Alumni Speak

Follow your passion when the right time comes : Comedian Anshu Mor

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Anshu Mor

Anshu Mor (48), an alumnus of Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park is now a renowned stand-up comedian, writer, podcaster and the founder of Talking Mine Pvt. Ltd. He left his corporate life after 18 years of experience to chase his dream of standing on a stage! Today, with 600 shows and over 35 million views on YouTube, he has proved to the world that age is just a number if you are passionate enough to chase your dream at any given stage of your life.

Tell me something about yourself?
To start with, I studied at Apeejay School. Infact my entire family was in Apeejay. My brother was in Apeejay. My mother used to teach at Apeejay. In 1990, I pass-out from the school and took admission in an Engineering college in Bangalore followed by Masters in International Business from Delhi School of Economics. I then went into the corporate rut. Spent about 18 years in corporate life in multiple companies including 11 years in Microsoft India. In 2016, I used to head the gaming and entertainment business—The Xbox business at Microsoft and then I quit corporate life in 2016 to become a stand-up comedian. I have been doing stand-up comedy ever since then. It’s almost 5 years now.

Are you happy with your decision?
Yes, I am pretty much happier. I have done close to about 600 shows. It got some 35 million views on YouTube. It’s going fine. It’s been pretty good so far.

What about your family?
We are based in Gurgaon. I am married. I have a wife and a 20-year-old son. He is studying in a college in Mumbai.

How do you spend your day in Covid-19 times?
I am a stand-up comedian. My life hasn’t changed pre or post COVID. In any case, we were doing nothing during the day as all our shows are in the evening. It’s been pretty much the same, but it’s awkward now that we can’t go out. As a stand-up comedian, you need to write a lot and- you need to really go out, meet people, and have different experiences to write about them. This has been a challenge in the last one year. Another challenge is that all these shows have moved online, which was very weird to start with last year in April. But now, we are used to it. So, we pretty much spend the same day. You sit, you write, watch something, create content and almost every night there is a show.

From a corporate rut to a stand-up comedian. When and How
From Engineering, to MBA to corporate life and now a stand-up comedian. I think since childhood days I have had a fascination for the stage. When I was growing up, when I was in Apeejay, in the late 80s, during that time there was no concept of following your passion. You could either become a doctor or an Engineer. That was what life was. I followed the same path. In my corporate life, I got into the rut of every year with some promotion, better job, and better designation. The whole fascination of being on stage was something in the back of my head throughout my career. I realized that whenever I was on stage doing anything, even if I was hosting an event for my company or speaking on stage in a forum, I always aspired to be funny. Comedy was very important for me, just to make people laugh was extremely important. Then in 2016, I finally decided that I have had enough of corporate life for 18 years, which is too much. Then I asked myself what do I want to do and the answer was- Hold a mike and be on stage and make people laugh. That is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. So, I just jumped.

In Covid-19 times, happiness is very important. What is your take on it?
It is. Happiness is massively important. After every show, the kind of messages I get are all related to the same thing. They used to like the shows earlier also, especially the LIVE shows. Now, they really sent heart-warming messages saying that they have laughed after many months as so much of tensions are going around these days. I have also been doing charity shows. Recently, I did a show for the Hemkunt foundation.  They are working with oxygen supplies in the country. So, all the proceeds we got from the show then go towards funding those guys.
I did a series of shows for doctors free of cost. I just announced that if you are a doctor, please send me an email and we will get you on the show. Seeing doctors laugh, smile on a zoom show was the most beautiful moment in the last one year. To make them laugh was extra special for me.

Anything you want to tell people about chasing your dreams, as it is not time bound?
Yes indeed. You hit the nail on the head. What happens with the younger generation right now, they hear the stories of people following their passion. Movies are made around it and they then put a lot of pressure on themselves to follow their passion very quickly and that is the most romantic thing to do is to follow the passion. My advice is –Don’t! Obviously, follow your passion, but you will know when the time comes. It might come in your 20s, it might come in your 30s. For me, it came in my 40s. So, you just realize when that moment is there and you sense it. I tell everyone that the benchmark of following your passion is—Ask yourself, what are you willing to give up and if you are willing to give up everything around you, your life, your family’s convenience, money and everything. If you are willing to put all these things, then please follow your passion. Then I think you should take the jump.

Tips about stress busters?
One of the things that is extremely important these days is to stay away from the news. Just don’t watch the news. There is nothing that they are going to tell you which is going to be of any importance for you right now. I myself fall into this trap multiple times in a day. Please get away from the news completely. Nothing will change. Just stay at home, get away from the news, and watch different kinds of content. Also, take a step back from social media if you can. Instagram is still okay! It is cute, given at this time. But from stuff like Twitter and Facebook, just stay away. With so much negativity going around there, you tend to get very angry when you start reading other people’s outrage. It is important to keep your mental health in balance right now. All of us are not realizing it but everything that we have heard in the last one and a half months especially, surely does affect us mentally. Distract yourself from news and social media, that’s a big message.

Being an Alumni of Apeejay, have you taken any values from there and you are still practicing?
It’s been too long to remember. But yes, Apeejay was extremely important to me. It was one of the schools that had the right mix of students that were there in our times. There were very diverse kinds of students. Teaching was phenomenal. It was a happy time there. I don’t know how schools are nowadays, in fact I know as I see my son go to school, there is a lot of pressure on kids, peer pressure and all.. It wasn’t like that during our times. Most of my friends are still friends from school.

Do you used to participate in any kind of the competitions in Apeejay?
Yes. I got many awards in Apeejay. During my tenure at Apeejay, I got the best actor award title thrice, best speaker award- English debate twice, best instrumental player three times. I used to be on stage a lot. I got the best football player award too, but nothing for academics. In the extra-curricular activity I got everything.

Any message you want to give to Apeejay Students?
Relax and enjoy your life. This has been probably 1.5 bad years, that you haven’t been to school, met your friends. But it too shall pass. Remember one thing, friends who are studying with you will stick to you for the rest of your life. The friends you find in your college or work life, they are not going to be the same. Be in touch with each other and relax. You have got a long life to go ahead. This will get over.

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]

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