A riot of laughter

It's a gift to make others laugh, for indeed, it's a mammoth task.

Recently, I was watching a repeat telecast of ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, a popular Hindi telly show that featured Bollywood actor Salman Khan as a celebrity guest. At one particular point, the antics of one of the show’s participant was so hilarious that it had Salman, hurling himself on the stage floor in supine form, clutching his sides and laughing hysterically, which really was amusing enough to evoke gales of laughter from studio audiences.

Indeed, it’s interesting to see each person with his/her own trademark style of laughing. Unlike in the aforesaid case, there are folks with a ‘restrained’ style, who laugh with their lips clamped, in the process producing weird sounds giving an impression of sounds being emitted out of some other orifice!

I used to know a girl during my school days, whose mother would laugh in a muffled ‘monotone’, sounding like a dreary drone with no cadences in tone, that it’d confound you into wondering whether she was crying or laughing. Her father, on the other hand, poising himself in akimbo posture, would let out that gravelly raucous laughter, enough to intimidate everyone around.

Incidentally, a friend of ours too has a loud resonating laughter that reaches crescendo at regular intervals. Once, when were dining at a restaurant, he spooked off an infant at the adjacent table so badly with his laughing bouts that it kept bawling till it expended all its energy, to finally fall into a blissful slumber!   

Then, there is that ‘hesitant’ guttural laughing style, in which you behold people laughing in spurts (dithering on whether to laugh or not), especially on hearing some risqué or ribald adult

humour. And then you have that grating ‘cackling’ laugh which could be pretty jarring on your ears and jangling on your nerves.

A maternal cousin of mine has a laughing style which reminds you of the sound of a hollow barrel hurtl-ing down a steep hillock, while her younger sister’s laugh is more like the sound of swirling water in a steel pitcher. Of course, some laughter are so dulcet-sounding that they are as aurally-soothing as the chime of teeny bells, or clink of coins, or jingle of bangles or even a light chink of long-stemmed wine glasses. 

There are also people who have this ‘incessant laughter’ mania. In my childhood, I used to see a family-friend, quite zippy and effervescent, who used to insert his hyena-like, ear-piercing laughter with every syllable he spoke. In case you ventured to share some seriously funny joke with him, well, it’d be a sight to see him ‘in stitches’, with his super-riotous laughter.

But honestly, his laughter was so infectious that it made the onlookers too, howsoever grumpy, to burst into peals of laughter. Truly, it’s a gift to make others laugh, for indeed it’s a mammoth task, while to make others cry is just a doddle which any normal human being can achieve.

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