Why gig­gle away to glory when you can make an ir­ri­tated, pa­thetic ex­pres­sion all the time?

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - SONAL KALRA Sonal Kalra de­clares that noth­ing will make her laugh any­more. The only ex­cep­tion is Chad­dha ji do­ing Ka­paalb­haati aasan in the bal­cony…LOL. Mail at sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan­, face­­al­kalraof­fi­cial. Fol­low on Twit­ter @son­al­kal

Even a flicker of laugh­ter is hence­forth banned in this col­umn. You have to pass a test be­fore I let you read this week’s write-up. Get up and go in front of the mirror. Care­fully look at the photo on this page and then at your­self in the mirror. En­sure that your fa­cial ex­pres­sion is as pa­thetic and ir­ri­tated, if not more. Khabar­daar agar smile kiya toh! Through ad­vanced aug­mented re­al­ity, I’ll get to know who is smil­ing, and my curse will en­sure that your face bears a con­sti­pated look ev­ery time you get pho­tographed for the rest of your life. Those of you who haven’t got mar­ried yet, apni wed­ding al­bums ke bare mein soch lo. You can’t af­ford to take this risk, can you?

Now with the se­ri­ous face, try to un­der­stand my point this week. After lead­ing an ut­terly use­less life that in­volved bar­ing my teeth and gig­gling away to glory at the slight­est provo­ca­tion, I have fi­nally found a mis­sion in life — to at­tain and help peo­ple around me at­tain a state of zero sense of hu­mour. Be­cause in the past few days, some peo­ple have helped me re­alise that laugh­ter is the sil­li­est of hu­man emo­tions. That it is friv­o­lous and waste­ful to tickle the funny bone when you can utilise that time to in­dulge in crit­i­cal and mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­i­ties like get­ting of­fended and preach­ing morals. And haven’t you no­ticed, se­ri­ous peo­ple are way cooler than us id­iots who can’t con­tain their laugh­ter and let out strange, gur­gling sounds from the throat. Toh maine toh de­cide kar liya. No crack­ing jokes any­more. In any case, most peo­ple don’t get my twisted sense of hu­mour. And it gets me into trou­ble more of­ten than I care.

Last week, I went to the neigh­bour­hood park for a walk, and then sat on the bench to watch small chil­dren play on the swings. A woman sit­ting next to me tried to strike a con­ver­sa­tion and asked which of the chil­dren was mine. In­tently gaz­ing ahead with a dev­il­ish ex­pres­sion, I replied “I’m still try­ing to de­cide”. Be­fore I could pat my back on my bril­liant joke, the woman had rushed to col­lect her child and warn oth­ers about the de­mented kid­nap­per on the bench. Rep­u­ta­tion bar­baad in the colony, per­ma­nently. Hasna hi nahi ji mu­jhe ab…not at all.

And this came ex­actly a day after a po­lice con­sta­ble scolded me, when, on see­ing a road-side sign that said ‘Yeh bus-stop aage chala gaya hai’, I scrib­bled un­der­neath – ‘Usey jaane kisne diya?’ I got a long lec­ture about how padhe-likhe peo­ple should not in­dulge in mazaak. Any­way, his scold­ing was jus­ti­fied, but this thing of how I can be cool, mys­te­ri­ous and in­tel­lec­tual only if I’m se­ri­ous in life has en­tered my head strongly now. So, for my­self, and for all of you who need grow­ing up, here are tips to be­come per­ma­nently se­ri­ous.

1 Be a joke killer: Go to a tem­ple and take the oath that you’ll never let a joke break your re­solve of not laugh­ing like mad peo­ple who have no con­trol over their emo­tions. If some­one says a joke, stare at them as if they have lost it. In fact, read up all the jokes on the net, so that if some­one tries telling a joke, you can kill their punch­line, or make that ge­nius re­mark – ‘Suna hua hai. Pu­raana hai’. I’ve seen peo­ple do this to oth­ers’ jokes and al­though all this while I hated such spoil­sports, now sud­denly I have new­found re­spect for them. In fact, I de­mand a spe­cial re­ward for those brave peo­ple who take pride in say­ing ‘hamein toh hasi nahi aayi’ when some­one tells a joke. They are the real as­sets be­cause of who In­dia con­tin­ues to hold a se­ri­ous po­si­tion in the global sce­nario, oth­er­wise the ve­la­panti gang of non-se­ri­ous peo­ple would have laugh­ingly de­stroyed our im­age. Flip­pant fools, I tell you.

2 Take ev­ery­thing lit­er­ally: Wipe off the con­cept of metaphors or clever phrases from your head. Be an ex­pert at miss­ing the point and start tak­ing ev­ery­thing any­one says lit­er­ally. You may be branded as an an­noy­ing one but so what? It’s all for a good cause. Ar­gue end­lessly with peo­ple as if they mean each word they’ve said. Slowly peo­ple will start avoid­ing say­ing any­thing non-se­ri­ous in front of you. The shal­low fri­vol­i­ties will be out and life will be­come mean­ing­ful.

3 Make a men­tal bank of sad thoughts: Since I’m try­ing it out these days, let me tell you that reach­ing the zero sense of hu­mour stage is not as easy as it sounds. Your body will want to re­volt, a smile will try hard to es­cape your mouth in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. But you have to be strong. What re­ally helps is hav­ing a bank of sad thoughts in your head. The mo­ment some­thing funny starts to hap­pen around you, re­trieve an im­age from the bank – it could be the first time you got thrashed by the school teacher, or the mo­ment when your girl­friend made you spend all your pocket money in a sin­gle date, or the state of poverty in Africa, or the ris­ing cor­rup­tion in our coun­try. Any­thing that will keep you from feel­ing happy at that mo­ment. I’ll per­son­ally con­grat­u­late you once you’ll reach that level of turn­ing sad any­time you want to. What an achieve­ment sir ji!

4 Act de­pressed: This is tough, but to­gether we can man­age it if we try re­ally hard. Stop wear­ing bright colours, switch over to earthy, dull shades. Keep your eyes a bit droopy all the time, and your ex­pres­sion con­fused and fed up. When you say some­thing, don’t let a hint of en­thu­si­asm en­ter your voice. If some­one else tries to speak to you, say ‘hain?’ with an ut­terly ir­ri­tated ex­pres­sion at least thrice. Make them feel as if they are THE bur­den on mother earth and should not take the risk of say­ing any­thing non­se­ri­ous in front of you. Once in a while, go on Face­book and leave sad, preachy com­ments on all the so-called funny sta­tus up­dates. Do it on my time­line too. Oh, you al­ready do so? Okay.

5 Make fraand­ship only with se­ri­ous peo­ple: Stick to peo­ple who are un­funny since birth. I met one such woman in a hos­pi­tal. She said she was there to ‘do­nate’ her eyes, rather than ‘pledg­ing’ her eyes for do­na­tion. So I asked her, with all gen­uine­ness, if she had some­one to take her back home since she won’t be able to see. She shouted so rudely at me that for a mo­ment I was also tempted to be rude and add that if she de­cides to do­nate her body, a hun­gry fam­ily of four in cer­tain coun­tries could sur­vive just on her right thigh for a year, but stopped my­self just in time to avoid be­ing slapped. I have now de­cided to pur­sue her till she makes me her best friend. To­gether we’ll spend our lives, spread­ing the mes­sage of se­ri­ous­ness all around us. Amen.


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