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I wasn't sure how I would handle the crowd if they shouted over me.When the comic stepped down from the stage, his friends kept yelling his name, even when the emcee tried to tell a joke. He waited for them to calm down before he introduced me: "Our next comic is very funny.
Yet religious symbols don't always serve as a catalyst for truthful living.
Wearing one for the sake of wearing it reduces religion to superstition.
We believed in one God and equality for all, regardless of race, color, gender, religion and caste. At home I watched professional comedians on Comedy Central for hours and changed my material, making it more biting and provocative."A lot of people ask me why I wear a turban," goes one of my jokes. But you know what, turbans are great contraceptives … Because I received my first couple of threats from Sikhs, I had to convince myself that my fellow Sikhs were in fact also moderate.
But it felt strangely exciting reading the verbal barbs posted on my first You Tube clip: I was having an impact.
Sikh society and many others in India remain divided by tribalism, female infanticide and gender discrimination.
So many take the religious symbols as garbs and amulets of salvation alone, rather than as a palette to paint understanding and soften the edges.
As the show progressed, I was worried that I might be heckled— especially by a group of rowdy boys who laughed sarcastically when jokes failed.
When their comedian friend took the stage, some of them got up and roared.
And a symbol can no more be destroyed by humor than a word's meaning can be torn by a paper shredder.
The only thing one had to worry about was mitigating one's faith, the act of countering darkness with bare-knuckle punches.