Atul Khatri’s – The Indian Comdeian’s CuppaLife
40 Shades of Grey with Atul Khatri
Introducing – Atul Khatri, an Indian Computer Engineer, British Management Scholar, Owner of an IT firm and a stand-up comedian.
Atul, recently won the CNBC TV18’s – CEOs Got Talent trophy, competing against 11 CEO’s who were showcasing various talents. He decided to do comedy 3 years back so that, he could tick it off his bucket list and today he travels around the world, acts in TV commercials and is rated by CNN-IBN as one of the top comedians in India.
It was a very short and crispy meeting with Atul, but we are glad we met this Horny Sindhi who speaks 3 languages – Sindhi, English and Hinglish. Here are some snippets of our short meeting:
(Note: Every time you see a 🙂 (Smiley) in the answers, trust us, it was more than genuine.)
UrCuppaLife : So one of the online sites says this about you – “Performance Fees” – Available on request, when did you decide to take Stand up Comedy as a profession?
Atul : Well, I started taking this up professionally as soon as I started getting paid for it. See I am a Sindhi – we can smell an opportunity from miles ahead and don’t lose any time in making most of it. :-).
UrCuppaLife : What’s the next Atul Project?
Atul : As a comedian you have to write more, perform at bigger venues across the world. I have started doing TV commercials as well and I am also getting calls for movie auditions. Three years back I had never thought, I could be a comedian so I am ready for anything.
UrCuppaLife : What inspires your content – Don’t you think sindhi jokes are the new sardar jokes?
Atul : Observations, family life, my children, my wife – all inspire my content. Finally, if all else fails – open the newspaper and you will get 3 hours of comedy content on a daily basis 🙂 . Jokes on diferent communities have been there for decades; it is how you treat them, differentiate them and present them – that’s what that matters.
UrCuppaLife : How do you differentiate yourself from other stand up comedians?
Atul : I try to be as honest as possible on stage. I reply to all my communication from my fans and because I am old – I am very very conscious that my feet are always on the ground.
UrCuppaLife : Like the Sindhi associations, doctors associations, even toastmaster and so on, do we have a worldwide or Indian Stand Up Comedian Association?
Atul : No. Not that I know of any in India. We are all very close friends as the industry is so small and close.
UrCuppaLife : Have you shared the stage with any veterans and who is your favourite stand up comedian?
Atul : I have shared stage with more or less all ‘veterans’ in the industry like Vir Das, Sorabh Pant, Anuvab Pal, Varun Grover, Sanjay Rajoura, Karan Talwar, Tanmay Bhatt, Gursimran Khamba, etc, etc. I like the word veterans here because all of them are younger than me 🙂
UrCuppaLife : Is their a market for your profession in India? Do you think corporate’s need a laughing session and why?
Atul : Yes, there is a huge market for stand-up comedy in India, it is just opening up.
Corporate’s definitely need a laughing session as they are too uptight otherwise. We have seen of late more and more corporate’s embracing the idea of having a stand up comedian in their offsite activities, annual parties, award functions and other get-together’s. It’s cheaper for them too, rather than getting a music band or Russian belly dancers 🙂
UrCuppaLife : Are there any “Anu Maliks” in this profession, obviously, because Indians don’t listen to anybody else except Russel Peters and Kapil Sharma.
Atul : Well, we have a stand-up comedian called Aadar Mallik (who is actually Mr. Anu Mallik’s nephew) [ 🙂 REALLY! HOW COOL IS THAT ]. Indians are now opening up to the idea of intelligent and crafty stand-up comedian’s. There is a market for everybody. I have huge respect for both Russel Peters as well as Kapil Sharma for opening up the market for us.
UrCuppaLife : Tell us something about your family and that one thing which keeps your family together?
Atul : I am married with 2 daughters. My wife is a hair-stylist and has played a big role getting me into stand-up comedy, both in terms of pushing as well as providing me the material :-).
My both kids are in college & find it very cool that their dad is a comedian. My parents who are in their late 70s, have also supported me a lot. We eat dinner together every night (all of us together) and as they say, the family that eats together stays together. Our Sunday Sindhi lunch of Sindhi kadhi, chawal, aloo tuuk and boondi, bonds us 🙂
UrCuppaLife : What is your key to Success ?
Atul : Keep your head low & work hard. Keep writing fresh content as often as you can. The audience is finally a judge of your work.
Signing off with a short video (TVC for Rebtel) of Atul’s work in comedy/TVC’s .
Atul, will be performing live at the Dubai Comedy Festival – Desi Invasion on Saturday, 17th October at Skydive Dubai. Book you tickets here. Resistance is futile. You will be amused. Show starts at 8pm. Doors will open at 6pm.