March 22, 2017, 2:30 AM

Paperboat Entertainment, spearheaded by Ankit Bhuptani and well-known Nagpur stand-up comedian Jitesh Vasani, day before yesterday hosted the second edition of the open mic for stand-up comedy – BYOJ: Bring Your Own Jokes - in association with Nation Next as the media partner. BYOJ 2.0 was held at Sukhada Chaudhary’s Chaos Theory – The Coworking space at WHC Road, Dharampeth, Nagpur.

The open mic night, hosted by Jitesh Vasani, was a full house with the audience occupying their seats much before the show started. The enthusiasm for BYOJ 2.0 was so much that many of the people who turned up a bit late at the venue didn’t mind standing to witness the entire show for one and half hours!

Musical high

BYOJ 2.0 kick started with a musical warm-up session by city vocalist Kumar Anugarh and guitarist Abhishek Devdas. Together these two enthralled the audience and built up the momentum for BYOJ 2.0 as they performed several Bollywood and westerns tracks. It was after their performance, the main show started and Jitesh took to the stage for hosting the open mic for stand-up comedy which brought nine comedy enthusiasts from Nagpur to the stage for trying their hand at stand-up comedy.

These enthusiasts included – Prabhakar Sharma, Hussain Shahjahanpur, Pawan Sarda, Kritisha Jain, Pratik Meshram, Akash Singh, Nitant Mankeshwar, Himanshu Khodke and Paras Batra. All these contestants were allotted four minutes to showcase their funny side.

Hilarious start

Jitesh gave the open mic session a perfect start as he joked about the problems faced in a typical Gujarati family. He also spoke about Nagpur’s obsession with tarri poha, traffic rules in the city and how a typical Nagpurian behaves! Needless to say, he took the audience on a laughter riot with his funny one-liners.

Being funny!

During the first half, the first contestant to be called on the stage by Jitesh was Prabhakar Sharma, Manager at a Pharma Company, who tried to impress the audience by sharing his childhood memories. Hussain Shahjahanpur struck a chord with a few engineers in the audience as he shared the bad side of being an engineer and some interesting and funny memories of his college days. Entrepreneur Pawan Sarda impressed the audience with his wit as he spoke about some facts about a typical Marwari family and also compared the lifestyle of a Marwari family in a village and a city. Kritisha Jain (the only female participant) and Pratik Meshram shared their respective experiences being born and brought up in a middle class family, even as they tried their best to make people laugh by describing the challenges a middle class family member faces in the day-to-day life. In the second half, as contestant Akash Singh took to the stage he joked about the effects of social media on the generation today. Nitant Mankeshwar, Himanshu Khodke and Paras Batra also tried to leave an impact on the audience by presenting their views on current affairs and human behavior in a funny way.

Receptive audience

It’s not really easy to make someone laugh and the receptive audience present at BYOJ 2.0 knew it well. The fact that even though a few contestants couldn’t make them laugh the audience kept encouraging them was a proof of that. Even the contestants reciprocated the love as they thanked the audience and Paperboat Entertainment for giving them a platform to try stand-up comedy.

Helping people with a smile

It was heartening to see that apart from all the fun that took place at BYOJ 2.0, the organisers understanding their responsibility towards the society placed a ‘Box of Hope’ at Chaos Theory for a week ahead of the event. Nagpurians could donate books, toys and other useful items for the people affected by HIV+ and AIDS. US citizen Jerry Hughes who runs the ‘Box of Hope’ project and the Jerry Hughes Foundation aimed at helping people affected by HIV+ and AIDS was also present and spoke at BYOJ 2.0 in the end. Keeping up with the contestants Jerry also made the audience laugh a bit.

BYOJ 2.0 got a perfect end as city musician Darryl Grant entertained the audience with some Bollywood numbers.

Pictures by: Himanshu Pal
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