The Laughter Crisis

Enam Lone

Of all things that we have lately been running out of stock of, a carefree smile is a really expensive one. Our times and circumstances suffer from the dearth of happiness badly. We seem to possess all the luxuries that there are, yet the harvest of this staple spice of life is touching low levels with every passing day. For the fertile hemisphere of our brains that happiness would be cultivated on has been drastically annexed by the crop of our materialistic wants and needs. We have become so consumed in accumulation of materialistic comforts that we are blind to the ever building levels of stress, thanks to a syndrome of social disorders, flailing relationships, scanty employments, competitions, busy schedules, social aloofness and Kashmir-specific PTSD’s.

Every time the kid of a dead or disappeared person asks his mother where her father was, happiness is murdered. Every time a teenager gets an indifferent treatment upon not securing a space in a medical college in our Kashmiri society, happiness is murdered.

Even, on a lighter note, one need not be surprised if an anti-happiness gene manages to creep into our DNA in the near future.

This lack of smile in general and happiness in particular is what is robbing us of our liveliness. People resort to the use of anti-depressants and narcotics to relieve themselves of the piling up depression.

Others simply jump off from cliffs to put an end to their miseries. And the rest employ yet other “viable” alternatives.

You can’t fill this void by sitting back in the evening watching comedy shows on television. Nor can this hole be plugged with the help of a couple of jokes posted on facebook by people who are themselves striving for that ultimate and lasting fix to their unhappiness.

For all such means of humour are but transitory. A lasting formula of smile shall come, not from such outside readymade outlets of laughter, but from within. When one is at peace with their own self, content with their own decisions, grateful for their possessions and above all, patient over their state of affairs, thence shall a streak of smile crease their cheeks.

And then, a face adorned with the ornament of smile is an upgrade to one’s personality. Plus it is free and contagious. A happy outlook sets out a field of pleasance, inducing a peaceful feeling in everything nearby. You will be doing some charity work with that gleeful posture of yours. They say that your day is not wasted if you succeed in making even a single person smile.

It’s like spreading a fire, albeit a productive one, amongst a people trembling with hypothermia. Work the permutations thereof and you’ll be lighting up a good number of faces with just a simple twitch of your lips. It’s that simple and cheap a kind of giveaway.

Robert Frost said, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” By all means his forethought seems to be a dear truth. Imagine a world full of faces painted with only a grimness. That wouldn’t be a world worth living in, anyhow. It would look more of a prison of Azkaban from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, wherein dwell the soul-sucking grim-faced Death Eaters.

As of today, our investment is limited to all those money churning treadmills, but if there’s anything that demands investment, it’s the laughter industry. The doctors say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” So let us bunk their clinics and finance the clowns. That should be the zenith of our advancement in the field of human resources.

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