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A Riot Of Laughter–Biswa Kalyan Rath


DL101’s LOLStars featuring Biswa Kalyan Rath and Sumaira Shaikh brought one of India’s biggest names in comedy to the Golden Jubilee Hall on the 15th of January. Performing to a packed hall, the comedians had the audience rolling in laughter, and the event becoming perhaps the most featured one on students’ Instagram and Snapchat stories.

DL101, a student-run entertainment organisation, has had three volumes of their flagship event, Punjabi Nights so far. Among their other ventures in bringing stand-up comedy to Manipal is a show by comedian Kunal Kamra. “We look at the timetables of all the colleges in town and try to find a suitable day. Deciding the price for the ticket and finding a date that didn’t clash with other events wasn’t an easy task, but in the end, it all worked out,” said Amitoj Singh, one of the founders of the organisation, talking about the preparation for the event. DL101 utilised social media to the maximum, with their marketing expertise and Biswa’s popularity making the event a huge success and making the months of hard work put in since September worthwhile.

The crew of DL101 with Biswa Kalyan Rath (7th from Left). Image courtesy: DL101

The evening kicked off to a great start with Sumaira Shaikh, the queen of poker faces, warming up the crowd with her hilarious set, wooing them with her casual demeanour and rib-tickling humour in just a couple of minutes.

As the star of the night Biswa Kalyan Rath stepped on stage, the crowds whipped out their phones. He allowed them to indulge in a fleeting moment of social validation before asking them to avoid recording the show.

Biswa started off his hour-long set by talking about engineering, college, nuclear bombs, and bathroom fittings. Having made it through engineering himself, he had the advantage of understanding college students, their predicaments, frustrations and lives.  His jokes were well-received, and the crowd responded with loud cheers and applause. He touched upon sensitive topics like depression and suicide, his unapologetic dark humour keeping the audience in fits of laughter.

There was a candid moment in the show when Biswa realised that the tags on his jeans were still hanging from the back. Having shown up to his own show in sweatpants, he’d had to buy a new pair of jeans on that day itself.

“The environment in the show was amazing, and his jokes were funny, if at times more wacky than hysterical,” said Antara Ballal, a first-year student from the School of Communication.

The huge following that Biswa Kalyan Rath has in the town meant that the tickets for the show were completely sold out weeks before the event, with 70% of them being snatched up within the first 48 hours. With the demand still unsatiated, the organisers organised a second consecutive show in the evening. This too saw an almost-full house, as the two performers went through their act for the second time with professional ease and energy. The sheer numbers and the reception of LOLStars featuring Biswa Kalyan Rath and Sumaira Shaikh attest for the success of DL101’s event.

Images courtesy: The Photography Club

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