Excerpts from an interview with comedian, actor and former radio jockey — Danish Sait.
1. How did you go from doing radio to pursuing entertainment?
“When I returned to India in 2010 after a stint on the radio in Dubai, I met Darius Poonawalla, who is one the biggest names Bengaluru radio has ever produced. He became my friend and mentor.”
“I was then hired as a radio jockey by Fever 104 FM, where I worked for a decade. Working on shows like Supari on Fever 104 FM was my school — I learnt so much there, especially about my boundaries and strengths as an entertainer. I also learnt the power of a minute.”
“You can literally make someone laugh in a minute, become a part of their life, and make them a part of yours as well.”
2. You’ve often spoken about mental health. What’s your take on it?
“Mental health is the basis of everything. When I fix that, now I am good to go. If the one-minute clips failed, I would have kept trying other things. In many ways, comedy was therapy because whatever is happening around us isn’t good news.”
“You either ride the tide or get washed away.”
3. Having battled depression yourself, what coping mechanisms do you suggest?
“Depression doesn’t have a face. It’s a feeling so deep inside that you don’t know what’s going on. Getting professional help is the only way forward.”
“My body would pain 24/7, and I was on continuous painkillers. It was only when I saw a doctor that I realised that all of it was a result of deep anxiety.”
4. How does one move forward?
“I am grateful for my family and friends who let me breathe, help me identify my troubles and overcome them. However, I must also mention that taking my antidepressants regularly and therapy sessions is what truly helped me.”
“Also, I have reached a point in life where I play by the rules of what is kept in front of me because you can’t fight against time. It’s the most futile and difficult battle in the world.”
“So, it is important to make time an ally in good and bad times, particularly the latter, with thoughts of ‘this too shall pass’,” he says.
5. How has comedy helped you cope with tough times?
“Honestly, if it weren’t for the comedy, I would have gone into my shell and cried, which I did for a bit initially. That’s when I realised that my mental health is going to be of top priority.”
“See, I love working because it helps me forget my miseries. I do what I do to escape the mundanities of everyday life.”
6. How do you find humour through so much adversity?
“My only take is what choice do I have. Also, there is nothing else I know how to do. I can’t become a doctor, grow a vegetable or cook something. I feel like a lot of people don’t put up stuff online because of fear of failure.”
“In my case, I have nothing to lose. It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t, somebody else will. Now that I have done it, I feel happy and great. At least I have made most of my time during this lockdown,” he says.
7. Do the pressures of the industry get to you?
“I could put up a picture of myself on Instagram, but that would be just to say that I am present and really have nothing to say. There was a phase when I went through it, and that’s the pressure of the industry we work in.”
“No one tells you the difference between presence and relevance. As a comic, the idea is to pick up conversations and observations that are relevant to what’s going on today. The key element here is awareness.”
8. What are you looking at doing next?
“The only objective now is to be happy, live every day well, be kind to people around me and do what I have been doing to drown out the cacophony from outside. It’s about living every moment well and seeing where life takes you. After all, nothing is permanent.”