Halfway through an Instagram reel titled Controversial Statement — recommending sitcoms like Community, Kim’s Convenience and Scrubs, we knew Mohammed Hussain introduced larger-than-life opinions down to earth. But the comedian may not highlight our favourite pop-culture stories and characters in his upcoming show, Shaadi Shud i?.
On the contrary, he will be talking about arranged marriages which, often viewed through misconceptions and stereotypes, enclose a loveliness that is both thoughtful yet unfortunately, mostly misconstrued. “It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to say that it’s a relationshipheavy set. I have had an interesting marriage,” he tells us.
The word ‘interesting’ could also be a euphemism, implying that his marriage has likely been eventful — an unabridged edition of occurrences that could range from joyful and heartwarming to perhaps quirky, and unexpected.
The 28-year-old artiste adds that while something from his set might catch the eye of people outside his community, it doesn’t really hit home for him and the folks he is close to. He got engaged at the age of 19 and got married at 25.
He has been in a relationship for nine years. “It’s not weird for me to get together with someone early on and spend the rest of my life with the person I love. But, this could be strange to people from metro cities where people get married later.”
Before even chancing upon dating apps, he was already with fashion designer and stylist, Mariyam Hussain — the love of his life. The concept of marriage might not seem appealing or ‘cool.’ However, he will question this perception within his comedy set. He seeks to discredit the idea that relationships, particularly within the context of marriage, are dull or uninteresting.
“That’s why I will be disproving this notion because everyone knows that relationships are beautiful. If there’s a takeaway from my show, I want my audience to be a little hopeful about love and relationships. People think they’re better off alone but I think they just pretend to be cold-hearted. Deep down, they miss falling in love and are aware that it is the best and the toughest thing we do.”
For Hussain, stand-up comedy represents a reciprocal zeal. Last time he performed to a crowd at Aaromale, majorly consisting of Muslim populace. This hasn’t happened to him before. Hussain consciously avoids potentially controversial material, steering clear of jokes that might stir trouble around his identity. Yet, he emphasises that jokes about the same are fundamental to his comedy.
He adds, “A substantial part of my comedy revolves around who I am. Initially, I tried not to confine myself to just a ‘Muslim comic.’ I explored other topics, but I eventually realised that comedy is about expressing opinions in an entertaining way. I stopped shying away from my identity; I’m Muslim, but that is also not it. I talk about what concerns me.”
`299 upwards. December 3, 8 pm. At Aaromale — Café & Creative Community, Jubilee Hills. — chokita@newindianexpress. com @PaulChokita