Meet Nidhi Goyal, India’s first blind stand up comedienne - Hindustan Times
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Meet Nidhi Goyal, India’s first blind stand up comedienne

Hindustan Times | By
Apr 02, 2017 10:57 AM IST

Mining her personal life for anecdotes, Nidhi Goyal, India’s first blind comedienne, is breaking stereotypes — one joke at a time

Nidhi Goyal lost her eyesight when she was 15 years old. Don’t be sad. Now, 16 years later, at 31, Nidhi is one of the happiest, most positive people you’ll ever meet, which explains the latest addition to her already-impressive list of titles – that of being India’s first visually challenged stand-up comedian.

A big segment of Nidhi’s performance focuses on relationships and sexuality within the disabled community(Shivangi Kulkarni)
A big segment of Nidhi’s performance focuses on relationships and sexuality within the disabled community(Shivangi Kulkarni)
Her first performance in February this year was an instant hit, both offline and online (Shivangi Kulkarni)
Her first performance in February this year was an instant hit, both offline and online (Shivangi Kulkarni)
The comidienne’s first video has racked up over 4 lakh views on YouTube (Shivangi Kulkarni )
The comidienne’s first video has racked up over 4 lakh views on YouTube (Shivangi Kulkarni )

Love and laughter

A big segment of Nidhi’s performance focuses on relationships and sexuality within the disabled community. From arranged marriage encounters to sex and PDA, nothing is off-limits.

“By using comedy, I’m trying to remove the hush around the topic,” she explains. “Within the hour-long performance, I talk about being single and wanting to meet someone. I share the experiences I’ve had meeting people, potential suitors, their families and more. Again, these are real incidents. It’s hilarious how people react when I tell them that, yes, I’m blind and I still want a relationship. But these incidents are the ones that struck me when I was writing. It’s not like I sat down and reflected upon everything that has happened in my life.”

If she did mine her whole life for anecdotes, Nidhi could do a full one-woman show, or a movie. “Comedy is a great medium to tell the most complicated of stories,” she says. “The whole spectrum of disability and sexuality is intangible; it challenges everyone’s personal thoughts. We talk about the physical aspects of a disability, about creating opportunities, accessibility and education. While that is very important, it is also essential to tackle personal thoughts and views on disability. You can put a disabled person in the same school as an abled person, but what’s the point if they still get treated like shit? That’s what I’m trying to do with comedy. It’s not about just getting a reaction; it’s about getting the right kind of reaction.”

Her first video is currently at 400K+ views on YouTube. So it’s safe to say that she’s not going to run out of good reactions anytime soon.

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From HT Brunch, April 2, 2017

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Aanchal Tuli was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. She no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

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