You Can’t Be Serious…..A Personal Rant

You Can’t Be Serious…..A Personal Rant.


I recently had an excuse to re-examine my sense of humor (or what passes for it) as some people had complained to the admin of a common watsapp group that my humor was offensive and my jokes off-color and it was common consensus that I be kicked out unceremoniously. That gave me pause. And plenty to think. Me? Offensive? Or did they just not get my jokes? My sense of SLY humor? The blame must be with me for what was the point of making a joke if people don’t get the joke at all? So I went back to the group conversations trying to do a post-mortem to see where and how I went wrong. And I confess that I was shocked to see how offensive I sounded compared to the others there. But first, let me share with the readers of this blog how icky and unpleasant my comments were when the others in that group were all so sweet and encouraging, like this (random sample):


You are great

No you are

You are the best

Oh no, not at all, you are

I insist that you are

No I say again it’s you.


Compared to all this sweet, syrupy and cloying conversations, my contributions were sounding tartly and tangy, I guess. I was more like the boy who shouted “but look, the emperor has no clothes on”. Maybe true, but not required to be said out aloud. Very hurtful to the feelings, this blurting out of truth is. Lack of tact and diplomacy that’s what it is. And this made me think long and hard on how I ended up becoming like this and I resolved to take a long journey back into the past to see the key moments in my life which shaped me like this.


Ladies and Gentlemen, if you will just hop on to the time machine and come with me to the past. There, look down there, on a bright summer morning in September a baby is born laughing. Ok that’s too far back I guess. So let’s fast forward a bit to my residency days in college.


{The following episode contains a lot of blood and gore and is not recommended for the faint-hearted}



My first day on casualty duty at the old government general hospital in madras (opposite central railway station) was a unique experience- and not merely for the unique stink/stench of the casualty room or the unique size of the mosquitoes there, hanging around to feast on the abundant blood available. As i recall vividly even now, my first ever case i saw that day was a cut-throat case. The patient was a gangster and had been involved in a gang war and someone else had tried to chop off his head separate from his body but had only split his throat from ear to ear till his head was half dangling off his neck With the throat being cut through halfway and the main blood vessel in the neck- the carotid artery slashed, the patient was leaking blood everywhere in huge spurts. As i was on my first day there and the next senior person on duty that night was a greenhorn postgraduate from the general surgery department and this being sometime around 2Am in the night and both of us were feeling the effects of a whole day of work plus constant calls all through the night we decided to send for help from the duty surgeon on call that day.


But till he arrived to take over, we half-trained newbie’s had to keep the patient alive and there was no other option but to tackle the problems ourselves till the senior surgeon came. Between us we decided that the postgrad would suture (stitch) the wounds while i would assist in controlling the bleeding to keep the patient alive and also keep the area to be stitched together free of blood so he could see what he was doing. That was the plan. But once we removed the towel tied around the throat, which had acted as a tourniquet to control the blood flow our plans like all good plans, went to dust in an instant. The postgrad tried his best to suture fast, i tried my best to help him hold the tissues together and all the time to ignore the blood being sprayed on my face like a fountain every few seconds (arterial blood in rhythm with the heart’s pumping) and together we worked fast and desperate for the next half-hour or so till we finally gave up for he had lost too much blood coming to us and we couldn’t (or rather his body couldn’t) compensate even with the fluids (at first) and blood (later) we pumped into him to compensate for the blood loss. That incident taught me something about life, which I have never forgotten. Human life is fragile. Or rather the human body is fragile. Anything and almost everything can hurt us badly. Our body is one of the weakest of all in the animal kingdom and yet we do all the great things we do through two unique human qualities – an indomitable spirit and an unquenchable sense of humor.


