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© Sumith Chowdhury


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Nostalgia Series 2 - Snicker

Reminiscence – Lost Laughter

Sumith Chowdhury

This story revolves around the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – The world is one & only family or The world is one family or Mother Earth is my family. Keeping this fact in mind, I’ve written this story for the readers as home is the place where everyone has to return to. “Home is where someone is thinking about you” to forget discrimination as we are one & part of god as fragments of small beings. The story also contains lots of funny moments. New characters introduced Prajwitha S Gowda in short Prajwitha who is the new narrator of this story. “Each of us has a story. Some are good narrators & the rest are just actors”. Accompanying the narrator is her own good friend who is also a good speaker of course. Well she will be introduced in the latter half of the story interestingly. Also, the meaning of smile & laughter is also discussed enhancing the depth of these trivial things & their importance in our everyday lives. As trivial as they may sound, but they have utmost importance in our lives which many fail to understand (sometimes their own existence) & remain introverts or extroverts staying away from society & the people around them, not giving life a chance to make new friends or families.  

Prajwitha: What’s the meaning of Smile? Scandinavian Origin from ‘smirk’ refers to pleasant situation in which a person’s facial expression are shown with the corners of the mouth turned up & the front teeth exposed. What is the meaning of Laughter? Germanic Origin from ‘hleahtor’ or ‘Gelachter’ refers a state of amusement & entertainment where a person bursts out laughing expressing his/her emotions balancing both mind & body. The sound of laughter draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical & emotional changes in the body. Laughter reduces pain, stress, anxiety, tension & depression, improves mood & mental functions, enhances resilience & self-esteem, boosts immunity, diminishes pain, triggers the release of endorphins, protects heart, burns calories, relaxes muscles, lightens anger’s heavy load; all these in turn relaxes the whole body & thus also helps you to live longer. Socially, it strengthens relationships among people (which is an utmost necessity nowadays in this fake world), adds joy & zest to life, attracts others to us reducing loneliness, enhances teamwork, helps defuse conflict, promotes group bonding. Many of us think we know all these but unfortunately, we don’t & hence we remain lonely always seeking shelter from our loneliness & thus trying to stay away from others fearing rejection, resentment. Also, fearing whom to trust or not, we deprave ourselves of friendship, love, family.

Prajwitha: What is a story? What makes a reader crave for more? Why does he intend to read this story written by an ordinary guy? Well I can’t understand the logic behind it either! Perhaps, it’s the thought what comes next! Makes the reader think “It might be interesting!”, “I should give it a shot!”, that’s what makes him wonder for more. The temptation of reading it makes his mind restless! The fact that I the narrator of the story has given a suitable introduction of the story, introducing some syllables, some concepts, some facts which attracts you the reader makes others crave similarly. Well some may feel after reading these stories that it’s all based on a personal bias, own personal judgement, single-mindedness. However, the facts given here all account for real life events which in reality takes place amidst us in our day-to-day lives. But before we begin, lets rewind back to the previous story what happened in ‘Prolixity’. Well some friends meet after many years. They have some pancakes, some sweets, new friends meet & get acquainted. Later they get tired & slept like a log (practically slept of tiredness). J The story begins…

Priyam: Aye aye, we have a new character with us. It’s a girl I see!

Argentine: Don’t get sidetracked priyam, don’t use the term character. Even though it’s a story, let’s not make it seem like that. The writer insisted that this story to be a surreal one, I mean it should seem real or fantastic. So, say words like friends, member, etc. (Priyam gobbled up a cake as she heard conspicuously).

Moulya: Guys, don’t argue amongst yourselves. Let’s welcome them. Two girls with long hair. Hi girls, I’m mongo, I mean Moulya. Don’t be scared. We are all friends here. So, don’t worry. J

Prajwitha: Hey everyone, nice to meet you all. I’m Prajwitha & this is my friend Silica. She’s a childhood friend of mine. So, I invited her as Sumith invited me to this party who is my best friend.

Stallace: Well that clears everything. Mongo let your name persists. (Mischievously) Priyam don’t taunt them ok. Don’t sweat on the small stuff. Any friend of yours Sumith is also our friend.

Sumith: Greeting everyone. Good morning. Hi Prajwi, long time no see! Wow, a new friend among us. Great. Well nice name you got there Silica! Let’s have some coffee, pancakes to celebrate our reunion.

Prajwitha: Hi Sumith, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. How did you manage to come up with 6 to 7 characters & assemble them into a story? Moreover, why making me narrator for the rest two stories? I’m puzzled by this thought! The thought of writing something like this itself rattles me up.

Sumith: Well, you are a good speaker & you can depict things way much better than I do. So, it’s in fact in the best interest for us. I write story as a writer & you narrate stuff as a narrator. So, that’s all there is to it. Let’s not talk about the technical stuff (mischievously J), it’s all up to the readers to decide whether I did justice to the story which I’ve been handed over with. Let’s not talk about all the serious stuff. I hope I cleared your thoughts. Let’s play, lets enjoy, after all it’s a long life & we have to make it large dear.

