Vir Das is ‘Wanted’ again

He’s one of India’s leading comedians, and he showed a theatre full of his Sydney audience why he rules the roost

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When Vir Das stepped on to the stage in Sydney to a rousing welcome, he must have felt very welcome. And wanted.

Of course he knows what it is like to be wanted – in more ways than one.

The Indian stand-up comedian/actor caused a sensation across the world when his monologue ‘The Two Indias’ went viral last year. A sensation that stirred up his homeland to the extent that he was labelled a ‘terrorist’, received death threats, and was expected to be jailed for defaming the country’s image on foreign soil.

Vir Das is still stirring up a global sensation. He now travels with a suitcase that not only carries his jokes but soil from his homeland which he sprinkles before he starts his show.

True to the meaning of his name, Vir was brave enough to strike a chord back with his much-loved fans with his new show ‘Wanted’. Returning to Australia to perform in a packed house, the 43-year-old comedian had his fans at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre in splits of laughter.

Warming up the audience by giving a special welcome to the latecomers, the comedian did not waste time in getting stuck into it all – connecting instantly with common references about what’s happening in Australia. While his jokes ranged from topics like Indian education, social media, the confused Desi, the power of the ‘chappal’, we also travelled through places as he talked about the Mumbai monsoons, his dating experiences from his Delhi Public School days, and his humorous encounters with Americans and the French.

True to form in his effortless and witty manner, the Netflix star also touched upon his acting career as he talked about his Filmfare nomination for his Bollywood film Delhi Belly and his nomination in the Best Comedy category for his Netflix show at the International Emmy Awards 2021, which coincidentally came right after he received the backlash on his monologue.

Vir das sydney wanted
Source: Instagram

Amidst the riot of laughter, he painted a poignant picture interlaced with humour to describe how he felt when he took that flight back home, fearing his life was in danger. How he had to switch off his phone for months. How his family was impacted. How he stared at the possibility of a vanishing career.

As he set about winning back the confidence of his fans via social media, the irony was not lost on him that he had routinely mocked the younger generation for recording every aspect of their lives on the very same forums, seeking validation.

Throughout the show, Vir tested the boundaries of the audience with his interactions to check if they felt uncomfortable or comfortable with his style of humour. He needn’t have – they were lapping it all up.

Amazing how Vir Das consistently reaches out to younger audiences – in this case the average age looked to be under 30. The hall was soaked in continuous laughter, yet you could also hear the pin drop when he recounted his ‘Wanted’ tale.

In his trademark style, Vir Das used his power of storytelling intertwined with humour to lay the bare bones out of a particular issue. He stuck to what he had promised, in an interview prior, about the show ‘Wanted’.

“The show is about two things – a sense of home and a sense of freedom, what it means to be truly global in the world today as an Indian and take that identity out in the world with you.”

As he left Sydney spellbound with a standing ovation and a stage selfie, all we can say is, “Vir, you are still Wanted!”

Read More: A broad understanding of Vir Das

Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja is a freelance films and arts writer with 20 years of experience. Specialising in Bollywood celebrity interviews, she has also covered music concerts, comedy shows, plays and interviewed artists for the Sydney Film festival, the Indian Film festival in Melbourne, WOMADelaide, AACTA and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

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