Tickling the funny bone

Tickling the funny bone

Laugh riot

Tickling the funny bone

She is one of the comediennes to have shattered the glass ceiling when she first entered standup comedy, a highly-male dominated industry. Punya Arora, the quintessential South-Indian-Punjabi is known for the ability to laugh at herself.

   A photographer who also stumbled into standup comedy, Punya was the only girl to have entered the comedy scene when she first came in. However, she took a break in between and after she came back, was glad to see more women getting on stage and making people laugh.

   Her material sparkles with hilarious, everyday situations, neatly packaged with funny accents.

   She is one of those comediennes who has broken the myth that cuss words and abusive language have to be used in standup. She practises her art off-stage too by making people laugh and spreading happiness. She shares a few funny anecdotes and talks about her journey in an interview with Anushka Sivakumar.

Does the competition in the standup scene scare you?

Not at all. I think everyone has their own unique style. Since humour is subjective, there is room for anyone who is original.

Is there a certain pattern you follow while deriving your material?

Not really. I talk about things that I enjoy talking about and genuinely excited to share. Most of it comes from personal experiences and observations.

Recall your worst show...

I was performing at a place where the mic was set up behind a tree and the cord wouldn’t allow me to walk too far. At the same show, one person was drunk and kept talking to me like it was a conversation. I managed to entertain people nonetheless but that was a strange incident.

Is standup comedy the new engineering or new DSLR?

It’s a growing field but once one has entered it, it’s a lot of hard work. There’s no way to survive unless one genuinely loves it. I think this holds true for any profession. I wouldn't call it the ‘new engineering’ or ‘new DSLR’ but one has to be really passionate about it.
What if most people walk out in between your show?

I would continue to perform for the ones who have stayed back and leave only when I finish entertaining them.

If not a comedienne...?

I’m already following two of my passions – comedy and photography. If not for both, I would still do something in the entertainment industry. Anything other than singing though.

The three things you would wish for if you were stranded on an island...

I’d only wish for one – to not be stranded on the island anymore!

How do you think the world will end?

There’s this line from a poem by William Wordsworth — ‘And much it grieves my heart to think what man has made of man.’

Of course, the world is coming to an end and we're all doing a pretty good job at making it happen sooner than it should.

What if someone comes up to you and says you can't do stand up comedy since you're a woman?

I would feel bad for them because they thought that their opinion will make a difference to my life. It must be scary to live with such delusions.

Your favourite comedians from Bengaluru?

Praveen Kumar, Sundeep Rao and Kenneth Sebastian.

Tell me a joke!
Come for my show. I'll tell you more than one!