Hey there, Atul Khatri, welcome to Toronto

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Atul Khatri holding a kid's bullhorn.

Atul Khatri, a well-known standup comic from India, will be performing at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. This is Khatri’s first ever show in Canada. Photo courtesy of Only Much Louder

Ever wondered what would happen if a Sindhi aka Atul Khatri got hold of a calculator?

Quite simple, really. His fingers would fly over the buttons as he crunched the numbers; then he would quit his job (CEO of an IT company in Mumbai) to become a standup comic. What’s more, he will make this life-affirming decision at 45.

Midlife crisis or pure madness? who knows, but Atul Khatri, India’s famous comic, appears to be at peace having swapped the 9-to-5 rat race for the mic. And if his YouTube subscribers, Twitter, and Facebook followers are any indications, his calculated move has paid off.

“I am a Sindhi, so I had to calculate the risk of everything,” he deadpanned when asked about the switch in careers. “I realized I was making more money doing six months of standup than what I was earning at my job. The comedy scene is growing in India and I realized it would be foolish of me not to ride the wave.”

Today, Atul’s among the top 20 comics in India. And guess what? He’s coming to Toronto as part of his first-ever North American tour.

“Standup comedy is very personal and every comic has a unique voice,” Atul told Toronto Desi Diaries. “Making people cry is very easy, but making them laugh is difficult.”

After a couple of sold-out shows in the U.S., the “Horny Sindhi” as he refers to himself is coming to Canada.

Atul will be at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. Grab your tickets here or by visiting www.rosetheatre.ca or by calling the box office at 905-874-2800.

Atul Khatri holding a bullhorn

Atul Khatri, one of India’s most well-known comics will be performing at the Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln., Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. Photo courtesy of Only Much Louder.

The Desi Family Guy

“I am Sindhi, married to a Punjabi, two of the hairiest communities in India,” he says in a hilarious sketch about meeting his wife. “It was a love marriage, we both had a common love for hair. We met a medical store while buying Gilette…”

And so it goes for the next hour with Atul poking fun at himself, his family and life as a middle-aged man.

In an exclusive chat with the Toronto Desi Diaries Atul gamely answered questions his upcoming visit to Canada and this and that.

Atul’s wife Shaguna, a professional hairstylist, traveled with him to lend him to lend him moral support during the U.S. leg of the tour.

He need not have worried. His packed shows in the U.S. brought the roof down.

Atul’s resolve to grab life (comedy) by its throat happened on Dec. 31, 2012, at the stroke of midnight.

“Everyone has this one friend that’s funny, so, growing up, I was that guy but I never imagined I would get into comedy,” Atul explains. “I think it was a mid-life crisis. That year (2012) my new year resolution was that I wanted to do something different with my life. I was 45-years-old. I signed up for an open mic, wrote a set, asked my wife to come along with me (in case I bombed terribly). But it went well and the audience voted me the winner of “CEO’s Got Talent,” I really enjoyed being on the stage and making people laugh. Within nine months I realized there was even money in it.”

In 2016, Atul quit his IT job to pursue comedy, but he tested the waters first. He was one of the early adopters of Facebook. His observations, wry sense of humour and apt take on the political happenings in India tickled people’s funny bone. Emboldened, he faced a live audience.

Is laughter the best medicine? Not to the Indian politicians

Atul’s routines are peppered with swear words and he’s unapologetic about the language.

“That’s the way I talk to my friends and I am who I am,” he says. “Yes, those words come out whenever they choose to, it’s not planned or rehearsed or written in the script. I think people laugh at the content, not the swear words.”

Taking offense to everything has become a national pastime in India. Anyone with a smartphone has an opinion, Atul observed.

The censorship has made Atul’s writing smarter and exciting because he’s able to deliver the message without stepping on the toes of the indignant netas (politicians and religious zealots).

Atul Khatri, wearing underwear with a Superman logo and carrying dumbbells

India’s well-known comic Atul Khatri. Photo courtesy Only Much Louder.

If you are ready to be shocked, awed and entertained, you might want to buy those tickets, pronto.

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This lineup of South Asian events in Toronto will make you forget the heat and humidity

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The Masala Masti Boat Cruise sailing forth on Aug. 4 from 242 Cherry St. at 1 p.m. features live music, dancing, food and more. Photo courtesy PGA International

Saturday, Aug. 4

Event: Masala Masti Boat Cruise

Details: Head to 242 Cherry St. Toronto and then jump onto a boat for a family fun-filled cruise with music, food, and dance. Boarding time is 1 p.m.
Contact: Visit here for more information about Masala Masti Boat

Event: Swayamvarswayamvar

Details: Swayamvar, a singles event for South Asians seeking their soul mates is happening at the Novotel Hotel, 3670 Hurontario St. in Mississauga at 1 p.m.
Contact: To find out more about Swayamvar, visit here.

Event: Raja Rani Night 2018

Details: This is an event showcasing the talents of Tamil youth. It’s taking place at the Tamil Isai Kalamandran 3-1120 Tapscott Rd. Scarborough M1X IE8 at 5:30 p.m. Also, the evening will feature Sanjeev and Manasa of “Raja Rani” a Tamil show airing on Vijay Television.
Contact: For more details about Raja Rani Night visit here.

Sunday, Aug. 12

Event: Hindustani Classical Music Concert

Chintan

Chintan Upadhaya

Details: Well-known Drupad vocalist Chintan Upadhaya will perform at the Rogers Theatre, 4141 Living Arts Centre at 5 p.m. The concert is brought to you by Swar Sadhana Music Lovers Club.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here.

Saturday, Aug. 18

Event: Festival of South Asia

Details: Gerrard Street East from Coxwell to Greenwood will be filled with music, food, vendors and more at the 2018 Festival of South Asia kicks off. The festival—hosted by Gerrard India BIA— runs Aug. 18-19 from noon (on Aug. 18) and 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.
Contact: For all the other details visit here.

Aga Khan

A ring from the Mughal dynasty

Event: Emperors & Jewels

Details: The Aga Khan Museum at 77 Wynford Dr. Toronto, will feature the exquisite jewelry collection dating to the Mughal era. The exhibit, which opens in August will run until Jan ’19 and includes exquisitely crafted pieces of men’s jewelry, once owned by the Mughal emperors who ruled India from the 16th to 19th century.
Contact: For the museum, location and hours visit here.

Sunday, Aug. 19

Event: Atul Khatri Live

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Atul Khatri

Details: Atul Khatri, Indian CEO/standup comedian, and winner of the CEO’s Got Talent will be gracing the stage at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Ln. at 5 p.m.
Contact: To buy tickets or for more information visit here.