A country that can laugh at itself is the strongest. It's a sign of confidence: Meera Syal

She was a comedic icon at a time when women comics were almost unheard of. And though she may not have described herself as such, most of us grew up on the comedic stylings of Meera Syal.

From Goodness Gracious Me to The Kumars at No 42, Syal has had audiences across the world in splits for years.

But that still only scratches the surface of the artistic force that is Syal. Among other things, she is also an accomplished stage actress and a bestselling author.

And she's not all fun and games either. While her sharp wit is evident in most of her work, her latest novel The House of Hidden Mothers, explores the more complex, challenging reality and issues around surrogacy. We caught up with Syal during her visit to Jaipur Literature Festival to talk surrogacy, the space for humour in India and the space for women in humour.

Video produced & edited by Andrew Clarance

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Ranjan Crasta

Ranjan Crasta @jah_crastafari