Bhabhiji show par hain

Sushmita Jha
Thursday, 4 October 2018

Singer-turned-comedian Sugandha Mishra is all set to co-host Dance+ Season four on Star plus in a new avatar.

This season of Dance+ will have a double dose of entertainment. Along with talented dancer and anchor Raghav Juyal, we will also see singer and comedian Sugandha Mishra hosting the show. Sugandha will be seen in a character of ‘Bhabhi’ on the show. Her character is fun and quirky and she will represent those people who are non-dancers and are unaware of the dancing techniques and forms. 

When we caught up with Sugandha, she sounded pretty excited about it. “I am playing the hilarious character of Bhabhi who is in search of her husband. But she is unaware of who her real husband is between Dharmesh and Puneet (the judges on Dance+), since she had a ghoonghat covering her face when she got married. She comes to Dance+ looking for her husband and Remo sir helps her find him,” she explains her part.

Taking her on the show was a very last minute decision. “Yes, the production house was looking for someone who can merge in the chemistry of all five key people on the show since beginning. I found it extremely challenging and I love challenges, so I went ahead with it,” says Sugandha. 

Raghav has been a part of Dance+ from the beginning and has a dedicated fan following. Did this weigh on her mind when she decided to take up the show? Sugandha says that instead of being a competition to each other, she and Raghav have become professionally compatible in a very short period of time. “I am as crazy as Raghav. We constantly drive each other mad. Instead of competition, it’s more like a team work. I love working with him. He is as funny in real life as on television,” she says.

Talking about why there are few female comedians on Indian television, Sugandha says, “To be a comedian, the first rule is to be able to laugh at yourself. Our country really needs to learn how to take jokes. Vulgarity isn’t humorous at all. The humour you share with your friends and family is the real humour. We really need to understand it and only then comedians like us will be appreciated. As for women, I feel a lot of them who know that they look good on screen, prefer trying their luck in acting instead of comedy. So comedy isn’t valued as much as it should be.”

Female comedian
Sugandha made her debut in the television industry with Great Indian Laughter Challenge season 4 on Star One but actually she had come to Mumbai to become a singer. “I wanted to pursue my singing career and Great Indian Laughter Challenge was my ticket to Mumbai. So I came to Mumbai and participated in the show. I received a great response because there were very few female comedians at that point of time. I incorporated my music talent into comedy and people loved it. It was something unique and a female performing it was all the more different. So it gave me an identity. Today, if you ask me to choose between music and comedy, I won’t be able to do that. I need both and I will do both,” says Sugandha. 

She also has a unique talent of imitating renowned singers from Lata Mangeshkar to Sunidhi Chauhan. “I have been doing it since childhood. I used to imitate my teachers initially and then my relatives. Music helped me to perfect the art because while training, I had learnt voice modulation. I can quickly grasp different voices,” explains Sugandha.

Music on her mind
Music runs in her family, Sugandha tells us. She is the fourth generation singer in her family. She has a Master’s degree in music and is presently pursuing a Doctorate in the same. Despite her hectic work life, she has managed to finish her thesis which she will be presenting soon. “I come from a family where the minimum degree everyone has is a PhD. So I had to do it as well. It definitely gets hectic to manage career and learning but I tried my level best to finish the course. My family has played a very major role in this since most of them are music professors. My grandfather was the principal of College of Fine Arts. My teacher from Amritsar University too thoroughly helped me to prepare my thesis. Everything is ready now, I just need to present it,” says Sugandha. 

The hectic schedule doesn’t leave her much time to do riyaz, but whenever she does get free time, she plugs in some classical instrumental tracks and brushes up her lessons. “Riyaz is very important for a singer. Thanks to smartphones, I have music apps which I use whenever I get time. I never lose touch with music,” says Sugandha.  Sugandha was the third runner-up on the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV. “When I participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, it was a completely different experience. The city was new, I had absolutely no idea about the industry and the working culture here. The learning experience was great but at the same time I was scared because of my family. I come from a very conservative family, and there was a constant fear as to what will they think when they see me on TV with makeup and in a skirt or a sleeveless top. But with time, everything got better,” she says.

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