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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

06 April, 2005


She laughed and it felt as if the sky had opened up like a new flower to bask in the beautiful light of that sound. It was the kind of laughter that made you feel good about yourself because what you said had caused that laughter. It started deep inside her stomach and traveled all the way to her mouth, picking up flotsam and jetsam along the way like a monsoon flood and then crashed on your soul like a wave. But it was not overwhelming. It was sweet and serene. Times like that made you feel that there was some purpose in living to make people laugh.

She stopped with the hint of a smile caressing the outer edges of her lips and said, “You are a very funny guy”. I smiled back, modestly but not without a touch of pride. I’ve always loved to make people laugh. It makes me glow from the inside whenever people crack up at something I’ve said. We look beautiful when we smile and laugh, when our lips open up and our shy teeth peer from behind them. It is like the first ray of sunshine peeking from behind the curtain of dawn. Yes, I’m going to repeat that adage again about how we need to laugh more often. Indeed, we should abandon ourselves to the sheer ecstatic delight of holding our stomachs and laughing our guts out. It is a both a physical and mental catharsis. We cleanse ourselves of every wrinkle of worry and every shadow of sorrow in the throes of that heavenly happiness.

My fingers automatically went to her lips as if wanting to hold the shape of that smile before it disappeared. It is something I find myself doing more and more frequently. Perhaps it is a reaction against the increasing artificiality in our lives, the forced smiles, the polite laughter, and the simple stretching of our facial muscles to mean something totally useless. How many times have we found ourselves feeling that strange pain after having gone through an entire evening just exercising our smile-muscles? Yes, the quest for natural laughter is the aim of my life and when I find it I want to hold it deep inside my heart, forever.

“But why didn’t you laugh?”, she asked. I smiled again and kept quiet. How could I answer her? They say that behind every comedian’s joke lies an immense story of sadness. Not that I’m some tragi-comic hero hiding deep sorrows behind my weird jokes. It is simply that along this journey to find true laughter I lost the ability to laugh. Strange isn’t it? But then stranger things have happened in life. Does it affect me? No, not at all. As long as I know that I can make people laugh I’m happy. Vicarious pleasure is all I ask for and all that keeps me going.

Someday I’ll find my laughter again. I know that for sure. Perhaps it is hiding under some rock on the shores of an ocean I haven’t seen. Or perhaps it is sleeping under the stars in a meadow filled with the sweet smell of spring flowers. Or maybe it is in the heart of a lover waiting for me to find her.

The announcement came over the speakers. “I’ve to catch my flight now”, I told her. She just smiled and shook my hands. I walked away towards the gate with the faint echoes of her laughter still tinkling in my ears and the perfume of her smile wafting through the air around me, enveloping me in its heady scent.



Blogger Pincushion said...

That was lovely!

06 April, 2005 17:39  
Blogger chikuado said...

absolutely loved reading it..!

how true it is, the joy of hearing someone laugh.. maybe that's why laughter is infectious.. and how ironic it is, that the best clowns dont laugh at their own jokes..

06 April, 2005 18:47  
Blogger livinghigh said...

thought the best comment u cud ask for was - hehehehahahaha.
mmm... wonder if i cud put that properly..? (liked the mood, yes)

07 April, 2005 10:25  
Blogger Anil said...

Thank you all very much :)

09 April, 2005 04:29  

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