Mongo: He’s right. Let’s play with some stories. It may be your own real ones or you may have stumbled upon your journey of life. Let’s share it all…. Let’s start with Priyam.

Priyam: My story is not a horror one like how Argentine does. It’s a funny one indeed. “Story of glasses”. These glasses were made by a man whose glasses lenses were made by a man whose glasses lenses were made by a man whose glasses lenses were seen by a man who wore this particular pair of glasses. Grandma's glasses which were stepped on by dad who was stepped on my mom who stepped on the poop of a dog whose owner had a daughter that owned the store which sold these glasses.

Argentine: Well I’m done with scary ones. This one is much better. “Don’t look”. What is it that I'm not supposed to look for? Or does it count as looking when I'm looking for what it is that I'm not supposed to be looking for? In that case, I'll have to look for someone to look for what I'm not supposed to look for, before deciding if I should look or if I should not look. So I'm looking for someone who's willing to look for the answer. But if I'm not supposed to look, then I can't look for the someone to look for the someone to look for the someone to look for.

Yashu: I don’t have any such typical story as you guys have. But I remember a funny instance when Silica & I tagged along with Sumith for shopping summer & winter outfits. Sumith said; “Fashion's not about where it comes from, but how you pull it off. In the end, its what's inside that counts”. Let’s see what happens next! 

Yashu -It's okay to have seasonal outfits for summer and winter, right?

Sumith - Winter outfits?

Yashu  - I mean; I've been wondering this for a while. Don't you get cold wearing that in winter? Now that you mention it. Why do you always wear short sleeves? Why do you always have one arm out?

Silica – I’ve notices it as well.

Sumith - No reason in particular.

Silica - Why don't you wear it right? In the first place, why do you need to have one arm out? Because you can't be bothered? How do you put it on, then? Do you put it on right first, and then take the arm out? Why? You put it on right but go out of your way to take it out? Even though it's a pain? Why? Oh, I'm sorry. Did you think it looked cool or something?

Sumith – Ayah! (The boy flustered as he spoke) Maybe I should buy something with long sleeves! It's not like I'm fixated on this style, anyway! I've never once thought it looked cool. I just thought it'd be easier to move one arm this way!

Yashu - (Shouted) Hurray! Winter outfits acquired!

Sumith - Aye! Who said you guys could buy anything?

Silica - I'll take these two.

Sumith   - Aye Silica! You don't even have anything to do with this discussion!

Yashu: That moment was hilarious. The way Sumith got baffled was worth watching. Funny as it is he couldn’t speak anything out of embarrassment. (laughter)

Sumith: Well nothing can be done. “The mind of a genius is a mystery to the ordinary man”.

Prajwitha: I don’t see anything genius behind this. (Everyone started laughing aloud).

Sumith: Let’s move to the next phase. As promised, let’s talk about some good stuff. Time to share what you all have learnt in the past few years. Time to clash knowledge! Hurray. J

Priyam: He seems pretty excited for someone who got insulted on his face. Well it can’t be helped, once he jumps to his excited state like the Hydrogen atom. He gets out of control. (Smile)

Yashu: Well said, when it comes to learn something new, he is always like that. He acts as though he’s depraved of any knowledge & learns from his mistakes, but in turn he teaches us something new as well. That’s what makes this conversation pretty interesting! Silica let’s kill Sumith (literally) today. J  

Sumith: Aye aye, what’s gotten into you two. Don’t you dare bring Mr. Hydrogen in between our conversation. It’s the most abundant element in the entire universe. Why are you acting as if you are my enemy? It’s not funny ok Yashu. Time to start the game. Let’s not carried away.

Priyam: Look who’s talking, the one who always gets carried away with his petty conversations. Funny as it is most of the time I can’t even understand what you are saying. L

Argentine: Aye priyam, don’t say stuff like that. You are amateur which doesn’t mean that you should scold him like that. Well I really like what he shares with us.

Sumith: “Home is where someone is thinking about you”. Well this is something to talk about. I want to talk about war, peace, joy, conflict and the reasons why they pertain for such a long time despite the fact we humans are considered to be superior beings in terms of animal comparison. People always wish others after they die “Rest in Peace RIP”, but why can’t they live in peace when they are alive.  

Priyam: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’- “The whole world is my family”. If people understood this simple concept of Sanskrit. Then world would have been a better place to live in. Well let me first explain this concept elaborately. Mention in the Maha Upanishad, the dream of Hindus mentioned accordingly in the Hindu mythology. Let me begin-the whole world be a family. Modern technology has made world a village with decrease in distance due to modern communication, however this talks about decreasing distance spiritually and binding one another as a family member emotionally. Technology cannot do this. Only true understanding of self and God can do this dream come true.

Argentine: Sanatan dharma(religion) says the basic life style adopted by Indians believed that the whole universe is one family. This gives the Hindus the faith and belief that all humanity is one and are like one family, universal brotherhood is its root meaning-the essence of Hinduism.

