You have to say, the one factor that made The Great Indian Laughter Challenge so popular, along with some great comedians like Raju Srivastava and Sunil Pal is the presence of Navjot Singh Sidhu. The way he would laugh at every joke, made us laugh too. How can a man be so happy in life? We wondered. And the positive vibes were so infectious, it shot right through the TV screen into our hearts.
In the current season, Akshay Kumar along with Sajid Khan and Shreyas Talpade are judging the show. We have to say they can’t do the same justice, even though Kumar is a much bigger star (and must be charging a lot more) than Sidhu.
Another thing that we’ll miss is Sidhu’s eloquence when it comes to delivering some great one-liners. There’s this one time where he was hurting a little bit after laughing too hard at a comedian, and said, “Tera kamaal tuu jaane, mujhe toh sab kamaal lagte hain.” It’s hard to have such an open heart, and laugh out loud so often. It’s not only healthy for the mind, it’s healthy for the body too. And Sidhu’s laughter made us chuckle too, sometimes at jokes that were not that good. He probably made India happier by his laughter than he did with his boundaries and sixes as a cricketer.
Despite being so funny, Sidhu doesn’t think of himself as a comedian. “I am a witty man, not a comedian. It is like caviar on toast never marmalade. I have never tried to crack jokes,” he was quoted as saying by Rediff. He borrows a quote by Noel Coward here, “Wit ought to be a glorious treat, like caviar. Never spread it about like marmalade.”
Even though he is one of the smoothest talkers on television now, he was media-shy during his playing days. “As a cricketer, whenever I scored a ton, instead of celebrating it, I would say, ‘Oh **** , now I have to face the media!’ I was never comfortable facing people. A chance reading of “The Works of Swami Vivekananda” in my father’s library changed my life. I am a Shiv bhakt and I meditate daily. I recite the Gayatri mantra and Mritunjaya japa. I have been meditating since 1998,” he was quoted as saying by The Times Of India.
His innings in politics is keeping him away from our TV screens, but we would like to have the laughter, the Sidhuisms and the infectious energy back soon. Be it in comedy shows or the commentary box in a cricket match.