Packing a punch

Club culture

Packing a punch

They are witty, creative and tickle your funny bones with their clean humour.
 ‘PunchTantraa’, a team of talented comedians, came together three years ago and term their comedy as ‘above the belt’.

They aim at making everyone laugh through an unconventional art form called ‘radical mime’, which involves turning thoughts into ideas and ultimately, actions. With 21 members, the group has staged several corporate and public performances so far.

Arjun Nadig, the team manager, says that they believe in clean humour. “It is a challenge. Through our acts of laughter, we want to impart wisdom and a social message. We are happy that in three years, we have managed to make everyone laugh without complaining about our content or walking out of the show. Now we are looking at making video spoofs and also taking radical mime across India,” he adds.
Amith A, another member of the group, says that the team’s jokes are based on current affairs, political and social issues and advertisements but their main aim is to send a message out to the society. “We believe that comedy can entertain as well as serve a purpose. Everything from parking woes, garbage, traffic to auto menace, has been a subject matter for us. We had done a spoof on traffic and how it is a never-ending problem but we also provided solutions for it.”

Be it engineers, entrepreneurs or doctors, the members come from different walks of life and meet during the weekends to work together on their stage presence and humour. “We discuss different topics, brainstorm and see the probable areas that we can work on,” says Sharath while Ashwin, another member, says that they have received a great response for all the shows. 

Sharath says, “There is a particular way in which we develop our theme. There is a certain amount of research and planning that goes into our shows. Once we get hold of a topic, we see if it’s trending on social media and then we look at the areas which we can pick on and perform. We feel that it’s very important for the topic to be relevant  otherwise there would be no point if we try and talk about it. Radical mime is a very unique artform.” 

The group holds auditions every year to encourage new talents and Sharath says that one has to be crazy, different and think out-of-the-box to be part of the team.
    For Abhilash R, an actor, the practice sessions are like a stressbuster. “We are tired after working eight hours a day. So this is a way to nurture our creativity.” 
   He has many fond memories of the group. “My journey with ‘PunchTantraa’ has been amazing. One of my favourite spoofs was the ‘Act of Nostalgia’, which revolved around the advertisements of the 90s like ‘Washing Powder Nirma’ and ‘Badshah Masala’. In fact, I played a woman in it,” he adds.

Sharath believes that the City has a vast scope for stand-up comedy and radical mime. “The creativity involved in the concept and the fact that I can sell products in a radical way keep me going,” he notes.

Making people laugh is one of the most challenging and difficult tasks as Arjun points out, “You can make people cry but it’s very difficult to make someone laugh. While everyone thinks that abusive language is the key, we like to keep our humour clean.”
Vikas, an actor, says, “We all started on this journey together and have learnt a lot. My favourite experience was when we performed for an audience of about 4000 members.”

Ajay Samson, another member, says that it has been a wonderful learning experience. “PunchTantraa has helped me a lot in my professional and personal life. It has helped me improve as a voiceover artiste.”

The group currently stages radical mime shows called ‘Bangalore Laughter
Carnival Mini’ on the first Sunday of every month in Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road.

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