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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.
The summary is missing important words and phrases.
PROCTOR: You have all witnessed it; what more is needed?
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.
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."It didn't go at all smoothly when I began performing stand-up comedy.The slicing sounds of silence in response to my jokes felt emasculating.A sign in the back of the comedy club boasted that many of the comics who performed there had also appeared on Letterman and Leno.It was "new talent" night, and I watched people quickly fill the seats.Bollywood films had reduced Sikhs to fools and caricatures.In America we were being taken too seriously; in India, not enough.It sometimes made me feel compelled to conform and fit in, too.But I realized that Sikh symbols, like the turban, were important, just as all religious symbols are.Still, I completely understood my fellow Sikhs' sensitivity and their fear of being marginalized further.I really didn't mind the death threats and the heckling, as long as I continued not having sex.