To Those Who Make Us Laugh

We can never guess a person’s ‘laugh’ unless we hear it. Unlike many things that we can fake, our laughter comes out naturally (most times) and is easily detectable if faking. I, weirdly, always enjoy hearing a new person’s ‘uncontrolled’ laugh because it’s so unpredictable and most times surprising. A person with a very soft and subtle voice may have a loud and screaming laugh and a person who is usually very loud while talking may have a very shy laugh. The idea of an ‘amazing laugh’ differs from person to person and we get attracted to somebody because of the way they laugh. What we may find ‘appealing’ may be a total ‘turn-off’ to others and vice-versa. Our laughter is something we can never change unless a drastic change occurs in our throats.

We don’t need doctors to tell us the good effects of laughter. It isn’t for nothing that we all long to be around people who make us laugh or the fact that ‘funny’ messages and videos get more popularity than serious ones. I’m not referring to smiles or any ‘controlled’ kind of laughter like smirking, giggling, or grinning. Have you heard of the word ‘Guffaw’? It means a loud and hearty laugh; the strongest solitary laughter experience. When we ‘guffaw’, there is no control; our feet stamp, our arms wave, we slap our thighs, our torso rock, tears are free-flowing, our heart rates increase, and we experience breathlessness. I’m talking about ‘guffaw’ kind of laughter.

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                      — Feodor Dostoevsky

There are people who can laugh in this manner over every single joke or humor that others may even find ‘silly’. How blessed are those! There are many times when we end up laughing at such people rather than the joke itself. On top of having a boring laugh, most jokes don’t tickle my humor side. My laugh is not silent but it isn’t loud enough to be interesting. People will sometimes have to look at my face to know if I’m laughing at their jokes. I sometimes try to laugh louder so that people may hear me, honestly, but whenever effort is put while laughing, it is unnatural but there are people who check if you are laughing. It’s an ego thing. A minute of uncontrolled natural laugh can leave its effect for the whole life, whereas fake laughing makes us wonder if we ever want to see those people again.

There are some hilarious women in my family who goes all the way to even shaming themselves, their husbands, and children to make people laugh. These aren’t women who have carefree or problem-free lives, but for those special occasions they choose to forget everything and entertain our big family. They dress up in characters and act, sing, and dance and all the while, they laugh at themselves. They even manage to cheer up even the most unreasonable uncle who is fuming over something. I always feel that we owe them much appreciation for their sacrifices and for those moments of laughter. Now as they are ageing and getting ‘tired’, I wonder if anybody can take their places.

We all have people in our lives who make us guffaw. These people sometimes may not be ideal for a formal dinner or to be introduced to ‘decent’ people but I feel that these ‘jokers’ help us bear the formal dinners and the decent people. We need to recognize these people and never let them go.

“Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.”                                                                                                                                                — John Cleese


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