sohrab who had performed in Bangalore as the opening act for Wayne Brady was aware of the cookie cutter Bangalorean, which gave his jokes a local flavour. “I am always making notes, for example when I was in Calcutta there were men sitting outside a tea shop, smoking Charms and discussing existential crises. The people and the place give me enough fodder, but there are occasions when I cheat. Most metros are similar, so you can nip and tuck a joke to suit the audience and the city,” he confesses.

Sohrab is also working on a book, which was a project he started about five years back, even before he stepped into comedy. “I have spent more time on my book than I have on my marriage, it is a fictitious account of the after life, a sort of Douglas Adams take on what happens after.”

Is he a better writer or comedian? “They are both works in progress. As a writer I am a little flawed, but I enjoy both and it really is difficult to choose,” says Sohrab before he rises to go back to prepping for his show. And what is his show about, “It is a sexist, misogynistic show, and I make fun of women and wives, and sometimes of men. It's the best of everything I have been doing so far,” he says cheekily. This is your cue to laugh.

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