'In America, they call me an Indian'

Beyond Borders

'In America, they call me an Indian'

Stand-up comedian Shazia Mirza speaks to Metrolife about her trip to the City 

The UK-based stand-up comedian Shazia Mirza has fought a long drawn battle for her Indian visa and is finally in the country to tickle your funny bone! After her last visit to India in 2006, she is back for a four-city tour as a part of ‘Kingfisher Comedy Nights’. 

Born to Pakistani parents but brought up in Birmingham, the 36-year-old British comedian has always faced an identity crisis thanks to the confused perceptions of skin colour and religion. “In England, they see me as a British, which is what I am. In India, they see me as a Pakistani. In America, they call me an Indian,” laughs Shazia, who has become rather accustomed to this kind of treatment. 

Her comedy days began when she was a science teacher at a high school in Birmingham. Other than the fact that the job made her realise that a hobby could be made into a career, it wasn’t really one of the best experiences of her life.

“The kids hated me and I hated them. Since we were forced to pass time together, I’d just tell them jokes. I realised that I was better off performing for an audience that hated me a little less,” she says in a deadpan tone. Still, the end result of her little adventure has definitely left hundreds rolling with laughter.

“My parents wanted me to be in a respectable profession like medicine or something. I never envisioned myself making money for cracking jokes about everyday things that I saw around me. But I can’t see myself doing anything else now,” she says.

This will be Shazia’s first trip to Bangalore and she’s looking forward to meeting the folks whom she has to entertain three days in a row. 

At her show, one can expect a whole lot of banter on Indian marriages, parents, experiences on her travels (like being seen as a terrorist when she tried to get her visa) and any other observation in her life that has inspired her to be who she is today.

Shazia will be performing on July 28 and 29 at The Alila Hotel and Vivanta by Taj respectively. 

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