We would take anything to leave Gujarat: Mahila Manch
“Three months ago, when Preethi Das told me that we are going to perform at Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, my first comment was come let’s go meet some writers, authors… but then Preethi told me, chal yaar! let ‘s go eat some meat.”
When Wasim of Mahila Manch Stand up comedy group said this, the packed audience at the ‘Bamboo Grove’ whistled and howled in enjoyment. Beef in Gujarat is like hearing “beep”, added Wasim.
Preethi Das took over from Wasim introducing herself to be a half-Tamilian and half-Bengali and living in Gujarat. She briefed about how Mahila Manch took shape on December 16, 2017 and how it developed to a group of 300 performers.
Performer Shefali Pandey said, she would take anything to leave Gujarat. “Nothing happens in Gujarat, it's such a dry State. There are no bars or pubs.” Then she added that a good number of tourists who visit Kerala are Gujaratis and that’s because they find one reason or the other to leave the state.
The crowd applauded the comments that some of the Gujaratis support CAA, only because they think its an extension of CA; Chartered Accountancy. Another comment which took the audience to a burst of laughter was the comment it’s a delusion to call Arnab Goswami a journalist and the slogan by Republic TV saying stop provoking India.
Shefali Pandey said the government we had before was a silent kind, mom boy and this is like Kabir Singh, Arjun Reddy type of a government. Now this alpha form of government slap us, scratches us and we have the feeling, oh!! Wow, we have been touched by them.
Replying to a query from the audience, Preethi Das spoke that it is quite intentionally that they bring serious political issues to their performance. Wasim added that they are still hopeful that light humour can reach out to people.