CTExclusive: “No Tag” Vir Das Talks About Mind Fool Tour, Diet, Where Home Is And More

by Rachna Srivastava
CTExclusive: “No Tag” Vir Das Talks About Mind Fool Tour, Diet, Where Home Is And More

Vir Das: Comedian, Actor, Musician, Columnist, Host, “Perpetually Dissatisfied”, and yet says he has learnt to dissociate from every tag possible.

While a few years ago he was mired in serious controversies, and put on social media trial for his words in a special, Vir has shut off all noise and is laser-focused on his upcoming MindFool Tour and 3 acting projects. I caught up with Vir for a quick Zoom interview what follows is a candid conversation about tours, comedy, travelling, where home is, bhindi ki sabzi and a “melodic” surprise. Read on..

Joining the call from Mumbai from a “spa-like corner of his office with a demonic drawing by an employee’s child on a whiteboard”, Vir sasses that it is a room in his new production house, “not the room we take people into, it’s the other room”. The tone for the interview is already set and what follows is banter ping-ponging on a variety of topics.

P.S. Do not try and find a particular flow for this chat. Cuz there ain’t any.

Vir Das: Comedy, Stand-Up, Apna Time Aayega And More

Vir Das talks to Curly Tales
Image Courtesy: Facebook/Vir Das

It is not surprising that the style of comedy and the narrative has changed a lot in the last decade. Ask him about what is the shift according to him, as comedy toh pehli bhi hoti thi and ab bhi hoti hai (comedy used to happen earlier also, happens now also), to which he quips:

“I mean, pehle to oxygen bhi hota tha, lekin oxygen toh badal gaya na, AQI thoda sa (earlier there used to be oxygen as well, but because of AQI levels, oxygen has also changed). Toh, I think comedy bhi badal gayi, AQI bhi badal gaya (So, I think comedy also has changed, AQI has also changed). I think right now, comedy has gravitated towards authenticity. 

In a world where, you know, at least when I started doing stand-up, (14-15 years) ago, it (comedy) was very performative. It was very theatrical. It was a lot of mimicry. And now, with this new kind of generation, and most of my fanbase is the new, young generation, they smell bullsh*t a mile away. They smell cringe a mile away or performative things a mile away, or marketing a mile away. They are, in fact, the reason that India in the world is kind of redefining what celebrity is and what stardom is, you know because they just don’t buy into anything that’s fake. And, stand-up is kind of evolved for them into something that is very authentic. So, I’ve been kind of waiting for this generation to come around for a very long time.”

So, does he have the connect and “Apna time aagya” moment with this young generation? He says, “I don’t know whether apna time aagaya, but at least one can now be themselves. The earlier struggle with comedy used to be why do you not be one of these three things that we recognise. And now, it’s like whatever you are, just be honest, and authentic. And we’ll accept that. So this is a good time for comedy.

Also Read: Mind Fool Tour: Vir Das Becomes The 1st Indian Comedian To Take His Tour To 33 Countries! List Inside

33 Countries, 35 Cities, 1 Vir


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A post shared by Vir Das (@virdas)

Now, it is no small feat for an Indian comic to snag a world tour that spans 33 countries and 35 cities. And it will keep Vir constantly on the move for the next 20 months. He also has 3 acting projects in the middle of it. Admittedly, he says it sounds like a long time, but it isn’t actually.

“If you break it down, 1 day will be Singapore, 1 country done. So if you see it like that then 33 countries is may be 60 days. America will be a longer one and UK will be a longer one. I think I’ll shoot in England in September for a month, then I’ll go to Singapore for some dates, then Cape Town to shoot something for about six weeks. Then, I’ll do Africa for some dates. Like that. It will take me 20 months,” he explains.

But does he get to explore the countries or the cities he heads to for a tour?

