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    Sandy Gandhi of Byron Bay, Australia’s most easterly Indian!

    From Bangalore to Bangalow!
    Biography – By Mandy Nolan, arts & entertainment editor of The Echo
    Byron Bay, NSW, Australia.

    Sandy Gandhi is the alter ego of Sandy Aranha. This mouthy, matriarchal voice of treason is not just a comic character; she is an intellectual IVF, a physical phenomenon that sprang from the madcap mind of her mentor, after a handful of stand-up performances and a role in a local play.

    Sandy Gandhi was formed on the life path of Ms Aranha. Born in New Delhi, India, to authentic Indian parents (not just hippies wishing they were Indian), Sandy spent the first 5 years of her life moving around India with her family until they settled in Bangalore.
    At 12, her family immigrated to Australia and at 21, she took off to London on the statutory ‘overseas’ experience, as a fully fledged travel agent.
    She worked and traversed the globe, spending much of her time in Egypt and Africa, eventually hanging up her hat in Byron Bay, Australia’s most easterly point, making her, Australia’s most easterly Indian!
    (Sandy currently lives between Byron Bay and Bangalow in Northern NSW.)
    As a brown skinned woman in a white man’s world, Sandy has developed a particularly biting wit, which she uses to deconstruct the dominant paradigm. Able to perform a bullshit audit in seconds, Sandy’s ability to call a spade a shovel, is what sets her apart. This quality is embodied in the character of Sandy Gandhi – alongside a certain social perspective married with a compassionate world view.

    Ms Gandhi is a woman of indeterminate age. She is single, she is Indian, she’s very, very funny. She is usually amazed or bemused by world politics and human behaviour in general. Not many comics can successfully pull off character comedy – the character needs to be 100% authentic or it can seem contrived and stereotyped. Sandy Gandhi is of the calibre of the great character comics: Dame Edna Everidge, Bob Downe and Ali G. (Sandy often refers to herself as Sandy G).

    Sandy was a NSW state finalist winner in the 2003 International Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy competition, and is an annual guest performer at the prestigious Byron Bay Writers Festival. Here on the North coast, she is the Foreign Gossipondent Extraordinaire, and her humorous column, Enlighten Up, appeared every Thursday in Pulse, the Arts and Entertainment section of the Northern Star newspaper. Her motto is, “if it hasn’t happened, I’ll make it up!” Enlighten up now appears bi-monthly in the glossy northern rivers lifestyle magazine, Coast and Country Living,

    She launched her first book at the 2008 Byron Bay Writers Festival. Called Enlighten Up – a literary titterary, it’s a collection of some her columns and other musings, and photos.
    Sandy is much in demand for corporate performances and is a regular on the comedy circuit in Northern NSW and beyond.
    Sandy Gandhi wasn’t developed as a concept, she just emerged – birthed on stage under the haze of a spotlight and the howling delight of an enraptured audience. The energy of Sandy Gandhi has meant that Sandy Aranha, softly spoken, attractive and petite, is often dwarfed by the massive character of the sari-clad satirist.

    Sandy Gandhi is a refreshingly authentic character that breaks free of the usual stereotypes. The fact that she is an Indian playing an Indian is remarkable in itself (at last count, although an hysterically funny culture, Bombay has only one stand-up comedian!).
    Sandy’s performance is grounded in the cultural perspective of the outsider. She is the Outsider, looking in, giving a fresh, light-hearted perspective to what we say and how we think.

    Comedius Interruptus! Indian or cowboy?! Brown Hilda, Queen of rape and Pillage! My one-eared inner holy cow and artist, Vincent Van Cow! Rosita the Flea Whisperer! Sandy Claus! A Portrait of the Performer as a Wannabe Artist!