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Blame the Kapil Sharma’s infamous flight fight with Sunil Grover, but comedian Ehsaan Qureshi, who recently appeared on The Kapil Sharma Show after Sunil Grover, Chandan Prabhakar and Ali Asgar bowed out, has his terms and condition ready if he is ever offered the show. “I wouldn’t wish to travel with Kapil and, most importantly, will not meet him at night after work because once you get drunk, you send tweets to PM and when in the day media asks you about it, you don’t have answers because then you are sober,” he says with his sarcasm on point. After he appeared on the show along with Raju Srivastava and Suni Pal, rumours have been rife that the trio is replacing the show’s original cast members — Sunil Grover, Chandan Prabhakar and Ali Asgar. Ali and Chandan haven’t shot for the show since Kapil and Sunil’s fight in an apparent display of support for Sunil. Kapil had misbehaved with Kapil onboard a flight and even physically assaulted him.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Ehsaan opens up about his shooting experience with Kapil, missing Grover’s presence on the set and why he thinks their fight shouldn’t be taken seriously. The comedian, first of all, quashes the reports suggesting he has been signed for the show, and then reveals that calling him, Pal and Raju for an episode was just a “damage control” as important characters of the show were missing. “It’s not true. We were called as guests and this was our role. I don’t know why this rumour is being spread. It’s absolutely wrong. But yes, after such a long time for the first time, comedians were remembered on a comedy show, which has hosted everyone from film celebrities, child artistes to social activists, Anna Hazare, Ramdev, sportspeople. So, finally they thought of us and why they did, you all can understand. It is a case of damage control.”
This episode might be a saving grace for the show makers, but for the three comedians shooting for the show has actually spelled trouble, as Ehsaan shares.
“We were being asked since the show began that why didn’t we go on his show. And I used to tell media, ‘Please ask this question to Kapil. We will go only if he calls. We can’t go to someone’s house without an invitation.’ And now that we went, we are getting only brickbats. People are telling us, ‘You can’t take Sunil’s (Grover) place.’ But we didn’t go on the show as his replacement. People are writing such shocking things like, ‘The show should be shut, we made him (Kapil) star, now we will bring him down!'”
Ehsaan, in fact, says that he agrees with the fans that Sunil is irreplaceable on the show and this he realised this while shooting. The comedian reveals that he even taunted Kapil about this on camera. “But when we went for the shoot, we missed his presence. This is a fact. We also missed Chandan and Ali. So, while shooting, we felt something was missing on the show. I even said on camera, ‘Just like how doctors are going on strike in real life (Maharashtra), similarly doctors are missing on the show!’ Now, I don’t know if this will be kept or cut out from the final edit.”
The comedian, however, adds that he had a pleasant experience shooting the episode, for they all joked a lot, though he didn’t interact with Kapil on sets. On how the atmosphere was behind the scenes, Ehsaan says that the tension was palpable as they were called for the shoot at 3 pm and it didn’t start before 12 am.
“During the shoot, Kapil looked happy, before that a little tensed. Imagine we were on the set from 3 pm and the shoot started at midnight. So, you can feel the tension, that there is something wrong that why aren’t they starting the shoot. But when we finally met as the shoot started, he looked cheerful. He got in his groove and we joked a lot. It was great fun shooting the episode,” the stand-up comedian says.
Ehsaan says that he can’t take their fight seriously as they fought in the past too, and moved on quickly. He, in fact, questions Sunil regarding his return to Kapil’s Comedy Nights a few months after he left it to start his own series a few years back. Ehsaan says that by forgiving Kapil once, he gave him a chance to insult him again.
“But this fight can’t be taken seriously because a similar fight happened earlier too. Sunil went and started his own show. It flopped and he was back on Comedy Nights with Kapil. If you were so firm on your stand, then why did you come back? Right now also, people are missing him but he should honour his word. People told us you don’t go on his show, I say I never begged Kapil to give me work. If you want to call us, it’s okay otherwise we have a lot of fans. And finally, he called us. Toh yeh hoti hai baat. He was insulted earlier too, but he forgave him and hence encouraged him.”
Ehsaan is also disappointed by Sunil’s silence on the issue. He says it just makes him appear selfish. “If you don’t have the guts to speak because you think he won’t take you again, then that means he is your God. Then leave this nautanki. You are just keeping quiet, he will cajole you and you will be back on the show. Grow a spine. Being a comedian is different but being human is also important. He dented his image last time when he came back to him. What if Sunil’s show had worked and Kapil’s had flopped, would he have come? He came after he flopped. So, he is also selfish. He is not a saint. Why can’t you face the media and speak the truth? He just wrote a short message on Twitter. That’s it. He should speak more. But then I think, he will be back.”
Taking a jibe at the controversy, which has been getting media attention, Ehsaan likens it to a national issue. Joking about it, the comedian says Kapil has become more important than the Prime Minister.
“Now that these two topics — When will Salman Khan marry and when will Rahul Gandhi tie the knot — have died down, and even the elections are over, so, this fight is the burning issue in the country. I want to tell people, ‘Take care of your wife. she might be angry with you, don’t think about Kapil and Sunil. Apna dekho. Shows come and go.’ It’s not as if this doesn’t get sorted, the nation will forget how to laugh. Everywhere I see, it’s Kapil, Kapil, Kapil, as if he is more important than the Prime Minister and is our God.”
In the end, Ehsaan also has an advice for Kapil. “He should not drink. It’s not healthy. He is a sensible man. Also, Kapil and Sunil form a great pair on screen. Sunil is very important for the show, so he should be back on the show. Kapil should understand that he should not insult his team members. This should end.”