One of the last sessions of the #WomenWritersFest in Ahmedabad had actor, comedian and writer Mallika Dua on board, and it sure was an interesting and fun session. The actor, who is famously known for her on-point comic timing, and has recently starred in the hit web series The Trip, spoke about the idea of funny women, what comedy means to her and how we change the world through comedy.
Dua’s hilarious take on make-up and client complaints resulted in a successful series called Makeup didi. The series helped people relive all their make-up disasters and she had an immense amount of fun while doing it. Dua, recalling the time she chanced upon the idea of doing Makeup didi she said, “It all began with the idea of clients. If you notice, no matter what profession, the clients are never happy.”
Dua, who was an advertising professional earlier, shared her experience of dealing with brands and clients. “I also observed people at beauty parlours and was always intrigued by behavioural patterns and that’s what transpired into Makeup didi. It also got recognition when certain publications started writing about it and it went viral,” she recalled.
Why funny women aren’t the protagonist
Manral brought forth an important subject talking about why our society is so resistant to funny women. Dua stressed upon the fact how everyone terms funny people as maniacs. She, however, pointed out that the norms are changing and there’s more acceptance towards the funny side of people.
“We’ve not been brought up to believe that being funny is one of the traits we must possess.”
Dua shared that she tries to take up projects where there’s a substantial role in store for her. “I’m at my best and happiest when I make people laugh. When it comes to casting and portrayal on-screen, I try to choose projects where I can contribute immensely.”
“When you’re writing your own material, there’s a message you’re putting out.”
Dua believes that the creative field has multiple dimensions and one must feel free to think out loud and feel freely. She, however, added that there’s a line one must not cross when it comes to touching upon sensitive issues. “Social media is all out there but I think with comedy also comes a little responsibility, everything is not just about the joke. When it comes to people unnecessarily blasting your work, I would only say that those who have a problem with everything must not watch it, there’s always this option.”
“Any form of art has a shelf life and it’s important to keep evolving.”
Dua interestingly pointed out that art always has a shelf life and it’s important to keep evolving and getting better with time. “What I did three years ago may appear as tone-deaf today. We make our choices, but I think I’ve evolved as an artist and it’s important to move on.” She also proudly stressed how her latest show has all women writers and producers and that’s a progress we must cherish.
Are there limits she sets for herself?
While Dua believes that humour should be limitless, she understands that in this age and time it’s important to limit yourself in a way that does not hurt sentiments. “I’m not going to do a joke that allows bashing up people with real problems. I don’t support it either.”
Who makes Mallika Dua laugh?
Dua, who had the audience bursting into laughter from time to time said, her family makes her laugh the most. “My sister, my parents, everyone is funny.” Professionally, Dua believes actor and comedian Sunil Grover has immense talent, too, when it comes to engaging the audience.
“You can’t please everyone”
Talking about how women taking up comedy can make a huge difference in the perspectives of the society, Dua said, “If one can package thoughts and emotions well in comedy, it’ll always work and it’ll spread around well.” Dua, in the end, also advised that women need to believe in themselves and do what they feel most inspired by. “At the end of the day, we need to understand that we can’t please everyone so we must concentrate on doing what we connect with most,” she concluded.