That’s why I just take it with a pinch of salt when well meaning people advise me to “be serious”. Followed often by “this is no joking matter” or “is this a laughing matter?” or “you find this funny?” or “can’t you be more mature?”…sorry, I just don’t look at the world the way you do. Show me the gloomiest of circumstances and I can always find a little humour in it. Might be black humor in the bleakest of outlooks, but its still humor and still funny to me. And that’s how I look at the world, this world around us with its pain and poverty and problems everywhere, where a good laugh is the only thing which makes this life reasonably tolerable for human beings. We live far too poor a life if we cannot have fun in almost everything and anything. And we live far too short a time to take life very seriously. I live by this principle and I can confide in you (in secret) that I have had far more of a fulfilling life (and fun life) than almost all the serious persons I know of personally.


And just in case you ask, it’s not a defensive mechanism I have developed to deal with the pain of disease and death all around me. It’s just the way I choose to be. Or rather the way I was born with. When I trawl my memory, I remember being sent to the headmaster’s office when I was ten years old because I laughed aloud in class at the teacher when she said something absurd. Cut to 15 years later in college- when i was twenty five years old – and doing my first year post graduation, I was sent to meet the dean, because, you won’t believe it; I was caught laughing aloud in microbiology class at something absurd the lecturer said. This time I was responsible for taking along with me two boys and three girls of adjacent rows but I was blamed for being the main culprit who set off the laughing. Looking back on my long crime graph, I find that whenever a group of us got caught for doing something mischievous, somehow the blame always ended up on poor, innocent me for suggesting the idea of it all. Now, before you accuse me of not learning from my mistakes, I admit and confess that I can’t help laughing at absurd statements, absurd things and absurd people. I just can’t “not see” when something is too preposterous for words. I know that there are people out there who act blind and serious and fore go the pleasure of having a good laugh. But not me. I get my laughs when I can and as I can.


And I never spare myself too. If I find I have tripped over my own feet and landed on my own face, I would be the first one to start laughing, even before I brush myself off. And I don’t mind being made the butt of others jokes. In fact, I love it when people give back as good as they get. Even if I am ribbed continuously, I enjoy it as much as the ones pulling my leg. Which brings me to my doubt on why women don’t appreciate humour when it is directed at them and don’t like to be made fun of. Before you start abusing me as sexist, let me clarify that this only applies to pretty women (or those who deceive themselves they are). The prettier they are, the more intolerant of humour they behave. It’s as if they expect that every male should sing their praises, blinded by their beauty and anyone who differs and pulls their legs immediately raises their ire and they show a sharp temper. And as I am often the guilty party in such instances (for I rarely lack a retort), I keep getting the advice to “act serious””grow up” act your age” and all those standard phrases people use when they don’t have a good enough comeback dialogue. This attitude of finding fault with the person instead of the joke is something I find generally in most women I come in contact with. Except for the rare few women who appreciate humor wholeheartedly. If you find them, be best friends forever with them. Those kind of girls are rare gems- they exist rarely, very rarely in a minority while the majority are the hair-trigger temper types who don’t like to be laughed at. Well, it takes all kinds of weird to make this world and who am I to complain?


Anyway to get back to the premise of this post, I accept that my sense of humor was maybe too “different” for the group I was with and mayhap I should have toned it down. No one is infallible and we all live and learn each day. On the other hand, the only time you are ever going to see me serious is when I am strapped to a pulse oximeter in an ICU. The rest of my life I am going to have a big laugh treating life itself as a big joke, as it is meant to be treated. And no, I am not going to grow up or act my age and i am going to laugh aloud at everything I find funny or absurd including the emperor’s new clothes. I find this world incredibly humorous and you will too if you look at the big picture. Laugh hard, live happy, enjoy your life today, for soon you will be dead is my mantra and that what I advise to all of you. And I will continue to inflict my “unique” sense of humor on all the world, BE WARNED. Read me, talk to me, hangout with me or be my friend at your own risk. Company not responsible for consequences. Now is that a fair warning or not?


One thought on “You Can’t Be Serious…..A Personal Rant

  1. Indha Whatsapp app nala evalo koyapam! I was wondering what prompted a post by another friend and I find the answer to that here 🙂 anyway peace be with the world!

    And hope you never have to be strapped to a pulse oximeter in an ICU.

    Laugh hard, laugh long live happily 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s