He says, “I try to eliminate all the bullsh*t from travel, you know so, I no longer have check-in luggage. I don’t really shop. I’m not really into fashion. I’m not carrying any major costumes. I no longer dress up for a show. So all of that saves you a mammoth amount of time to actually go and see a city. If you land in Istanbul tomorrow with no check-in luggage, you save one and a half hours. No customs, no check-in luggage, you save time. Now in that one and a half hours, you can see two mosques and one baklava place.”

Since he has travelled so much, one can’t help but wonder how many visa stamps are on his passport. Ask him if he has counted, he candidly reveals,

“I’ve had like maybe seven passports. So you know, it’s a lot. I’m very privileged. I’ve gotten to go around the world three times. Literally three world tours! Not many people get to say that. There are a lot of visa stamps, I couldn’t count.”

Also Read: Vir Das Takes Dig At Celebrities In Maldives Who Enjoy Floating Breakfasts In Pool

Vir Das Talks About Home, Bhindi And Perpetual Dissatisfaction


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A post shared by Vir Das (@virdas)

Born in Dehradun, raised in Nigeria and India; schooling in Himachal and Delhi; college in Delhi, then Illinois; and then actor’s training under Harvard-Moscow Arts Theatre’s Stanislavsky Program at Moscow, and years of travelling city to city; where is home for him? He says,

“It’s Mumbai and Goa. I am very much a Mumbaikar. So I’m here, you know, two or two and a half weeks or a month. Shivani, my wife is in Goa. And she’s here right now. But we kind of shuttle back and forth. We were very fortunate to have found a really good place in the pandemic (in Goa). And then Goa just kinda grew on us. We have these two Indie dogs, they’ve adopted us. And, it’s kind of become a life now. Between Mumbai and Goa, I get to take the best from the bubble without the bubble taking the best of me.”

Does he get homesick?

“Yeah. At some point. Two weeks into any tour, it’s like, bohot hogaya, ghar jaana hai (it’s enough now, want to go home). Also, I’m a Gemini. So I think that’s my personality, two weeks into anything *laughs* But there are also fixes. Two weeks into the tour, you’re feeling homesick, and someone gives you bhindi, one more week of extension mil jata haina.

But then, after being on a film set for six weeks I’m like, I can’t talk about protein shakes and workouts with actors for another two weeks. Please, I need to go to a comedy club where the people are real and authentic,” he laughs and says.

So it is a constant juggle? Always here and there?

“Perpetual dissatisfaction. I think that’s what I try to maintain. And that leads to hard work. If I can keep consistent dissatisfaction with my activities. I’ll continue to work hard.”

No Tag, Acting Projects And Vir Das’s Relationship With Food


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A post shared by Vir Das (@virdas)

Ask him if he has earned the tag of a “globetrotter”, he pauses, and says, “See! Very honestly, I’ve had many kinds of tags attached to me. And I have learnt to reject all of them. This is my policy. It’s a good tag or it’s a bad tag, bhaiya woh aapka tag hai (bro, that is your tag). That’s it.”

And thus came into being, bang in the middle of the conversation. Vir Das: No Tag. To which he agrees and adds, “No tag, no tag at all”.

Having done a travel show as well, ask him which is easier, shooting for a travel show or being on stage. He says,

Travel show is hard. It’s not easy at all. And it’s not as glamorous as it looks. The idea is to make travel look easy for other people by doing really hard sh*t yourself. You know? So, a travel show is much harder. Stand-up is very easy. You sleep all day. You get up and you go to the auditorium at 5 pm. 90 minutes of work per day, you get tonnes of money. It’s great. It’s the best job in the world.”



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Point out that he has worked really hard for it and that success didn’t happen overnight, he says, “Yeah, but I’m not one to revel in my struggle or celebrate it either. When it comes to the scale of things, stand-up or even acting is not very hard. Many things are much harder.”

