Sex And Sexability2.0 with Aditi Mittal : Comedy for a Cause
Crayon Impact, in conjunction with FirstPost, return with Sex and Sexability 2.0, their second themed stand-up comedy show where comedians bust myths and taboos around disability, mental illness and sexuality through their own experiences. An intriguing concept no doubt, and whilst it may not be the funniest show in town, it certainly is one of the most interesting, moving and enriching; one that evokes a weird mix of emotions in you given it’s as funny as it is thought provoking. Hilariously hosted by top comic Aditi Mittal, as one of her famed onstage characters (Dr) Mrs Lutchuke, dishing out her classic brand of socially conscious humour, here providing a unforgettably witty sex education lesson in line with Indian cultural ‘walues’. The show, held at Bandra’s St Pauls, a fully wheelchair accessible venue, consisted of a line-up of 4 comedians sharing their trysts with various disabilities and mental illnesses.
What’s clear from a fun evening of comedy is that- There’s a unique entertainment, if not shock value, that comes from people openly talking about and making fun of severely taboo and hush-hush topics, such as depression and suicide; thereby bursting the giant bubble of ‘log kya sochenge’ discomfort that Indians carry around so stubbornly. To that end, Sex and Sexability 2.0 is a show which will have you laughing at things that feel so fundamentally wrong. This includes Aakash Mehta, clearly the most experienced comic of the line-up, joking about his failed suicide attempts with quips like the fact that there are no suicide experts to turn to for advice, given all the successful ones have, well…. passed on. But that very much is the power of comedy, to provide a fun experience whilst being thought provoking, to entertain as much as generate discussion.
Having said that, there’s ironically a lot of hilarity to be found in disability and mental health-related issues in our fine county specifically given just how socially inept and insensitive we as a nation are. As touched on by author and comic Nidhi Goyal who talked about her experiences of dealing with society’s attitude and reactions to her being blind. Similarly, Neenu Kewlani’s charming set consisted of her aunty-infested experiences of being a wheelchair-bound person in India.
Also amongst the line-up was Rohan Sabharwal, one of the co-founders of Crayon Impact, who recounted his tales of what it’s actually like to be in a mental institution. As well as his comical take on why Shah Rukh Khan actually plays the same character in all his films - that of a mental patient who keeps popping up with new mental disorders.
And yet more than the comedy itself, the show boasted of a very palpable atmosphere in the air, one of honesty and facing reality, which has you wondering why we are so hell-bent on brushing anything and everything remotely uncomfortable, under the carpet. Why can’t these areas be out in the open, and discussed, and god forbid laughed about? I can tell you of one audience that certainly did.
As the stand-up industry keeps booming, people are getting increasingly used to its formats and themes, and a different kind of show such as this is certainly a welcome change. In the end, Sex And Sexability 2.0 made for a fine evening of laughs and lessons which was as fun as it was rewarding and is the kind of offbeat stand-up show I certainly hope to see more of. I for one look forward to Sex and Sexability 3.0!