Punya Arora: “I Once Got Wrapped In The Mic Cord — It Was Pretty Hilarious”
Comedy probably seems like the easiest, most fun career to be in. But this is far from the truth.
The gift of the gab, the ability to make people laugh, and to make a living out of it, is a lot harder than it looks. And being a woman in this space — even harder. Which is why these hilarious women we’ve featured in our Women In Comedy series this month deserve your applause. They’re smart, they’re sassy, and they’ll leave you in splits. Read on about how comedy happened to them.
Punya Arora is not a new name in the Indian comedy space. What makes her stand out are her chirpy Punjabi genes clubbed with her South-Indian upbringing. Sounds like quite a fusion, right? No wonder you’ll see her switching accents like a pro. Her sense of funny is mostly directed to breaking stereotypes and her lighthearted comedy will leave you in splits.
This multi-faceted woman is also an exceptional photographer (don’t blame us if your eyeballs turn into lovestruck emojis on seeing her beautiful shots!).
We caught up with this hilarious stand-up comedian about her journey so far.
The first time I tried my hand at comedy was at an open mic at Urban Solace in Bangalore. I didn’t know much about live comedy or performing on stage back then.
I didn’t even think this would be a viable career option. I just wanted to try it out for fun and what really stood out for me was ‘DAMN! I like making people laugh’. Now I think I want to keep doing this and keep chasing this feeling, whatever it is!
I have a lot of fun doing comedy, and it became a profession purely by accident and out of true love, which is how it should be for anyone with whatever work they’re doing.
There are, of course, good days and bad. Recently, I experienced my best and worst show till date in the same show itself! After a break up, ironically I ended up performing on a show titled ‘The Breakup Special’. That was definitely not an easy one to get through, but my god, what a brilliant show it turned out to be. So cathartic and truly amazing.
I think wherever there are men and women, whatever the work environment may be, there will always be at least a certain degree of sexism. It is a male-dominated field for sure, but I do see more women taking up comedy now, and that’s great.
I think the challenges I face are what any comic faces (male or female). I’ve also experienced support as well as challenges, the kind you’d face in any work environment. Your main critic, at the end of the day, is the audience, and nothing else matters when you’re on stage.
And I genuinely have fun on stage, even if I’m doing something silly. I once got wrapped in the mic cord and that was pretty hilarious, for the audience as well as myself.
There are so many great comics in our country today. In my peers, I admire honesty. I admire when someone dares to talk about a difficult topic or an issue that normally wouldn’t be considered a funny one, and is still able to make it entertaining as hell.
I am truly inspired when I see a comic have a brilliant time on stage and not really care about what people think, and yet is able to notice that the audience is truly enjoying themselves. The ability to be both attached and detached is something I admire.
I also admire when people are comfortable with silence.
Me in three words: Bubbly (like champagne), Yellow (warm and bright like sunshine), Positive (in every sense of the word!)
Favourite one-liner joke: A guy walks into a bar….ouch! (I heard this ages ago and it always cracks me up.)
Current project: On making sure that every next show I do is better than the last, and that every day, I’m a better person than I was the previous day.