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  1. British comedian Imran Yusuf is fantastic and so is Shazia Mirza, also London-based.
  2. There’s a lot of ordinariness, and people tend to play to the same regressive tropes — sexism, patriarchy, unkindness to the oppressed. Comedy shouldn’t fall into these traps — by its very nature comedy is supposed to be edgy and anti-establishment.
  3. The best jokes take something awful and make it silly.
  4. In general, even when I’m not doing political comedy, I want to be clever and find the least confrontational way to say the most offensive things.
  5. Speaking in Hindi has helped me a lot as I can tell my stories with the exact idiom in which they come to me. I think it also helps the audience when I am speaking in a language that is non-elite, so to say, as my stories are also from that perspective.
  6. I don’t understand why people who have the most power, say people like Amitabh Bachchan, are silent on most issues.
  7. I was writing stand up comedy for TV for around 5 years and just wanted to attempt it myself. Vir Das started an amateur comedians’ night in Bombay in 2009 and I went for the very first one. It was a competition and I won the first prize.
  8. I like to dissociate myself from the person I was even three hours ago. It’s a natural requirement to be a writer.
  9. Comedy as dissent or any art form as dissent is going to be our last safety valve.
  10. People who are privileged can take more risks because of that safety shield that privilege provides.
  11. Self-censorship is the most devastating thing for an artist.
  12. When a new government comes, even the detractors want to give them a chance because they have been voted in by the people of the country.
  13. I don’t think changing minds is possible with just comedy. It’s too much to expect from your own art.
  14. You cannot have the same kind of character again and again in every season or every stage of your life. You change, people change.
  15. I’ve stopped many things such as healthy eating. What’s the point? In this post-truth era, I feel increasingly powerless.
  16. My set on why I won’t have kids, and especially the mention of how expensive it is to have kids nowadays, always gets a great response.
  17. I don’t think stand-up comedy is becoming too serious, in fact, I wish it was. We are still mostly doing frivolous stuff.
  18. Sometimes people don’t want to laugh because it’s wrong to laugh at their own establishment.
  19. In any show, not everybody is completely with us on all the topics we talk about. We talk about Hindutva, and we talk about the problems with Islam also. If there are Muslims in the audience, laughing at the jokes on Hindutva, they will have to confront the jokes on Islam too.
  20. Revolutions can be messy but they can’t be perceived as unjust.

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