Three years on the road and two Netflix stand-up specials later, actor-comic Vir Das is paying homage to India through his next project, which he says is a “love letter” to his country.
Vir Das: For India follows Das’ previous Netflix specials — A Broad Understanding (2017) and Losing It (2018). But unlike these two, the new stand-up is shot in India and is all about the country.
The actor said he has been touring the US for long and felt it was about time he did something for his Indian audience.
“I have done two specials in abroad, one in New York and other in San Francisco. We have such a large audience here. It was time to come home. I’ve been travelling for three years. I figured I’d do one for us. I love my country and want to celebrate it.
“This special is a small and humble love letter to my country,” Das told PTI in an interview.
Vir Das: For India makes him the sixth artiste to have three stand-up specials with the streamer.
For a part of his act, which was recorded at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai late last year, the comedian went back to his growing up years in the country.
“On some level it is a dive into my childhood. I’m not a very smart man and so if I try and write an extremely intellectual special about India, I’m going to fail because everybody has a different India.
“So the best I could do was write about my small opinion about India and that is heavily influenced by my childhood. So the jokes about Parle G and Chyavanprash, my grandmother in Patna, at those levels it was deeply personal,” Das said.
At the same time, he also touched upon the sociopolitical situation of the country.
“To be very honest, I don’t do it very consciously. I just kind of write jokes and whatever is there in my mind, it finds it way into these jokes. An issue like gay marriage is very important to me. But I begin with writing a joke first and then they find their way into a joke. It’s always joke first, issue second.”
The 40-year-old actor has been doing stand-up for over a decade and said there are still days when people don’t laugh at his jokes.
“I think one out of every 20 jokes don’t evoke laughter for somebody and that is just the reality that you have to live with… Comedy is also subjective like any other art form, but at the same time one joke which isn’t funny for you, may click with other person.
“Every man’s funny is very different. So the idea is to try and throw as many jokes as you can at people that enough people find it fun.”
Das said he takes failure in his stride as it only motivates him to do better next time.
“The best thing I can do is fail as it sets you up to work harder for the next one. The art is just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. I’m absolutely not ashamed of stumbling because that’s the healthiest thing in the world for an artiste.”
Vir Das: For India starts streaming on Netflix from Sunday.
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