I hear it every morning, these sounds, like someone’s mourning: Haaaa, haaa, haaaa. But it’s only a group of old men and women congregating in the park next to my building for their laughter therapy classes. All dressed mostly in white kurta pyjama barring a few rebellious ones dressed in shorts and t-shirt exposing flabby arms and wrinkly thighs, they gather every morning for an hour to laugh. Morbid? Whoever said forcing yourself to laugh releases endorphins in your body? Our body is such a dunce? Can’t it tell that we are trying to trick it into believing that we are happy when perhaps we aren’t? It’s understandable though that they have to gather at one place, all these forced-laughers to practise their fake happiness. If they break into impromptu laughs at home, say while going to the bathroom for their regular ablutions, or the first thing in the morning, their offspring might jump at the opportunity to admit them at a mental institution.
It’s more amusing for the outsiders to watch the party of these elderly gents bending down to touch their feet and coming up laughing like they just remembered what that joke from ten years back meant. It’s not that for actual practitioners there’s no scope for proper amusement. There is. There’s always an oddball character that’d make the funniest of faces while laughing, or they can also find humour at times in their own situation. That they are here, a part of this group, and now laughing for no apparent reason.
Is there really a scientific reason behind this? Or do these people just need an excuse to get away from their mundane routines and unhappy lives? Am I over analysing? Perhaps. But here’s what I feel. Wouldn’t it be more apt to gather to cry? In the process of actual crying, one might feel lighter, less woeful. You are replicating your true emotions. There’s no cheating of mind and body involved. You can roll on the floor, whine, beat your chest, or wail without caring if your nose is dripping or the mascara is all over your face. This till you reach a point where you have no more tears left. Won’t you actually feel good? You have cried out and now there’s no pity in your heart for yourself. You can move on. Think of saving what is left, resurrecting your life and be on the path of being truly happy. You will not be morose any longer. You will not snap at people and probably develop a higher threshold for frustration and stupidity and injustice.
What if, similarly, people met to overcome their addiction to argue, criticize, or hate or be jealous of each other. Just gathering to voice their opinions about the mess that is life; how unfair it is. By the end of each session you would have out-poured your capacity for argument, criticism, hatred or jealousy. You might even become a better person. If you have decided to meet once or twice a week, you will hold off all your bitterness till that particular meeting.
a) Argumentative Assholes – Next meeting on 20.02.2012 at the botanical gardens at 6:00 pm. You will be given two-minutes each to present your argument.
b) Criticizing Critters – Next meeting on 15.02.2012 at Shivaji Park at 7:00 pm. Please have your criticism jotted down neatly in a diary or have them printed.
c) Hateful Haters – Next meeting…
d) Jealous Jokers –
You get the idea.