By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: If in 2013 anyone is entitled to being designated the Indian Of The Year, it’s Kapil Sharma whose comedy show Comedy Nights With Kapil has shot up to being the most avidly viewed non-fiction show on Indian television.
Kapil still seems dazed by the turn of events in his life. “2013 was positively the most important year of my life. It’s all destiny. I was doing comedy on television for many years and I was working equally hard . But now suddenly I seem to have connected with people everywhere, and it’s not just Hindi or Punjabi speaking audiences.”
Earlier this month Kapil was in Oman for a concert where he had to be whisked out of backstage due to the clamour of crowds in the audience.
Wonder-stuck, the comic virtuoso says, “It was not a Hindi-speaking audience. But the crowds seem to catch all the punchlines. They got so excited that I had to be taken out of the back entrance. But there were twice as many people at the back gate than the front.”
The love of the people stuns Kapil.
“I don’t know why people love me so much. Or how they know manage to keep track of me and my activities. Some time ago I blurted out my mobile number on a reality show by mistake. Aarti Chabria and I were doing a gig where I had to say a number. Mine came automatically to my lips. I never imagined people actually heard me say the digits because I said them so fast. The next thing I knew there were callers from all over the world.”
Kapil is about the change his phone number. “If I didn’t do so yet it was because somewhere I enjoyed all the attention. I had struggled hard for it. But now it’s impossible to handle.”
The perks of being India’s funniest funny-man far out-weight the disadvantages. In November in Australia for a live concert, Kapil had the singular of bringing India and Pakistan together under the same roof.
Says Kapil with modest pride, “For my Australian show Pakistan’s General Consulate and India’s ambassador to Australia sat together to watch my show. It was a moment I’d cherish forever. I am told Pakistanis enjoy my my show hugely. I’d love to have laughter bond both the countries.”
Kapil confides his friends are with him from his school days. “My best friend Dinesh has been with me for years. He used to play the guitar in an orchestra and I’d sing. Now I like to take him on all my concerts. I’m comfortable with the 15 friends I have from before I became an entertainer. Now I get to meet all sorts of people in the entertainment industry. They are interesting, but not friends. Main aapko sach bataaoon? Kuch log yahan par badi ajeeb baatein karte hain.”
Managing the material for the mirth on Comedy Nights With Kapil and juggling with various concerts abroad and at home are taking their toll on Kapil’s time.
On 3 January Kapil performed in Kuwait.
Says the comic virtuoso, “Everywhere I go I try to introduce a local flavour to the humour. It’s a lot of research and a lot of hard work. But I am enjoying every bit of. I’ve struggled hard to get here and I don’t let any negativity ruin my pleasure.”