Laugh and the World laughs with you, Weep and you weep alone!
Laughter is infectious, tears are not. A cheerful face puts everyone in good spirits. Comedy has been defined as the laughter of the mind. Laughter suggests that man can risk above passing misfortunes and petty faults and failings. There is a liberating quality in laughter. Certain incidents, situations, some peculiarities of appearance and character quicken our sense o humor and relieve us of the sense of the humdrum and the commonplace. It is very welcome feeling. There is a common touch in laughter. And there is something private and personal in tears. Sorrow is self-contained. Happiness and laughter have the touch of nature which makes the whole world kin. A sad man’s company is usually avoided. A glad man’s company is sought by all. A sad or tragic ending is not permitted in Sanskrit drama. In Shakespeare’s tragedies there is something to show that though much is lost, all is not lost.
The popularity of the novels of PremChand, though they are full of sad and painful incidents, lies in the fact that they have a happy ending. Laughter makes life tolerable and bearable. Laughter proves the triumph and the victory and the human spirit . without the festive spirit life would become unbearable.
Laughter lends sunshine and colour to the dullness and drabness of life. Even when the situation is one of sorrow, a writer like Dickens or an actor like Charles Chaplin can arouse our comic spirit. Therein lies the secret of their universal appeal. Aesop’s Fables and the Panchtantra are all animal stories, and they are full of humor and laughter. In many children’s story books bushes, streams, trees and flowers are mentioned as possessing a sense of laughter. Laughter means that we can look at life in a spirit of play. Sometimes nonsense and mere fooling or drollery do good to the heart. A humorist is divinely gifted. It has been said that every humorist in real is a sad person. Why then does he arouse in such laughter? This is so as the humorist has risen above his personal sorrow. His sense of humor has freed and liberated him from sorrow. The humorist can laugh over his own sorrow. This endears the humorist to all mankind. He laughs and the while world laughs with him.
But laughter and tears are not so far removed from each other as we usually imagine. Shakespeare’s comedies narrowly escape being tragedies. A humorist makes even tears shine with the seven colours of the rainbow. The human spirit refuses to be dampened by sorrow of misfortune. When sorrow is felt to have a meaning and a message it becomes greater than mere sorrow. It results in what has been called the higher seriousness.
But the tears of most people do not suggest that depth and meaning which makes sorrow great. There is something narrowing and forbidding in the tears of most people. It’s for such people that it has been said.” Weep, and weep alone”. The tears and sorrow of such characters as Rama, Shakuntala, Nala and Damayanti or of the tragic figures of Shakespeare’s dramas have a dignity , a higher plans and a depth of meaning and universality so that in their tears we see the tragedy and the tears of all humanity. It is not a man or a woman whose tears we share but the tears of all mankind. When they weep they do not weep alone.
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