I can’t even imagine this one meditating. I’m sure she sits in a class pretending to do so, with one quip after another running through her mind jostling to come out! Well, what else can we expect from Delhi’s, ‘funny girl’? But this, ”The men in my class aced it…. I guess the state of thoughtlessness came naturally to them.” This is Neeti Palta being polite! Now don’t get me wrong. All her bits are not just about men in general or Punjabi boys in particular. Neeti’s routine also comprises of her view on current affairs and Indian parents. If you’re an Indian woman: you’ll relate to her witty remarks about our lives. But if you’re a man, I just have one suggestion to make- as a precautionary measure don’t wear pointed shoes to any of Neeti Palta’s shows!
Excerpts from a chat with Neeti Palta – stand up comic and the screenwriter of the eagerly awaited Bollywood film, ‘O Teri’.
From an advertising job,to being touted as ‘the female stand up comic’ in Delhi – your journey has been quite transformative. After establishing Loony Goons and doing shows pan India; what was it like to be sent to Australia? How different was the experience at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which is considered to be the third largest comedy festival? I had an amazing experience. It was the Melbourne Comedy Festival, after all. I had never seen such a festival forget being asked to be a part of one. There were orange flags everywhere. It’s the largest cultural event in Australia. There were so many wonderful shows at multiple venues. All kinds of comics were there- the stars as well as the non stars, local as well as international ones. I was just happy being there.
How did the Aussies receive you? The finals were organised at the Townhall. The largest audience I have performed in front off. There were probably eighteen hundred to two thousand people. It was the full shebang with the opera balcony and all. Since the festival was nationally televised; after the show when I was traveling there were Aussies who told me that they had seen me on the tele. I was the inaugural winner at the festival. It’s so different there. During the festival I was wearing a batch which said participant. People appreciated the fact that I was a comic and a participant. India mein bole ke stand up comic hein to sochte he ke bhand ho. In India you want to say I’m an accountant!
So how did you manage to get your first big break in Bollywood with Salman Khan? Umesh and I wrote the script of O Teri and thought that we should try to make this. So we approached Pulkit Samrat. At that time Fukrey hadn’t released. When he read the script he said he wanted to show it to ‘Bhai’. And suddenly I’m face to face with Salman Khan. I was quite calm about meeting him. He was shooting at the time but he still spent two hours with us. When he was leaving he called up his brother-in-law, Atul Agnihotri and just like that everything was decided. The shooting took place in Delhi. From a small budget film it became a medium budget film. Salman Khan even gave a press release. Now we are just looking forward to the release!
© Saadiya Kochar 2014