She can make you laugh, but, she won’t make you cry. This saying applies aptly to Delhi-based stand-up comedian Neeti Palta.
Neeti’s humour draws inspiration from all around her – annoying relatives, perverse men or idiosyncrasies of daily life.
“For corporate shows, I go as per what is expected of me. I ensure that my script is clean and politically correct,” says Neeti while talking about the content of her comedy.
The comedian, however, says that she likes to experiment with the other shows.
“I prefer tongue-in-cheek kind of humour. Content is something that you arrive at after several shows. You decide what jokes work and what don’t,” she adds.
Neeti’s entry into stand-up comedy was quite accidental.
“I received a lot encouragement from stand-up comedians like Collin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood when I volunteered for their show during their performance in Delhi,” she says.
While volunteering, Neeti found out that she could produce a lot of sounds behind the mic. Her new found talent was backed up by a few amateur gigs and there it all began, when people started appreciating her work.
It has been over five years that Neeti has been quite active on the stand-up comedy scene in the country.
“Even since I have become a stand-up comedian, I have lost all the tact I had. I have become too honest in my interactions. I don’t hide anything. Whatever is there, I just say it,” she quips.
Though, she laments that India is a rigid society.
“That’s the reason why we find it difficult to laugh at ourselves. We take offence at anything and everything,” she says.
She explains that if a kid mocks at a fat man and calls him ‘fat’, even his mother will tell him to do otherwise. “Even the fat man would take an offence to what he is being called,” she says.
Neeti feels that comedy is about being truthful and observational humour is quickly catching up.
Though there is a dearth of good female stand-up comedians in India, she feels the situation is improving.
“Parents are not pushing their children to just become doctors and engineers. They are open to alternate career options and stand-up comedy is one of them,” Neeti states.
But what she doesn’t like about her profession is constant comparison with the other female stand-up comedians.
“I just want to be seen as a funny person,” she says.
However, Neeti clarifies that she doesn’t follow any routine to polish her funny bone.
“When you are on stage, you are delivering a certain mindset, so you have to be responsible enough for what you are saying. You read up a lot. You observe a lot,” she adds.
As for the future, she is trying to better her craft.