L for laughter

In every school class, there’s exists one kid who is always caught by the teacher for either talking loudly or laughing too much. Most of the time, the sarcastic comment that follows from the teacher is, “What’s the joke? Why don’t you share it with all of us here so that we can all laugh with you.”. The next step is usually to reach out for the diary to write a complaint. In my circle of friends, that kid happens to be me. Fortunately, I was saved from an overdose of complaints by my good academic track records. However, that didn’t spare me from Ma’s wrath when she kept hearing about the same talkative nature and laughing syndrome repeatedly at every parents-teachers meeting.

Baba, of course, was empathetic. My mother was a soft-spoken lady and it was the era when girls were expected to limit their laughter to a smile only. But my dearest father possessed one of the loudest voices in our family (also, he proudly attributes it to be a virtue befitting a Professor). So, for the two of us, there was hardly any occasion when we didn’t display our happiness or power of the vocal cord by going ha, ha or lol as the millennials call it now.

Though I drew criticism from certain people, my kind of laughter stayed hale and hearty in a way that my intestines hurt. People remembered me for that special kind of laugh. Once in B-school, the juniors were asked to describe one senior in just a single line during the fresher’ party in the girls’ hostel. To them, I was “the one who synonymous with the word laughter.” 

Laughing out loud together
Laughing out loud together

At my in-laws, the decibel is usually on the lower side except on those days when the husband fails to find his belongings. This has started happening frequently because the kid considers his right to add any item of his father to his own collection. The boys’ treasured possession includes his father’s clothes, pens, stethoscope, and prescription pad among many others. Otherwise, the family is more reserved in their approach towards displaying emotions. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when my mother-in-law had once casually remarked that it was my laughter without giving a damn that made her love me all the more. 

The first time that I lost my ability to laugh or find humor in anything was when Ma passed away. But with time, laughter made a comeback in my life. The best phase of such happiness started with the giggles of my newborn. The chuckles of a child have immense power to heal a hurting soul. Tuneer taught me to find happiness through weird sounds of laughter yet again.

This phase continued until the deadly stage of school admissions arrived. Suddenly I became this monster Mom whose only focus was to get the boy into a good school (the definition of good is quite layered here).  And I am going to be brutally honest in admitting that until the first interview happened, I failed to find any humor or reason to smile in such a war-like scenario.

But God never fails to show Her sense of humor in the unlikeliest of situations. The first interview that we attended was in the same school which believed in interacting in English only. Tuneer was asked twenty questions (yes, 20!) in English and he managed to answer every question except his mother’s name (his way of seeking vengeance, I guess). The school interviewed thousand plus students for over two months and when the results came out, Tuneer’s name was missing from the first list. It was the first school to declare results and all my efforts seemed to have gone in vain. So, despite assurance from friends and family including the Principal of his preschool about him making it to the second list (which he actually did!), I was crestfallen.

I think that was the point when I realized that I was done with this extra layer of seriousness in my life. Since we had already faced rejection, it could only get better from there. I learned to take it easy and let Tuneer relax as well (until then, his father and grandparents had acted as barriers for me to give him any stress). But after that day, whenever there was an instance of us not meeting the set expectations from an interview, we learned to laugh about it instead of losing sleep over it. Strangely, a change in perception actually helped us sail through the rest of the interviews and it has been an uphill journey ever since.

But the biggest surprise in this journey has been the change in the characteristics of our son. Now the boy has understood very clearly that his escape route from getting reprimanded is only by making me laugh. So whenever he is caught doing mischief and realizes that a scolding is coming his way, he starts making funny faces or says completely irrelevant things. And he doesn’t stop until I start cracking up. So I break into laughter despite my brain telling me to rightfully get angry. In the war between logical and senseless reactions, humor wins.

However, Sr. T, who knows me a little too well keeps feels that the boy’s antics are going to work only till the beginning of his school session. That’s when the father is expecting the mother to go back to her monster mode, although with a dollop of comedy now.

Hope you had a good laugh while reading my post for the day. I will be back with a new post on ‘M’ tomorrow. You can find my previous posts in this series here.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

48 thoughts on “L for laughter”

  1. Laughter and comedy, only ways to get through this life alive:) Loved your post Sonia. You remind me of a friend of mine who is all organized and gets all serious when she needs to get things done, but on the other hand you also remind me of my cousin who can laugh a brick building down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could laugh more like you, honestly. Laugh as much as you breathe and never let anyone stop you. Stoppin by to say ‘Hi’ in the AtoZchallenge. Jackie’s Bookbytes Letter K

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  3. Laughter is the best medicine and my daughter also uses the same technique of trying to make me and her mother smile when she gets up to mischief and avoid scolding. Speaking of laughter I remember during ragging time in IIT I was told to laugh in a sine curve. I realized that that meant beginning to laugh slowly and then at much higher decibel levels as the curve went up. What we freshers could not figure out was what to do when the sine curve went below the X-axis. But finally one of my friends hazarded a guess that what we are probably supposed to do is to slowly come back to normal decibels and when the sine curve went below the X-axis we are probably supposed to start crying. Lol! The name of the guy who figured this out for all of us was Saravanan. He is now a professor of Applied Maths in some university in the US.

