The doctor recommends a good laugh

When the MIT Technology Review, a 117-year-old publication, lists a Bengaluru-based doctor-inventor in its ‘35 innovators under 35’ list, which category would you expect it to slot him in? ‘Innovator’? ‘Entrepreneur’?

Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi was termed a ‘Humanitarian’, in an article that spoke not only of his innovative imaging device, but also of his love of comedy. “It’s how I de-stress,” Chaturvedi was quoted by the 2016 article as saying, “But I also find comedy helps me sharpen my observation skills.”

Comedy, for Dr Chaturvedi, does more than that. It gives him a wider reach. “Stand-up is a powerful medium. It is scripted in a way that people can understand and relate to,” he says.

“Stand-up videos go viral every day,” points out Dr Chaturvedi, stressing that there is a reason for this, “There is a whole section of people who proactively search for humorous content on YouTube at the end of the day. And they watch it over and over.”

The doctor has also given a TED talk about his professional achievements, and confesses that he just had to add funny twists to that as well. He finds comedy to be a better platform for certain kinds of messages: for instance, the message of failure, its perception and its link to depression.

The content for his Chennai show — which is part of a nation-wide tour — is based on his latest book The Benefits Of Failing Successfully. It is aimed at helping people cope with and laugh at their failures, and proceeds from the show will be used for the cause of early detection and treatment of depression.

“Most of the things I say in the show, just like most of the things I’ve written in my book, have been drawn from personal incidents,” says Dr Chaturvedi, “I have had my own share of failures, and it’s important to know how to handle them.”

The doctor-comedian’s first step into Chennai, is by way of invitation. “Karthik Kumar saw one of my gigs in Mumbai, and felt that my kind of content is something the people of Chennai would enjoy. There has been a lot of warm support from the comedy fraternity of the city,” he says. The show has been organised under the banner of Evam Standup Tamasha.

Dr Chaturvedi is hopeful of making Chennai laugh, especially the student crowd. “There are a lot of educational institutions in the city, and I think the students will find the show funny. I’m also hoping some families show up with their children,” he adds.

However, the doctor also feels the need to clarify that his content — though relatable — is on the tamer side, adding, “So if you’re looking for explosive jokes, expletives or politics in the humour, I’m afraid I may have to disappoint you.”

The show ‘F for Failure’ will be staged at Bay 146, Hotel Savera, on Sunday, August 13, at 7.30 pm. For tickets, log on to www.bookmyshow.com.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 1:09:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/mit-recognised-doctor-does-stand-up-comedy-in-chennai/article19465677.ece

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