BENGALURU: Standup comedian Sundeep Rao’s latest special is more of a celebration of his decade-long journey in the field. Titled Thank You I’m Sorry, it comes with a slice of honesty, which is in stark contrast to polite and politically correct conversations. From emphasising how he coped with being partially blind – due to juvenile macular degeneration – to being diagnosed with depression, the special is a candid and up-close affair. “I wanted to put together a piece that portrays being honest, maintaining the humour factor and not being preachy,” he asserts.
The special premiered on YouTube earlier this month and according to Rao, there was no time like now to roll with this. “There are things you do for a reason and things you wait for. So I decided it’s time to re-evaluate what I’ve learnt over the years and I wouldn’t say it’s a fresh start but it’s time to commit to a different avenue of doing standup,” he says, adding that he wants his material to reach out to people who can resonate with his story, ideas and opinions.
Touching upon depression, Rao states that talking about the subject has its set of highs and lows. “This show is an attempt to make peace with a lot of things that I was struggling with – from self-validation, self-doubt, acceptance, external validation to constantly living in a world where I felt that I wasn’t good enough. When you do things that society tells you to and you compound that with other emotional aspects, it breaks you from within,” says the 37-year-old.
Growing up as a child with a disability and under the toll of various emotional burdens, Rao states that the emotional rollercoaster he underwent brought him to a point of revelation. “You ask yourself, ‘What the hell has happened to me so far?’ That’s why I say ‘Thank You I’m Sorry’. Because I’ve said those words so often that after a point, words and emotions start to lose their impact,” he explains. While Rao has signed off from radio after a brief stint of one year (2018-2019), podcasts are currently his area of focus. “I have an existing podcast, The Baby Bed Podcast, and I am working on a new project that will start in July,” he says, adding that he’s looking to explore virtual alternatives for standup.