An evening of comedy: Of fussy dadis and Hispanic maids

Stand-up comedian Beo Zafar’s quips were a welcome change from the humdrum routine of everyday life.


Suited in black with a bling tie, Beo effortlessly shifts between her characters, sometimes breaking into laughter herself at their eccentricities. PHOTOS: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:


Many laughed the evening away when stand-up comedian Beo Zafar took centre stage at a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, which was organised by the Grapevine enterprise along with Mashal, a non-governmental organisation aimed at empowering underprivileged women. Or as Beo would put it, “Veewers of the Isloo were so excites.”


Covering a diverse range of characters, ethnicities, languages and stereotypes, Beo’s quips were a welcome change from the humdrumness of life that is often marked by distress, and certainly a useable alternative to seeing your neighbourhood shrink.



Suited in black with a bling tie, Beo effortlessly shifts between her characters, sometimes breaking into laughter herself at their eccentricities. PHOTOS: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS



Beo, who is perhaps Pakistan’s first female stand-up comedian, has a tongue-in-cheek humour that complements her feisty, small-framed presence on stage. When she tells a joke, she feels the pulse of her characters. Imagining each detail, she aptly presents the feel of her characters, be it the elderly Kashmiri couple Butt and Bago, miserly Rajak bhai or the 99-year-old Bobo jee as she confronts the angel of death.

Suited in black with a bling tie, Beo effortlessly shifts between her characters, sometimes breaking into laughter herself at their eccentricities. Beo celebrates the prototypes that are a part of every other household, such as the fussy dadi jaan who asks, “Kee pakiya ae” (What is cooked?) and is almost never satisfied with the food menu.



Suited in black with a bling tie, Beo effortlessly shifts between her characters, sometimes breaking into laughter herself at their eccentricities. PHOTOS: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS



This is someone whose social life is largely limited attending funerals of people from the same age bracket, for which she does extensive preparation. She takes out her lace dupatta, talcum powder and gets ready to display her mourning theatrics, which she has mastered to perfection.

Though rooted in stereotypical ideas, from the Hispanic maid and her Punjabi employer to the Pathan who robs a bank and asks the clerk to open his account and deposit the cash into it, Beo’s performances combine skilfulness and thorough research.

For a first-time audience, laughing fits are inevitable. To keep her fan following engaged, Beo avoids repeating previously told jokes as she understands that her characters must evolve and embrace new experiences.

The event was attended by renowned personalities including Naeem Bukhari, Adeel Hashmi and Taimur Hassan. “Life should have a singular purpose, and that is to laugh often and be happy,” shared Naeem Bukhari.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2014.

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COMMENTS (2)

Parvez | 8 years ago | Reply

Had the pleasure of listening to her in Karachi some time ago and she was a riot.

Kuttay | 8 years ago | Reply

I imagine Bushra Ansari was one of the first female stand up comedians around. In fact I'm sure there have been more. You just don't see as many female (or male) live performers anymore. Good job!

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