No kidding: Woman of wit Kaneez Surka says India should be tolerant with jokes

A sketch artist, an Improv and a standup comedian, Kaneez Surka is covering all grounds when it comes to comedy. As we enter her beautifully done up apartment in Bandra, Mumbai, she welcomes us with a wide smile and a glass of water. While the cameraman is making his mind up about the set, Surka and I have a little chat about her story.

Having grown up in South Africa, she moved to Mumbai to explore a career in comedy. It wasn’t easy to begin with but her open-minded, straightforward attitude was useful is picking the right meetings and exploring opportunities that could work for her. Surka believes in having an opinion. And no doubt that can be useful for a comedian?

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Mumbai gave her a real platform and she was ‘spotted’ by Kunal Vijaykar and Cyrus Broacha. And every since then, it’s been The Week That Wasn’t a show that takes on the week’s headlines and tears them apart with a big dose of humour. The popular CNN-News 18 (formerly CNN-IBN) show is completing ten long years which Surka recalls have been “full of fun.”

Comedy in India is a new buzz word but Surka wants people to distinguish between its various forms. An improv artist mainly, she explains to me about the different genres from standup, to videos and improv and more. Surka is also experimenting with more than just television, she recently started to perform as a standup comedian and has some sketch videos on YouTube as well.

‘Comedy is about being yourself’, says Surka. She admits many a times, when on-stage she faces criticism but she doesn’t let few opinions hinder her journey of exploring comedy. “As an audience, we all need to be a little more tolerant of some jokes without sparking some drama.”

Catching up with the very lovely and witty Kaneez Surka.  

Kaneez Surka