Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where has humour gone??

As a society, Indian in specific and maybe the world in general we seem to be losing humour, or so I feel. If that be the case sad indeed it is.

One misses humour in arts. Not many movies have humour in it, save some slapstick. On the idiot box comedies are extinct; a few that are on are re-runs. As for pen on paper, there too humour is sadly missed, not to mention the lack in variety of humour across the board. The only genre that is hanging by a thin strand seems to be slapstick. And when we do come across what should have been seen as humour we seem to slot in very different boxes. Cannot help mentioning here the letter (on the blogosphere which was nothing but a rant-"Open letter to a Delhi boy") in which a vast section saw everything but humour......

Are we becoming too morose and sceptical? Are we taking ourselves way too seriously that we cannot laugh at ourselves? Are we becoming too cautious? Humour to a large extent is at some one's expense, are we becoming too weary of offending & being offended? Are we becoming more polite and guarded? Are we in this whole process letting go of humour? Is our intolerance robbing us of our humour?

How many friends can we think off who can make us laugh through the evening? How many times do we find ourselves rolling over with laughter at home or with a bunch of friends? Are the skills vanishing? Mimicking, buffoonery, parodying, playing pranks....The few, who keep us entertained, are the ones who make fun of themselves be it by gloating or poking fun, or opening gates to be poked fun at. A few communities seem to fare better, worth a mention are the Sardars, most sardar jokes are cracked/created by sardars. Mallus in pockets manage the same; the trick again is to laugh at oneself.

Having said that, both as individuals and communities humour seems to be dying. Ultra sensitivity, Intolerance, chauvinism, guardedness... seems to rule in today’s time and space


  1. Indeed it seems that most the humour is gone.

    Especially the thinking kind which requires you to actually analyze and understand the joke. British comedies remain an exception, but in India that sort, a la 'chupke chupke', has tragically all but died.

    And Indian slapstick just makes you want to murder the actors.

  2. Lord, completely agree - Almost did mention it in the piece..the movies from the Amul palekar, farooq sheik, depti naval era...guess the reducing Bengali influence in Hindi cinema left Bombay moviedom poorer for it...

  3. People call it being sensitive to other's feeling these days :-)) There are too many communities and too many sentiments to be 'senstive' about that probably people have stopped making jokes! :)
    Yes humour has gone down but what about our ability to laugh (at ourselves), that also seems to have gone down..

  4. @Divya: guess we lost humour - with the loss of the ability to laugh at ourselves - the ones who bring humour to our life are by far the ones who are able to laugh at themselves