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  4. I have a ‘silent laugh’ Sonia. Years of convent school did that to me. But i do enjoy a good guffaw too. Laughter like yours is contagious, and I am sure that it not only endears you to people you know (case in point being your mother-in-laws comment) but it makes people happy when they are around you. Keep smiling and may you always have enough reasons to laugh out aloud!

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  5. ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ was my original thought for ‘L’ post today – it is good to have a good sense of humour – it keeps many diseases at bay and does wonders for our health.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post. I need to take away a lot from here. shedding my serious self and transforming into a little humorous person. I love the fact of how your son has picked up after you. Happy parents have happy children Having said that my daughter also has a funny side, courtesy of her father.

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  7. It is important to let go a bit, specially on the child. Even though we realise life is a cut throat competition. But everyone finds his / her way. Laugh it off. Laughter is the bet medicine, as some would say. I remember, I once went for admission to class five at St. Joseph’s Convent in Kanpur. Mother principal, told my father that I was not good for class five. There is seat in class four. She can admit me in class three. Imagine the tongue lashing I got. My father never beat me up. But his face had an incredibly humiliated look. Life went on.

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  8. Laughter is the best medicine and this post proves it.

    I dont understand what the school authorities conclude by interviewing a small child or are the admissions pre-decided and the interview an eye-wash. I Remember my office colleague had lost 3 kgs during her son’s admission. I was lucky as my son went to a school where all the employee’s kids had to be enrolled into the school and the admission was only confined to filling forms and shaking hands with the tiny tot.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2019/04/lungs-parts-of-body.html

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  9. You made me remember one of our neighbour Aunty, Sonia. She had the most carefree and loud laughter and didn’t really care to inhibit it in any way. It almost echoed it on our entire floor! 😀
    Always be the laughing person you are, yes not smiling. Laughter is the one medicine that comes cheap and has an endless supply too. Sr. T will surely prescribe it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can so relate to your nature of laughing loudly. I do too 😀 The most touching thing is your mother-in-law’s comment. As for little Tuneer being asked 20 questions in his kindergarten interview, I am simply horrified, but not really surprised. I am happy that you could get out of your monster persona and back to laughing once again. Interesting blog for L

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  11. Another beautiful post. for me laughter is an escape in tough situations! Whenever I am worried, I laugh, crack jokes, and End of the story. I don’t have to answer the questions!!

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  12. What a post, Sonia. you reminded me of my childhood days. As you face tells, you are having jolly nature. You and your baby both are looking damn cute. My heart to that little naughty one. Such a wonderful and refreshing post.

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  13. Remember I mentioned I love your Khul ke jine ka andaz, Laugher is the best medicine and kitni achi baat hai you are known for that sound which vibrates and spreads happiness around. (In the war between logical and senseless reactions, humor wins)Love this statement.

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  14. Visiting from A to Z, we have a saying that laughter is the best medicine. Life is all about attitude. Your son is fortunate to live in a family of laughter. Maybe it won’t shield him from some of the hard times of school, but as an adult, life will be a lot more enjoyable for him.

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  15. How I loved this post, Sonia!! Laughter is the best medicine–how very true! It calms you down when your little one makes mischief. 😛
    Keep laughing, dear Sonia…and if you can, send some of your laughter to me–I love it when I am able to laugh till my sides hurt…moments that are few and far between!

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  16. A laugh without a hearty jolt of laughter is incomplete.
    I am groomed under sharp scrutinizing eyes of the granny, who make sure I develop all ‘girls like’ habits. Which obviously banished on scratching head when tussled in thoughts, chewing nails while watching Grey’s Anatomy, singing while bathing, shouting or laughing out loud.
    I committed all these crimes, hence been named – a spoiled brat. Glad I didn’t alter my ego for all those silly rules. Your post reminded me of how girls were brought up in the 80s. Today, I make sure Kavya enjoys everything and do whatever she likes to do unless its really a disturbance.
    20 questions for such a small child, Hey Bhagwaan. Let’s start Home Schooling buddy, we will surely do better than these schools.

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  17. Ohhh hahahahaahaha! I have also inherited the loud booming voice from my paternal family! And yes, even I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told to laugh like a “girl”! LOLOLOLOL! And you know, I’m also overweight. So if I happen to look at my tummy while laughing, then I can simply never stop laughing!

    I like your MIL. I like anybody who loves a good laugher! And you’re right… a baby heals a broken soul like nothing else. But I think Jr. T knows your weakness now, and he’s going to use it for the rest of his life to get out of trouble! 😀

    Find my L post @ 5 Must-Have Luggage Essentials That Are Most Overlooked | Best Luggage For Easy Travel

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  18. First of all hugs to Tuneer! He is such a cutie pie. And Sonia, seriously if all mothers of India starts thinking like you, there would be no sexism, no crime, no domestic violence nothing. You are doing a great job.

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  19. Beautiful post. I enjoy a hearty laugh every now and then, even I was famous in school and college for laughing uncontrollably. You are lucky to have cheerful Tuneer around you. I am sure in the future he will keep your stress levels under control. Keep laughing and stay blessed!

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