The laughing club lessons and more

Every morning I’m awakened by an orchestra of sorts – a myriad of laughter sounds in various sizes and shapes emanating from the neighbouring ground. When we shifted home in the middle of this year, all we were in search of was a place with a good broadband connection. But, as luck would have it, we were blessed with much more.

I love the lush greens surrounding my compound walls and the colourful birds nestled amongst the branches. I love the hollering boys playing cricket in the grounds, while a few serious ones practise their yogasanas in the shade. I love the karate class kids too, especially the really little girls and boys. But, what I love most about the ground is the lessons I have learnt just by observing the laughing club members.

This group mainly consists of bright senior citizens – the politically correct term for elderly people – with a sex ratio of 1:1 and I find them really adorable. These guys start coming one by one to the ground beginning 6 am. Only when the entire group is present do they start and that happens in half an hour around 6:30 am.

Members of the Gateway to India Laughter Club in Mumbai

They quickly assemble in a circle with women and men forming half the circumference each. After the initial introductions and the calling out of consequent numbers by each member, the motley group is all energised for a session of laughter and joy.

The session begins slowly with soft giggles and then catches pace with a laughter barakhadi (ha-haa-he-hee-hu-huu-hey-heey-ho-hoo-houu-humm-hahahahaha) followed by bouts of weird body movements and sounds. Sometimes, they scare each other with a simple ‘boo’ or sometimes its a little startling roar by sticking their tongues out. Its adorable to watch the old men and women claw the air and play animal-animal. The session that started with frail laughter and gestures, then reaches a crescendo of sorts, to finally end in a full-bodied laughter, by which time the onlookers have also had a laugh or two.

But, it was never a cacophony of laughter. It had rhythm, it had style!

I remember in the beginning during my morning jogs, I was way too embarrassed to be crossing them. There they were, the wise old group laughing away to glory without a care in the world. And here was me with my extra tensed neurons and all, so conscious about my rising weight and striving to burn it out frantically as if that is the cure to all my ills.

Gradually, as the days turned into months, I developed an attachment towards them, so much so that if I did not wake up to their laughter, the day would feel incomplete. Come rain or chill, the group was always out there on the grounds, but it was only me who woke up late and missed them. I saw a month of summer followed by four months of monsoons with heavy showers welcoming the early mornings. Now, it is winter and really chilly. I don’t venture out in the morning; just a little verandah watching suffices me. But, the laughing club goes on!

As I sit beside my work table, adjacent to my large window, trying to concentrate on the smaller things in life, the things outside creep into my thoughts. More precisely from the laughing club. The discipline, the dedication, the sheer energy and will power of the group amazes me. Their approach towards laughter, the motivation they share with each other, the laughter sounds reverberating in the air is all so inspiring, that I’m all charged up and raring to go.

Yes, were it not for laughter, we would all go insane!

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21 thoughts on “The laughing club lessons and more”

  1. got it Uncle:) I guess that is why they make it a point to never miss a single day…nowadays its extremely chilly in the mornings and waking up alone is a tough call…but come rain or snow, these guys are always there!

    You too take care!

  2. AKIF
    Thanks! I blogged about what i had been observing and feeling (like we bloggers mostly do)

    You should be present with them and you would know!
    yes, loooong time buddy and u r most welcome:)

    have a wonderful laugh and here’s to your healthy life!

    glad you liked it! thanks:)
    BTW, i think you are the same SM when I used to blog as Vinnie the Pooh in 2008-2009?
    Welcome to the new and evolved version of Vinnie:)

  3. Haddock
    laughter is the best medicine! thanks for visiting me:)

    thank you! i’m not much of a regular blogger though

    you should panda and do blog about it for sure:)

  4. Laughing is good.
    Natural Laughter is best.
    But even contrived laughter is better than being gloomy and depressed.
    Must join such a laughter club.
    Nice post.
    All the Best

  5. I liked the way you described it and your feelings about it initially. Well, I think I’d feel the same way too and slowly warm to their approach. There’s so much we can learn from older folks. But we like to see ourselves as smarter, more hep and we think we are the cool ones by doing the opposite of what they do. 🙂

  6. Vikram Karve
    You are missing out on all the fun, Vikram Sir!
    Even today, I find it amusing as well as a creative method to keep oneself happy…these guys manage to make my day without a fail, come rain or chill:) Do join one just for the heck of it!

  7. Swapna
    Firstly welcome to my blog, petals!
    Rightly put, all my life I argued with my mum, that her ideas/decisions are not applicable to my situation – but almost strangely – today I have realised that those ideas/decisions were so right. I find myself thinking like her and becoming like her!
    I guess we need to give wisdom its due place and not make fun of it…like the way we look at the laughter club

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