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Just what the doctor ordered


Wrapped in a sea green silk saree, with a bindi and bangles, Dr (Mrs) Lutchuke is less a sex therapist, and more a cooler aunty next-door, to whom everyone is “beta”. She’s the kind you can open up to about “the sexuals”, maybe over a cup of chai and some kothimbir vadi. While she’ll patiently listen to your bedroom woes, she minces no words when giving out advice, packaging information on one of the most taboo subjects in the society with a punch of humour. Crafted in 2013 by comedian Aditi Mittal, the popular character is now fielding questions on sex, sexuality and everything in between in an Instagram series titled, Letters
to Lutchuke.

Mittal, who’s been holding comedy workshops during the lockdown, tells us that with mental and physical health under the spotlight now, she felt it was the right time to have a conversation about sexual welfare. “I did two weeks of an online show as Dr Lutchuke, and realised sexual health has been on all our minds, since we’re either in close quarters with our partners or separated by distance.” Although the comic has been performing in this avatar for years, she no longer pounces on the obvious sex puns; instead, she consciously tries to ensure what she says comes from a place of information. “When I started doing stand-up, I realised sex jokes were hilarious, but I was shy. So, I wrapped my jokes in the garb of a 55-year-old lady, with a funny accent.”

However, knowing that sex is most often associated with shame, secrecy, fear or guilt in our society, Mittal felt that jokes are fine, but she needed to educate herself. “I’ve always been inspired by Paromita Vohra and Agents of Ishq’s work. So, I signed up for a formal course on sex and sexuality,” Mittal elaborates, adding that doing IGTV episodes gives her time to research on the content.

aditi

The fresh approach is evident in the four episodes that are out till date. In the first one, where she reads out a letter from a viewer who’s concerned about her/his kid having sex if they get sex education, Dr Lutchuke doesn’t dismiss the fear. In her shaky Marathi accent, she points out, “In Hindi, we call it [sex] the sambhog, which sounds like a buffet…Which is exactly what sexuals is like — where you can express yourself, enjoy and appreciate each other.”

Her jokes linger in our mind long after we’re done laughing. At the end of each episode, there’s also an email ID where one can send queries. “I’ve been getting all kinds of questions — from women who are overburdened, to youngsters sharing their long-distance woes,” she shares, adding, “But, it’s heart-breaking to see that some of these are questions I had while growing up.”

It’s not just her funny delivery; it’s Dr Lutchuke’s motherly love — “Don’t feel shy haan; I’m like your mother only, beta,” she says — that makes her relatable. Revealing that the therapist is nothing without her sea green rayon silk saree, Mittal tells us, “I bought it for R350 at Malad station, and picked the bindi, mangalsutra and bangles at Dadar market. The character was inspired by my college best friend’s ajji, who I could talk to about anything.” While she will start new shows of her stand-up, titled Unreliable Narrator, as herself, Dr Lutchuke is here to stay for a while, she says. So, if you’ve got a question, shoot away. There are no wrong questions for Dr Lutchuke.

Log on to @addymitzy on Instagram
Email drmrslutchuke@gmail.com

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