You will see actor and stand-up comedian Vir Das in a new avatar in his latest comic act: History of India VIRitten . “I have always been a History Channel addict. History was my favourite subject in school. Also, I have been accused of doing sexually explicit material, so I chose to do this show,” says Vir, in a telephonic interview.
Vir brings out the lighter side of Indian history, starting from the Harappa Civilization, the Vedic period, and the Mughal era to the advent of the East India Company and the freedom struggle. To the question that Indians, by and large, lack a sense of humour, and take offence to fun being made of their heritage and culture, Vir brushes this off saying, “No, that’s not true. Those who believe this are lazy comedians.”
History of India VIRitten is in fact a positive portrayal of Indian history. “It’s very convenient to be pessimistic and cynical about your country. In this show, either I show the bright side of what happened or the positive after effects of what could have happened.”
Vir has stayed true to the facts in this performance. “It always begins from a true historical fact. For example, Akbar built the Buland Darwaza, we all know that to be an indisputable fact. But if you see the Buland Darwaza, it’s placed in the middle of nowhere, so I wonder what he was thinking when he built it? Again, all of us know Vasco Da Gama reached Calicut first when he came to India. What would have happened had he landed in Calcutta, instead?”
History, most often, focuses on bigger events and personalities, but in this show, Vir has highlighted lesser known events and people. “Did you know that many Indian soldiers fought in World War II for the British?
What was it like writing the script? “I had to write things based on what other people have written. Since the context was clear, it sped up my writing process.”
Woven within the script are jokes about Bollywood. Why Bollywood? “You can’t deny that it has had an important place in our history. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge had an impact on our economy. It is nice to have a departure into Bollywood.”
So how does he define his sense of humour? “It’s stupid,” he says, without laughing. “I don’t intellectualise my humour. I think of stupid things and write them down. I like to write about things that are not conventionally funny, but I make it funny along the way.”
History of India VIRitten , an Ashvin Gidwani production, will also be a visual splendour, Vir informs. As for his film career, Vir says there is a lot to expect. “I have eight releases in the next 16 months,” he signs off. History of India VIRitten will be performed on July 19, at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are available on >bookmyshow.com. Call 39895050.