The great healer

Laughter is no longer the best medicine. But the next-best alternative is in town: Gossip.

The other day, I think I made a scientific discovery. I woke up leisurely at 8:30 am (one of my retirement benefits), took care of my ablutions (such a holy word for mundane activities), spent the regimental 30 minutes over Pranayama, read the newspaper and played a game of cards with wife for an hour (proven to keep away Alzheimer’s/Dementia).

Later, I felt myself heading towards a sudden symptom of post retirement DFNR – acronym for “depression for no reason”. To distract myself, I immediately spoke to my sister and exchanged some notes about family and friends. I enquired about the latest happenings and both of us spent a good 27 minutes gossiping.

The minute I disconnected the phone, I felt like a new person. Fresh, energetic and humming my favourite songs fully rejuvenated. It struck me like a lightening then! The quality ‘gossip time’ I had spent with my sister had literally erased the DFNR symptoms completely.

I recently read somewhere that researchers from top universities have arrived at an astonishing fact: Laughter is no longer the best medicine. Laughter can even kill a person.


So, the best alternative is gossip. This should be recommended for all men, since women hold black-belts in this area from an early age. Training courses can be conducted by female faculty on how to cultivate good gossip techniques. The course content can include:

a) How to start?
b) When to say “Really? Seriously? Don’t tell me! Are you sure?”
c) How not to repeat the same subject and to shift from one subject to another smoothly without any hitches.

When ladies are on the phone gossiping, virtual antennae protrude out of their head, eyes, and one of the ears (since the other is glued to the phone). I am sure every household will know of this certain someone who loves to gossip. You are also sure to find the most satisfied look and some kind of glow after a good session of gossip. This could be the reason why women live longer than men.

Once, my friend’s wife was on the phone for more than an hour while I was waiting for him. She interspersed the call with several expressions of “haouda?” “appadiyaa? and “avunaa?” at different decibel levels, with three of her friends from different states on a conference-call mode.

 “What was so interesting?” I enquired casually after the call. “Oh, nothing important.” she said. “But you sounded so excited at times!” I said. She clarified, “You men are dumb. If you do not pretend to be interested, the other side will think they are talking to a wall and all the juicy parts will be censored. So, it is necessary. Got it?” One more lesson to incorporate into the syllabus of “Gossip For Men”.

So folks, laughter is no more the best medicine. Gossip, is. Moreover, it is cheaper than retail therapy. Good luck in your classes. Adopt harmless gossip, be happy and say good bye to DFNRs.

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