Laughter is the best medicine.
It is a well-known adage. The numerous health benefits of laughter have been scientifically verified as well. Yet, more often than not, in all the hustle bustle of our lives, we forget to laugh. This week #FridayReflections prompt got me thinking and I have this short story – my first ever attempt at writing one – to share.
Always laugh when you can. It’s cheap medicine’ – Lord Byron
It was not the first time she had seen the group of elderly doing ‘laughter yoga’ in the park. They did it every day, 7 days a week, without fail. She would often catch a glance of the group raising their hands up as they laughed. At the count of 3, they would start their ‘ha-ha-ha’ and it would go full throttle for about a minute and then they would take a minuscule break (for a second or two), perhaps to catch their breath and start again. It would seem a bit like forced laughter for about 5 minutes, but after that, it seemed to come naturally. It was a rhythmic cycle and would last for about 30 minutes. Today, it was time for them to wrap up their session for it.
With a cup of her morning coffee, she would stare at them for a couple of minutes before getting on with her morning routine. She had to catch a bus to her office in exactly 30 minutes.
Radha had shifted to this locality of the city 2 months back. She had taken up a new job and her office was near to this place. The fact that her office bus would pick her from the stop right opposite her house was a big deciding factor in choosing the place. Plus she would be quite away from all that she had known in the city and all that had hurt her so deeply.
She wasn’t quite out of it yet. Distance would help she had thought. But, had it really helped?
Radha was fascinated by laughter yoga when she had learnt about it years ago. She had wanted to join the group when she came to live in this locality, but somehow couldn’t. The thought that she would look somewhat odd in the midst of all the elderly people didn’t encourage her to make the move.
She got ready five minutes early today and went to her pick up point. As she waited for her bus, she spotted the group enjoying a cup of masala chai by the roadside tea vendor. Almost instinctively, she approached the elderly uncle who she supposed was the instructor and asked if she could join their laughter club. Yes, why not came the reply. There was no criterion of age as such; anyone who was willing to have a good laugh was welcome.
Just then she spotted her office bus coming and turned to move in its direction.
‘Okay, Uncle I will join you all tomorrow.’
‘Sure, Beta. Laughter is the best medicine. Always laugh when you can. It’s cheap medicine.’
She kept pondering over those lines for the whole day and realized she hadn’t had a good laugh for quite a while now. It must be more than 3 months now. She had been carrying the baggage of the break-up long enough and it was time to move on.
That night she was amused at herself for not being able to contain the excitement of joining the laughter yoga club the next day. And in the morning she found herself in the park at the appointed time.
At the mark of 3. Let’s do it. 1…2…3… ha ha ha ha.
How those 30 minutes passed she couldn’t surmise. For the first few minutes, she had to try really hard. And soon the squeals of laughter came automatically to her.
She could feel the stress releasing from her mind and body. All the baggage she was carrying was getting lighter and lighter; she was letting go all the hurt. Slowly, she felt energized.
She chuckled – the endorphins are doing their job. She felt lighter, calmer, and happier. Yes, indeed, laughter is the best medicine.
It was a new day and a new chapter in her life had begun.
If you wish to know more about Laughter Yoga, please check these links.
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!