Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stand-up Comedian Shakeel

I am a great fan of stand-up comedy shows. My favourite was and, shall I say, still is “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.” Must also confess I am a great fan of Russel Peters, and I think Indian and Pakistani stand-up comedians don’t measure up to him in tongue in cheek humour.Russel, by the by, is Indian by birth.


Russel’s a rage, an original. He will have you in splits, without adopting the mercenary tactics some of the Indian and Pakistani comedians use.


The ones I like are: Raju Srivastav, Sunil Pal, Shakeel, and a few others. So imagine my delight when I bumped into Shakeel the other day. Shakeel is also a natural; he can make a person laugh without moving a facial muscle. Some of the gags he pulled on his fellow female presenters are classics; especially the one commenting on the woman’s tawdry dress, “Yeh tho sharbat ka gilas lag raha hai.”


Yesterday, I was caught in a downpour near Andheri station and took shelter in a nearby hotel’s lobby. And who should I see coming out but the Pakistani comedian with his family. I tapped him on the shoulder and shook hands. As usual, I was rather tongue tied to say something, but he did acknowledge the gesture. He got into a green Qualis with family and before driving away, seeing me still staring, with a stupid grin on my face, he waved goodbye. I don’t for the life of me know why he had to do this. But he did.


Thanks Shakeel for making several moments watching you perform on television absolutely enjoyable. You are great at making others laugh. Hope we meet again!

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