Meet Sundeep, A Visually Impaired Spotify Host & A Stand-Up Comedian – The Logical Indian

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A literature lover who likes delving deeper into a wide range of societal issues and expresses her opinions about the same. Keeps looking for best-read recommendations while enjoying her coffee and tea.
I am a stand-up comedian and the host of the Spotify podcast ‘Life Gone Wrong’. I was born in Lucknow and raised in Bengaluru. I was 9 years old when I was diagnosed with Juvenile Macular Degeneration, an eye condition that results in a loss of central vision. This rendered me partially blind.
My eyesight was affected when I was in class 3. I still remember that day I was scared to even address this problem. And as anticipated, I had to deal with several problems while growing up. For instance, something as simple as crossing a road or climbing stairs was challenging. These instances, in a way, gave me the strength to deal with obstacles.
After completing my education, I was confused about what to take up as my career. My friends and relatives suggested I take up writing. But I wanted to start earning sooner and thus I began to intern at an advertising agency. I later started working as a copywriter at an IT firm and worked there for three years.
In 2009-10, I got an opportunity to perform at an open mic which was my first gig on Vir Das’ Ham-ateur Nights. This changed everything. This gig helped me discover my love for comedy and explore my potential. I also got to perform at the Comedy Store in Mumbai later.
In 2013, I started doing stand-up full-time. Initially, I was hesitant to talk about my disability on stage. I thought people wouldn’t like it since I was partially blind and I didn’t appear to have a disability. I used to crack jokes about the daily experiences of people’s lives. But eventually, I was uncomfortable hiding it.
That is when a friend of mine, who is a psychiatrist, told me that it was important that I accept my disability and realise it is not something I can get rid of. That changed my perspective. I realised that talking openly about my vulnerability will give me strength.
Thus I started using comedy as an outlet to talk about my disability. I have done over 600 shows from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to New York, Edinburgh, Singapore and beyond.
My first show where I joked about my inabilities was ‘Out of Sight’ in Pune. It was also during that time when the author, Sudha Menon noticed this and contacted me to feature my story in her book ‘Gifted’. I also did shows at India Inclusion Summit for 2 consecutive years in 2013 and 2014. As I did more and more shows I felt liberated and comfortable talking about the experiences of living with partial blindness. Most importantly, talking about it on stage allowed me to be who I am.
In 2018 I was at crossroads in my career. I started questioning my purpose in life and where I was. This was when I decided to start my own podcast ‘Life Gone Wrong’ on Spotify. I saw this as an opportunity to talk to people who have been through similar experiences in their lives, be it illness, disability or have prevailed over personal adversities. It is the spirit and resilience of the people in coping with challenging situations that motivated me to present and host this podcast where I bring their stories to the fore.
If you, too, have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com
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