On my pinboard: Balraj Syal

Standup comedian Balraj has steadily worked his way from a modest background to becoming a household name with his appearance in television shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Comedy Circus, Comedy Nights with Kapil and Comedy Nights Live. He is also a talented scriptwriter, TV show host and anchor.

Album

‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’

Punjabi music, and all its variations, is my favourite. But if you ask me for my favourite film album, it will be ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ — that was one film in which all the songs were brilliant. Usually, every film will have one or two good songs. The only other film that managed to do this was ‘Aashiqui’.

Travel

Japan

Of the places I have visited, I have found Japan to be the prettiest. Usually, people think of Japan as a technology-advanced place with skyscrapers and machines. While all that is there, once you leave the city limits, you will see natural beauty in all its abundance. Another place that I want to visit is Switzerland.

Book

‘The Test of My Life’

I haven’t read many books in my life. The only book that I have read from cover to cover is Yuvraj Singh’s autobiography ‘The Test of My Life’. He is my favourite cricketer. He was suffering from cancer when he played for India in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and still managed to win the ‘Man of the tournament’ award — how can a human being do this?

Food

Punjabi-style ‘Rajma’

I love Punjabi cuisine as it is something I have grown up eating. I don’t have a particular favourite dish; we had to eat whatever our mother prepared that day. You know how there are certain people who in their childhood could say they want something and their mothers would make it for them; well we weren’t one of those. We could eat what was made or stay hungry. If I had to choose something, then it will be the authentic Punjabi-style ‘Rajma’ with rice, not the kind you get in the big cities. 

Inspiration

Ashok Kumar (Father)

My inspiration is my father, Ashok Kumar. I am still in awe of how he managed to raise a family and send three kids to school and take care of all the elders in the house with the nominal salary that he used to receive. Here, we might be drawing lakhs but still can’t seem to manage our expenses and always crib about problems. Also, I admire his patience, positivity and confidence in dealing with adversities; his motto seemed to be ‘We will see
this through’.

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