India Today - - COVER STORY -

When she’s not Dr. Lutchuke, the 55-year-old sex­ol­o­gist psy­cho­analysing co­me­di­ans, she is a Pun­jabi ac­tress named Dolly Khu­rana. And when she’s nei­ther of these, she’s mak­ing jokes about how Sal­man Khan’s dance moves can be com­pared to a cock­roach that’s been flipped over on its back­back, strug­gling to get on its feet. But all the while, she’s Aditi Mit­tal, one of the only fe­male English stand-up comics in the coun­try. That’s one distinc­tion she feels is use­less to high­light be­cause she says there are more and more women step­ping up to the stage. “Even nurses and sec­re­taries were men at one point. It takes time. It’s a brand new field and it’s been only three years,” Mit­tal, who was also one of the in­vi­tees at the BBC 100 Women Con­fer­ence in Lon­don in 2013, says. Al­though the ra­tio of men to women comics is skewed to­wards for­mer, it has its ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. “Some­times the or­gan­is­ers refuse to opt for women be­cause they say it’ll cost ex­tra to get us our own rooms. But some­times they want to put women in the line-up for fresh per­spec­tive,” she says. Apart from the or­gan­is­ers, Mit­tal says the au­di­ences re­act pretty much the same way to­wards male and fe­male comics. An avid reader presently de­vour­ing short sto­ries by Saa­dat Hasan Manto, the 27-year-old also en­joys watch­ing films and writ­ing. By the looks of it, she isn’t let­ting the world go with­out a good laugh.

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