Also Read: From Tomato Soup In Paper Glass To 1 Type Of Cheese, Vir Das’s Tweet Is Nostalgic For All ’90s Kids

Veering the course towards food when asked how his relationship with food is, and does he have desi food cravings, he explains,

“I think for me, for now at least in the next year and a half of my life, I’ll have a very transactional role with food because I’m acting quite a bit. And the project I do next requires a lot of bulk. And then the project immediately after that requires extremely skinny. And I have about three months to go between. I’ve never been this guy but food, right now, is very much about micros, and you know, all those things.”

Probe him about the diet is he on or which project is the diet for. He answers, 

“Oh, I’m shooting an action movie. I can’t tell you what it is. I know it’s been pushed for a bit because of the SAG strike. And we’ll pick it up at the end of the year which I’m not mad at, because it’s given me an additional month and a half to get fit. But I’m in the gym twice a day now, you know, so, morning and afternoon. I think I finally learned what actors have to go through, you know, where it becomes a part of their job like go to the office. And the diet is I’m sorry, I’m cussing, no bloody clue. Because some guy the studio has paid for has told a nutritionist the studio has paid for. And they’ve made one PDF. Mere ghar mein khana aajata hai (I get food at home) and I just put it my mouth. And 80% of the time, it doesn’t taste good, which means it’s probably healthy.”

Vir Das’s Mind Fool Tour And Chocolate-y Fun

Coming back to his Mind Fool tour, tickets for most of his India tour are sold out. Vir regularly takes to Instagram to share updates. He just shared that in India’s leg, they are adding a third show in Delhi, and a second show/stadium in Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Mumbaikars? No luck, but the post is viewed via a lens of hopeful scepticism by fans who think there will be a Mumbai stadium if not a show. We gotta wait and watch! 

Interestingly, the title of the tour is Mind Fool. Ask him if he is mind-ful of what he speaks on stage, especially after two Indias, and he says,

“Well, I mean, that you will be better judge of whether I’m mindful or not. Because, you know, I’m keeping you in mind. But the show is largely about not knowing how to be an adult. And you know, I think I just skipped that adulting chapter in my life. And, so now I just don’t know how to be an adult and I am an adult. And I suspect, or at least I want to see if other adults feel this way or you are really just a child who doesn’t have your sh*t together. I think that’s thematically what the show is about.”


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With 5 stand-up specials on Netflix to his name, umpteen sets on his YT channel, movie credits rolling up, and whatnot, Vir Das is “landing” exactly where he is supposed to. “Inside Out” or “Outside In”, Gen Z, Zillennials and even Millennials definitely want “Vir Das for India” and without “Losing It” he is delivering one piece of relatable content after another on his Instagram. Known for killer lines to end his set with, what could I possibly ask him as a last question to end this interview?

Deviating from to-the-point and logical questions, I decided to ask him something someone from my writers’ team asked in jest. Result? A melodic surprise!

Melody itni chocolately kyun hai, Vir? (I did ask him that!)

“Melody etni chocolatey isliye hai, kyunki jab aap cheeni nahi khaate hai meri bohot dino ke liye toh jab melody aapke body mein jaati hai, toh aapke endorphins nikal aate hai, aapka dopamine nikal aata hai, aur aapke saare body organs ek dusre se takrakar gaane lagte hai. Aur jab woh takrate hai toh joh gaana bajta hai, aapke body ke andar toh woh aapki melody ha. Aur woh shayad chocolate ke wajahse horaha hai ya aapke khudke delirium ke wajahse horaha hai. Lekin chemical imbalance ke wajahse, melody itni chocolate-y hai.”

(Yes, I didn’t translate this in English because the essence will kind of be lost. Some things are better in the language they are said in, don’t you think?!)

While I didn’t get to know from Vir what projects he is working on, rumours are rife that out of the three projects, he is starring in Karan Johar’s Call Me Bae along with Ananya Panday and Gurfateh Pirzada. And of course, you can definitely catch him on stage in your city for the Mind Fool tour. You can follow his Insta-updates for the same!

Cover Image Courtesy: Facebook/Vir Das