BENGALURU: Ask Jagdish Chaturvedi about whether balancing between being an ENT surgeon and a comedian results in complications in his practice, and he promptly brushes off such concerns, stating that performing arts was something he embarked on at a very young age. “I was born and brought up in Bengaluru and was part of professional theatre groups, like Bangalore Little Theatre, since the age of seven. While I gave this a break during my boards, I went on to realise that these activities were helping me stabilise and transfer my negative energy, so I made a conscious decision to continue theatre, even during my MBBS at St John’s Medical College,” says Chaturvedi, adding that while he did pursue music and sports during his college years, performing arts remained with him in the long run.
Recently, Chaturvedi released I am coronavirus, a short video where he narrates points of precautions to avoid contracting the pandemic, with his character as the virus. “I was worried that people might take it as an offense but everyone pointed it out as a great way to share information. That is something I have always tried – bringing information and entertainment together. When you look at the right way of sharing information, align it with a sharable pattern. Being the virus allowed me to be insensitive to that character,” he says.
The 35-year-old ENT surgeon adds that while making time for theatre during his medical practice took a massive hit, embarking on stand-up comedy came as a lifeline when his friend and fellow performer Sneha Suhas advised him to. “I still get to be on stage and put my ideas out but the beauty of stand-up comedy is that it is a one-man show. That is what attracted me as it allows me to quickly channelise trending subjects, unlike theatre. I am happy with this balance,” he says.
Another project revolving around infotainment is Starting Troubles, a medical humour web series, starring Renuka Sahane, Parikshit Sahni and Kurush Deboo and Chaturvedi. The series focuses on the struggles of a trainee, who wants to be an entrepreneur and tries to balance his work along with his passion for acting. Desperate to handle all at once, his actions get him in trouble, after which he gets suspended from his course and banned from the theatre community.
Chaturvedi has also been on the innovative side of things, having developed 18 affordable medical devices since 2010, which he terms as a need in the Indian health care system. Some of his innovations include a sinus dilation device, which uses a high-pressure balloon to dilate in the early stages and Saans, a portable, easy-to-use, robust, neonatal CPAP device designed to provide short-term breathing support for infants suffering from Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) in non-Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) settings.