At the end of a rainbow

Lucy found her diamond sky

O laugh, will you?

on June 12, 2014

Humour, it would seem is most difficult to describe, and anything serious written to explain it would definitely lack the topic of discourse itself, unless of course it is meant to be seriously funny. Hungarian writer and satirist László Feleki writes, “The term ‘humor’ itself means fluid or moisture, indicating that already the ancient Greeks must have known both moisture and humor. Humor as a fluid probably served to dilute the hard facts of life making it possible to swallow and digest them.” So, it would seem that humans have evolved an ingenious defense mechanism to counter the hard-blows of life, by quite simply laughing at it. But that can’t be the entire story because you could end up in an aslyum for considering a funeral real fun. Rather, scientists explain that humour probably stems from a “benign violation of the way the world ought to be.” So, harmless incongruous things put together in way that challenge our notions of ‘normal’ are prone to get our lips twitching. It is the subjectivity of ‘benign’ that makes the matter trickier. I have been often chastised by my partner for finding rather serious situations funny and thus hurting someone’s feelings (he being the hurt person in most cases). It has led me to reflect if in reality a few of my brain circuits are cross-wired such that my first reaction to mishaps ranges from a grin to uncontrollable laughter. Now, I am not talking of funerals (I am yet to attend one), but there are enough disasters and tragedies in daily life too. The other day, the door to our one and only bedroom got stuck with both of us stranded in the living room. My partner, who had to rush to office found himself in a formal shirt and boxers, the pants lying in the bedroom. Somehow he managed to find a towel to wrap himself up with while we called the carpenter to fix the door. He was fuming at this unexpected event, but he only had to look in the mirror to realise how hilarious he looked. My chuckles quite predictably incited him further though I unsuccessfully tried to explain the absurdity of the situation. I could see the truth in the chinese proverb, ‘there is no pleasure so great as watching a good friend fall off the roof’. This doesn’t translate into a malicious intention, but rather an outcome of our paradoxical nature that encompasses empathy, sorrow, relief, happiness, wickedness and much more that translates into the inscrutable emotion of humour. After all, in the madness of it all, the least one can do is have a good laugh; Let’s hope the jokes keep coming in!

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