Stallace: Without the exact Sanskrit shlokas, the meaning can’t be conveyed exactly.

 “Sarve bhavntu sukhinah, sarve Santu niramaya. Sarve bhadrani pashyantu ma kashchid dukh bhaag bhavet”. Meaning = ‘All people get happiness, all live without any sickness. All people are very good, may God keep them out of sadness.’

“Ayam bandhurayam neti ganana laghu chetasam, Udaracharitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam”. Meaning = ‘Only small men discriminate saying: One is a relative; the other is a stranger. For those who live magnanimously the entire world constitutes but a family’.

“Ayam nijah paroveti, ganana laghu chetasam, Udaaracharitanaam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam”. Meaning = ‘This one is mine [my relative], this one is somebody else/not mine/not related to me. Thus the narrow minded people should give it a thought or two. For broad minded persons, the entire universe/globe/earth is one whole family’. ‘This is my own & that a stranger’ – is the calculation of the narrow-minded. For the magnanimous hearts; however, the entire earth is but a family. 

Yashu: An instance from Mahabharata for narrow minded personality is ‘King Dhritaraastra’. The king is ought to be like a loving father for his subjects. Hence treat everyone equally. But he hardly had any fatherly affection towards Pandavas(sons of Pandu) who were his own younger brethren’s children. Even when he asks Sanjaya(the gifted eye) to narrate the conflict he says, ‘Sanjaya, tell me what did my own sons and the sons of Pandu do in the sacred battle field of Kurukshetra’.

Oliver Goldsmith created a Chinese philosopher traveler (Lien Chi Atlangi) and created the concept “Citizen of the world” made an impact for this broadmindedness. Explains similar traits of equality.

Prajwitha: ‘Human being evolution’ – From animal to human being & to divinized being, the evolution stars from an individual & spread the message of love in a society, nation & finally the whole world. The whole world is one family where there is no religion, no caste, no nationality, no rich, no poor. Just the very thought brings peace. Live a life of human in tune with Nature.

Sumith: It means that those who believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam have moved beyond the conceptions of a nuclear family (husband, wife & children) & they firstly include all their relative in their primary family(a joint family), then they include their community too, then their city, their state, their country, then all the countries, then animals, then plants, all the living beings, also God, hence the material world too(as God is omnipresent even in the material). There is nothing which is outside one’s family, whole vasudha(mother earth) is one’s family. In present times, the evolution of all nuclear families to vasudhaiva kutumbakam would indeed bring a golden age.

Prajwitha: Let’s talk about Love. “Love is nothing but a bug in the brain's electrical circuitry”.

Stallace: I wonder. Even I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. But can’t get anything.

Sumith: Love is something complicated. We’ll discuss it some other time perhaps on a later stage.

Argentine: The concept of Ethnic day. Pertaining to a certain characteristic of people, especially a group sharing a common & distinctive culture, religion, language or likes & dislikes. Also, refers to the origin, classification, characteristics of such groups. On this particular day, these people gather around(transient), only for that day. Y don’t people believe in this concept & expand their celebration to a wider range of people(audience), because this whole world is a family.

Mongo: I want to play with some tongue twists. Silica kindly join me.

Stallace: Woah! Those two seem to be getting along well. I’m glad to see that. Makes me happy J.

Mongo: Let’s start! “If a noisy noise annoys an onion, an annoying noisy noise annoys an onion more.”

“A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.”

“Gobbling gargoyles gobbled gobbling goblins.” “Six sleek swans swam swiftly southward.”

Silica: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?”

“She sells sea shells by the sea shore. The shells she sells are surely seashells.”

“A Tudor who tooted a flute tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to their tutor, is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?"

“Three gray geese in the green grass grazing. Gray were the geese and green was the grass.”

“Swan swam over the sea. Swim, swan, swim! Swan swam back again. Well swum, swan!”

“How many cans can a canner can, if a canner can can cans?”

Priyam: The flower lined path to the stage of the floating world has both a top side, and a bottom side. Those whose lives blossoms have their songs, and for those whose lives don’t, songs are all they have. lonely men & women wander about bringing their cold bodies together at a place where they laugh while hiding their tears with their drinks. light spilling through its door. The music sinks deeply into their hearts. a light and fleeting act of compassion when it touches you, you feel a warmth. a penetrating, heartfelt song.

Argentine: Aye, Priyam. Don’t push your creepy ideas over here.

Sumith: A modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.

Prajwitha: Lets end our discussion here. Let’s not make it too long. Silica, want to grab something to eat? Sorry readers I know you all have been expecting something great or new. But given the situation going on around us, it was important that we discuss some trivial facts of life. Don’t worry story 3 will be little interesting & the ending theme of Reminiscence series will be about the Ocean & its origins. So, those will be really interesting. Hope to catch you all soon.

Sumith: Come on, let’s eat everyone. Pancakes, continentals & many dishes await. Stallace makes the best dishes one can eat as much as they can but still can’t get enough of him. Friends time to leave. Meet you all in the future. It’s time to enjoy.


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