Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Are we too serious in life? Study seriously, work seriously, party seriously… serious, serious, serious! It seems that everyone is so busy and serious with their lives that there is no time to laugh. Be it government jobs or MNCs/PSUs, anyone laughing is considered to be wasting time or displaying a casual attitude. At work, one is supposed to keep working with a grim face. An effective boss is stiff-collared, not supposed to smile and be stern always.
Many of us rarely laugh or joke in our houses also. We hardly joke or laugh during gatherings in villages or towns. We are so serious that even husbands and wives do not walk together. The husband walks ahead, with the wife following behind by a few paces. In offices also, we are too serious for any laughter or jokes. We are too serious in our towns, villages, families, offices, schools.
In our tribal society, there are too many kebangs/mels going on. Kebangs are conducted for resolving property/land/marital disputes, petty crimes, etc. It is estimated that there are hundreds of kebangs going on per day in our villages and towns. In many cases, even when disputes are being tried in judicial courts, kebangs are held for the same. Despite so many kebangs, the peace index in our society seems to be going down.
The rare jokes are at the cost of another person, tribe or organization. We do not have the ability to laugh at ourselves (remember Sardarji jokes?). If anyone pulls a pun on us individually, or on our tribe or political party or organization, we take it too seriously and are ready for another kebang! The reaction to many disputes are typically ‘Kaat dunga’, or ‘Maar dunga’, or ‘Dao dekha hai?’…
Being too serious in life, our stress levels are increasing, leading to lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Due to high stress levels, most of us are short tempered, irritable and argumentative. We are always in a rush, always overspeeding and overtaking; we want to arrive last and jump the line. We are irritable, rude and start the day shouting at each other.
Laughter has many benefits. Laughter relaxes the body, boosts immunity, combats depression, relieves pain, and may help us live longer. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing and relieve pain. Considering the positive effects of laughter, many laughter clubs are operating in many cities and towns. Shows like ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil Sharma’ are gaining popularity across the country.
Is being too serious in life making us rich or bringing development overnight? At least being a little bit bindaas and amusing can make our mundane lives easier to live and make us healthier, leading to a more peaceful and healthier society. Let’s start the day with a laughter pill in the morning! (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)