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Old Fox 004: The laughing club lessons and more

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The laughing club lessons and more

Every morning I'm awakened by an orchestra of sorts - a myriad of laughter sounds in various sizes and shapes emanating from the neighbouring ground. When we shifted home in the middle of this year, all we were in search of was a place with a good broadband connection. But, as luck would have it, we were blessed with much more. 

I love the lush greens surrounding my compound walls and the colourful birds nestled amongst the branches. I love the hollering boys playing cricket in the grounds, while a few serious ones practise their yogasanas in the shade. I love the karate class kids too, especially the really little girls and boys. But, what I love most about the ground is the lessons I have learnt just by observing the laughing club members.

This group mainly consists of bright senior citizens - the politically correct term for elderly people - with a sex ratio of 1:1 and I find them really adorable. These guys start coming one by one to the ground beginning 6 am. Only when the entire group is present do they start and that happens in half an hour around 6:30 am.

Members of the Gateway to India Laughter Club in Mumbai
They quickly assemble in a circle with women and men forming half the circumference each. After the initial introductions and the calling out of consequent numbers by each member, the motley group is all energised for a session of laughter and joy. 

The session begins slowly with soft giggles and then catches pace with a laughter barakhadi (ha-haa-he-hee-hu-huu-hey-heey-ho-hoo-houu-humm-hahahahaha) followed by bouts of weird body movements and sounds. Sometimes, they scare each other with a simple 'boo' or sometimes its a little startling roar by sticking their tongues out. Its adorable to watch the old men and women claw the air and play animal-animal. The session that started with frail laughter and gestures, then reaches a crescendo of sorts, to finally end in a full-bodied laughter, by which time the onlookers have also had a laugh or two.

But, it was never a cacophony of laughter. It had rhythm, it had style!

I remember in the beginning during my morning jogs, I was way too embarrassed to be crossing them. There they were, the wise old group laughing away to glory without a care in the world. And here was me with my extra tensed neurons and all, so conscious about my rising weight and striving to burn it out frantically as if that is the cure to all my ills. 

Gradually, as the days turned into months, I developed an attachment towards them, so much so that if I did not wake up to their laughter, the day would feel incomplete. Come rain or chill, the group was always out there on the grounds, but it was only me who woke up late and missed them. I saw a month of summer followed by four months of monsoons with heavy showers welcoming the early mornings. Now, it is winter and really chilly. I don't venture out in the morning; just a little verandah watching suffices me. But, the laughing club goes on!

As I sit beside my work table, adjacent to my large window, trying to concentrate on the smaller things in life, the things outside creep into my thoughts. More precisely from the laughing club. The discipline, the dedication, the sheer energy and will power of the group amazes me. Their approach towards laughter, the motivation they share with each other, the laughter sounds reverberating in the air is all so inspiring, that I'm all charged up and raring to go.

Yes, were it not for laughter, we would all go insane!

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At November 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM , Blogger Jeevan said...

Interesting narrative on the cheer, joy and happiness that caused by laughter group. Glad you live among a charming and inspiring circumstance :)

At November 6, 2012 at 10:30 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

Thank you! Yes, its a wonderful place, blessed to be staying here:)

At November 6, 2012 at 11:46 PM , Blogger Devilish Angel said...


At November 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM , Blogger Jack said...


This is the time that many of them may forget their sorrows or problems and have some happy hour.

Take care

At November 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

Devilish Angel

by time, you mean the time they spend together at the club or the 'older' years of life?!

At November 24, 2012 at 6:12 PM , Blogger Jack said...


The time they spend together as by this age many of them may have issues leading to unhappiness.

Take care

At December 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

got it Uncle:) I guess that is why they make it a point to never miss a single day...nowadays its extremely chilly in the mornings and waking up alone is a tough call...but come rain or snow, these guys are always there!

You too take care!

At December 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM , Blogger The AKIF said...

Thought of being old shivers me more than that of death
Its so nice of u Fox that u respect it, for many it is just disturbing noises.
Salutes u buddy

At December 6, 2012 at 4:19 AM , Blogger Jaggu said...


Updated my blog. Please visit and spread it:)

At December 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM , Blogger Unknown!!! said...

lauhg coming naturally seems to be more relaxing than..forcing to laugh out loud for me..

I am here after so many years I think.. nice back ground you got.

At December 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Alka Gurha said...

We have forgotten how to laugh openly....and then we crib about stress, BP and aches and pains....I havent laughed in a long long time. I am going to do so now.

At December 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM , Blogger SM said...

beautiful narrative of laughter club

At December 16, 2012 at 9:23 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

Thanks! I blogged about what i had been observing and feeling (like we bloggers mostly do)

You should be present with them and you would know!
yes, loooong time buddy and u r most welcome:)

have a wonderful laugh and here's to your healthy life!

glad you liked it! thanks:)
BTW, i think you are the same SM when I used to blog as Vinnie the Pooh in 2008-2009?
Welcome to the new and evolved version of Vinnie:)

At December 17, 2012 at 4:40 AM , Blogger Haddock said...

I wish more "youngsters" could do this. I too notice them at our bus stop early in the morning at 7.30 when I go to work.
The advantages of laughter are many.

At December 23, 2012 at 9:34 PM , Blogger Noopur Kothari said...

Indeed one!!
Got your link from indiblogger...and I found it worth landing here :)


At December 27, 2012 at 8:31 PM , Blogger Arv said...

I should listen to these groups once :)

At December 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

laughter is the best medicine! thanks for visiting me:)

thank you! i'm not much of a regular blogger though

you should panda and do blog about it for sure:)

At December 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM , Blogger Vikram Karve said...

Laughing is good.
Natural Laughter is best.
But even contrived laughter is better than being gloomy and depressed.
Must join such a laughter club.
Nice post.
All the Best

At January 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM , Blogger Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

I liked the way you described it and your feelings about it initially. Well, I think I'd feel the same way too and slowly warm to their approach. There's so much we can learn from older folks. But we like to see ourselves as smarter, more hep and we think we are the cool ones by doing the opposite of what they do. :)

At January 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

Vikram Karve
You are missing out on all the fun, Vikram Sir!
Even today, I find it amusing as well as a creative method to keep oneself happy...these guys manage to make my day without a fail, come rain or chill:) Do join one just for the heck of it!

At January 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Oldfox004 said...

Firstly welcome to my blog, petals!
Rightly put, all my life I argued with my mum, that her ideas/decisions are not applicable to my situation - but almost strangely - today I have realised that those ideas/decisions were so right. I find myself thinking like her and becoming like her!
I guess we need to give wisdom its due place and not make fun of it...like the way we look at the laughter club

At July 1, 2013 at 8:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

love all your posts:)


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