There are doctor jokes and then there are doctors who joke. And Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi, an ENT surgeon from Bengaluru, who has conducted over 300 comic shows around the country, is one among the latter. He’s got together doctor-turned-comics to participate in Doctors Do Comedy, a show to be held at Osmania Medical College on Sunday, in which, well, doctors do comedy.
Dr Jagdish is an accomplished doctor, theatre artiste and author. Added to this, he is now earning a name as a stand-up comedian. “I’d begun fuelling my creative passions through theatre. But I realised soon enough that my busy medical schedule and proper rehearsals would not work out in the long run, and that would be unfair to my fellow actors on stage. Around that time, I also figured that comedy helps de-stress not only people but also doctors. And it’s an additional source of income, so it’s de-stressing on the emotional and financial fronts. That’s how my tryst with comedy started a few years ago,” says the doctor.
A dose of amusement
The good doctor was aware of a few of his fellow doctors who were much stressed and needed a place to vent. So, in February 2019, he came up with the idea of a show featuring two of his known amateur doctor-turned-comics.
Unfortunately, though, that show didn’t go well. That’s when the ENT surgeon decided to share his idea on his social media pages for response. Interestingly, the post, which invited doctors who wanted to do comedy, got 700 responses from all over India — 300 from Bengaluru and 200 from Hyderabad.
12 doctors were selected for the first of Dr Jagdish’s Doctors Do Comedy shows. The show, held in Bengaluru in June, was a great hit.
Bolstered by the success, the doctor decided to set up his next show in Hyderabad. “The Hyderabad leg will have eight participants from various medical institutes in the city,” explains Dr Jagdish.
The comic line-up
Navya Akula, second-year MBBS student, MMC, Patancheru, is one of the participants in Hyderabad. “I’ve always liked being expressive on stage, but I didn’t get the right platform until now. But with this platform, I will definitely give my best,” says Navya.
Another doctor, Samia Quadri, intern, DCMS, feels laughter is indeed the best medicine, something she would like to indulge in. It’s a similar feeling for Nishitha Reddy, who is a medical student at KIMS, Narketpally. “I have always been a funny person and to perform on a platform like this is very exciting for me,” says Nishitha.
Then, there is Dr Sudhir Mane, who practices at Osmania Medical College. It is his love for comedy and everything funny that has brought him to perform before a large audience for the first time.
No laughing matter
Not all’s hunky-dory for the doctor who wishes to spread the gift of laughter around the world. For one, working with amateur comics is not easy, especially because it’s difficult to get their comic timing right. But Dr Jagdish seems hands on. “To let the audience experience the best, I am working with the doctors on their content, refining them, giving it a structure for the extra kick, etc.,” he says.
But challenges aside, it’s a cheerful road head for the ENT surgeon. After Hyderabad, the journey of medicos and comedy continues to other parts of the country. The next in line is a show on the similar concept in Mumbai and later, in Delhi, for the Indian Medical Association.
“When the Indian Medical Association came to know about my initiative, they invited us for a show and a workshop in Delhi on December 9-10. This sort of encouragement from the community itself ensures that all is going on a positive way,” concludes Dr Jagdish....