In the last seven years, India has seen a splendid hike in terms of stand up comedy, which was never really anticipated. The metro cities are now hosting an open mic session and stand up comedy on every day basis and the Indian audience is responding in a quite positive manner. Especially, the youth has been into it very much. The kind of adulation that the stand-up comedians receive is no less than what the celebrities in India receive. From thousands of fans over social media to fan pages and what not.
But then, one problem that still haunts India in every perspective is the how women are still fighting for equal rights. No doubt that we are making progress but it needs to be done more swiftly. Just like the Bollywood industry where the male actors are paid more, appreciated more and valued more than the female actors, the stand-up comedy profession replicates it.
Today, let me talk to you about some female stand-up comedians that could give any male comedian run for his money.
Mallika Dua is the daughter of a well-known Indian journalist, Vinod Dua. She hails from Delhi, and her comedy acts are straight up on point and hilarious! She was copywriter prior to becoming a full-time actor and comedian.
Neeti Palta brings to the English stand-up comedy scene in India what it sorely lacks - a female perspective. Therefore she has the unique advantage of being able to present a female point of view on a variety of subjects from the life of a woman in India, Indian idiosyncrasies, to daily irritants, current affairs, etc. while indulging in a spot of poking fun at men.
You might remember Sumukhi from the 'Anu Aunty' video based on and made by entrepreneur Varun Agrawal. She's now transformed into a full-time comedian who is tickling our funny bones quite much.
She's one of those women who came forward in this profession while everybody else still considered it to be a taboo. She talks very proudly about feminism, and that is something highly admirable!
"Dropping out of college made me push myself harder than ever, further than my contemporaries because I had to prove that I am capable."
And oh! She has proved herself with flying colours!
Aditi Mittal is a stand-up comedian, actress, teacher. She's also 477th in line for the prestigious Mittal Steel fortune so if you're nice to her she might remember you when she's rich. Jokes apart, she makes it to the list of the top 10 Indian comedians. Also, you just cannot laugh if you're watching her!
Vaz is one of the country's most well recognized stand-up comedians with an international following (The Indian Wanda Sykes – The Huffington Post, NY). Her one-woman comedy specials 'Unladylike: A Memoir' and 'Older. Angrier. Hairier.' have sold-out in New York, Los Angeles, and all major Indian cities (a hilarious script, great comic timing and an ability to go where no man has gone before). Considered one of the pioneers of the stand-up movement in India she has been featured in Vogue's 'The Power of 50' and is a frequent guest on NDTV and Radio One. She is a prolific writer (Vogue, Verve, GQ, Architectural Digest) and her bi-weekly column in the Times of India's op-ed page reaches millions of readers and her book 'Unladylike: A Memoir' is now in bookstores across the country.
Punya Arora is a South-Indian-Punjabi, a Photographer and a self-proclaimed Biriyani connoisseur. Her style of comedy reflects on everyday life, encasing some amazingly funny moments and situations and a couple of accents. Filled with funnies, she loves happiness and making people laugh. Punya comes from a single parent background, with her mother being her the sole source of encouragement. Being born in Bangalore, and in a Punjabi family, she describes herself as the South-Indian-Punjabi girl. She's a mix of comedy and photography.
Part-time stockbroker, full-time Gujju and weekend comedienne, Sonali Thakker, is the biggest threat to the dumb blonde theory. Covering socially relevant topics such as travelling, shopping and chaprigiri, Sonali's stand-up is powerful, always funny and sometimes scary too.
The other big love of her life is travelling as it gives her great material and is the only way she can escape from people cracking Gujju jokes. Surprisingly, stand-up has not increased her popularity on Shaadi.com but that is okay because Sonali has been kicking ass even before women empowerment was a thing.
Kaneez Surka is a professionally trained improviser, sketch and stand-up comedian born and raised in South Africa. She has made quite a name amongst female comedians and sketch artists just by doing what she loves. In efforts to grow the comedy scene, Kaneez also worked for Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM), India's first Improv Comedy group. Under ICM, she has attended and been invited to over four international Improv Festivals, in Amsterdam, Berlin, Seattle and Toronto.
That's all, fellas. You can reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.