Actor-comedian Vir Das wants to spread smiles to raise funds amid the COVID-19 crisis, and he believes in fighting back with a sense of humour.

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Vir is raising funds through his special “Vir Das At Home” gigs, where he performs for an audience online. The funds raised from the shows go to different causes.

Asked about the need to spread laughter, Vir told IANS: “What’s the alternative?”

Vir Das: “I Have Lots Of People Telling Me ‘Oh You Are An Anti-National’”
Vir Das: “I Have Lots Of People Telling Me ‘Oh You Are An Anti-National’”

“That’s the way I look at it. I get a fair amount of hatred every day on Twitter. I have lots of people telling me ‘oh you are an anti-national’, you are insensitive, inappropriate, disrespectful… I respond by asking ‘what’s the alternative’. Is the alternative not to smile? Is the alternative not to crack the joke? Is the alternative not to laugh? I don’t think it is a good alternative in these times,” he added.

Vir continued: “Right now you have two choices — You can let coronavirus get you down or you can fight back with your sense of humour. I chose option B.

Vir, who is seen in Netflix’s web show “Hasmukh”, says that he is “digging” the lockdown period.

“We recently announced six shows and the proceeds of all the shows will go to different charities. I am spending my time trying to raise money to battle the virus… When you donate, it’s a start and you can continue it by raising more money. So, I am trying to raise as much money as I can,” he said.

For the comedy special, he sits in front of a computer and connects with his audiences.

“Nobody likes sitting in front of a computer for one hour. It’s not the ideal environment. But it has raised money, and I will continue doing that,” he stressed.

On the work front, the actor is currently seen in the Netflix series, “Hasmukh”, which he has co-created and written with Nikkhil Advani.

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“Hasmukh” is about an ambitious comic who realises that the only way he can “kill it on stage” is if he “kills off stage”.

Talking about the challenges he faced while working on the show, Vir said: “The challenge was to convince people to let me do a show like this. I don’t think had I not written it, I would get to be a part of it in this capacity as a lead of the show.

“I had to create the opportunity. What helped was that I did a short film with Milap Zaveri titled ‘Raakh’. That was dark. So, when that came out and got a good response, then I thought that it was a good time to go out in the market with an idea like that.”

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