Stand-up comedy is an art that many of us were not even aware of till a few years back. However, in the past few years, it has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment.
Zakir Khan is one of the many stand-up performers who have gained considerable recognition in the recent past. He is known for effectively using humour to point out what is wrong with society. Zakir is gradually gaining a foothold for himself in the stand-up comedy scene, and has had quite an interesting journey.
Here’s all you need to know about Zakir Khan’s motivational journey to success:
Zakir was born on August 20, 1987, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh where his grandfather moved to from Rajasthan.
His father, Ismail Khan, is a music teacher at St. Raphael’s School, Indore while his mother, Kulsum Khan is a homemaker. He has two brothers- Zeeshan Khan, who is the lead singer at Malang- a music band, and Arbaaz Khan, who is a student. Zakir’s grandfather, Ustad Moinuddin Khan, was a musician.
Zakir loves playing Sitar. He also loves to sing and compose songs.
4- Childhood Tales
In one of his interviews, Zakir told that he was bullied for his complexion and appearance as a child. He stated that these incidents only made him bold and humor became his shield. He believes that one should wear his individuality as a badge and not a baggage.
5- College & Career
Having a diploma in sitar, Zakir dropped out of college when he was pursuing B.Com and moved to Delhi with the aspiration of becoming a radio producer. He told Chaipani in an interview,
“Yaar , college mein rehne ka koi matlab nahi tha. Classes hum attend karte nahi the, aur degree se jyada apni khwahisho se pyaar tha.”
6- Life & It’s Struggles
Zakir took a one-year course in radio programming at ARSL. He then moved to Jaipur for an internship in 2009. He initially faced many apprehensions from his family for having dropped out of college and moved into a different space. He managed the situation and avoided any conflict as his love for both his family and his passion were immense. He stopped taking money from his family and lied to them about having a job.
Zakir started taking up odd jobs in Jaipur to earn enough money to get by. He is someone who always believes in looking forward and decided to move back to Delhi from Jaipur. When he was leaving Jaipur, he didn’t have money to pay the rent but God bless the landlord who wrote it off and even offered money to Zakir to travel back. In his conversation with Chaaipani, Zakir recalls,
“I have always had the pleasure of meeting and being close to some of the most amazing people in life. The ones that taught me how to add life in my years. The first was my dad and then a long string of amazing human beings followed and I couldn’t be thankful enough.”
After coming back to Delhi, he shared the room with Vishwas. These were the years when Zakir explored himself and tried to make use of every possible skill that he possessed. He tried his hand in different fields, from theatre to radio, over the next year. He finally created so much value for himself that all those who had earlier rejected him started offering him a job. He eventually took up a job at a place he had not applied to before – HT Radio.
7- Of Success & Glories
It was at that time that his roommate Vishwas suggested that he go for an open mic in Delhi. After having attained immense popularity in Delhi with his numerous comedy events, Zakir was later called to Mumbai to write for a new comedy show, ‘On Air with AIB’. Writing a script for a TV show was definitely the next stepping stone for him. Zakir shot to fame in 2012 after winning the title of ‘India’s Best Stand Up Comedian’ in a show by Comedy Central India.
8- Of Thoughts & Ideologies
According to Zakir, not one but many people have contributed to his success which makes him down to earth personality. Zakir believes that everyone should preserve all the good memories and remember them when things are not going right. He thinks, good times memories give us warmth and keep us thinking that nothing lasts forever.
His friends from his hometown would call and ask him if he visited the famous places in Delhi like Qutub Minar or Red Fort, but it was not Delhi that would make him happy, what would make him happy was a day spending with his friends. Isn’t he rightfully describes his poetic inclinations?
Zakir believes that talent isn’t all one needs to succeed. He gives more importance to perseverance and consistency. Zakir admits being a very lazy person. His mantra to keep himself going is funny. He reminds himself that he is ugly and no one loves him, so he has to work in order to achieve whatever he desires.
In his interview with The Hindu where he was asked to differentiate between humor and vulgarity he said,
“For me it is about the experiences one has in life and not vulgarity. Also we live in such a hypocritical society that when it comes to talking about one’s experience on public forums, people go on a back foot. And stand up comedy is one such tool to break that myth.”
9- The Musical Genes
When Zakir came to Delhi, he was surprised to find people listening to music just for fun without realizing what goes into its making. He remarked, “ye log maze k liye bhi music sunte hain?!” This video gives you a glimpse of Zakir Khan on Sitar:
10- A Special Relation With His Father
Khan is very close to his father. He mentioned on multiple occasions that his father has been very supportive of him and his ventures. Here’s a very emotional video of Zakir sharing a few stories about his father’s love and sacrifice.
11- Of Inspirations & Admiration
In one of his Instagram posts, Zakir mentioned Vipul Goyal (a famous standup comedian) as his inspiration. Zakir’s favourite actor is Nawazuddin Siddiqui and favorite filmmaker is Anurag Kashyap. His favourite poets are Mirza Ghalib and John Elia.
12- Khan’s Opinion On the Contemporary Artists
Khan reportedly said that what Gutthi does is not comedy. Notably, Guthhi is a female role played by Sunil Grover in Comedy Nights With Kapil. He thinks that comedy, especially in Delhi has become mature and versatile and characters like Guthhi haven’t evolved similarly. He called Kapil Sharma’s comedy very Punjabi, where you make people laugh by insulting others. Khan does not find it specifically funny.
13- Social Media
Zakir Khan is on Instagram with the username @zakirkhan_208 and has 1.5M followers. He has more than one million followers on Facebook. He is also on Twitter with around 1.1M followers(@Zakirism).
14- Other Achievements
In September 2017, he appeared as one of the three mentors for the fifth season of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Khan co-hosted the 5th Annual Golden Kela Awards and shared the stage with popular figures like Papa CJ and Vir Das. He has also co-hosted and written scripts of On Air With AIB. He also featured in the ad of Nestaway- home rental marketplace.
15- Notable Performances
From being asked to get off the stage in 90 seconds to having received numerous standing ovations, this man has definitely come a long way.