Ram is a businessman and due to lockdown his business is already running in loss. He is worried about the bank loan and interest that is due and also the receivables that he is unable to recover due to lockdown. He has a family of 7 to run; look after their food, clothing, education and all. Things were just on track before the lockdown but now he is much stressed due to the financial crisis that he has to face after the lockdown. He is worried about the re-establishment of his hotel business and payment of rent and bank debt apart from meeting family needs.

Ram has three daughters, two sons and a wife. But these days he feels not so happy and depressed. He looks worried and irritated. All the children are home; schools closed. Apart from his financial worries, he is also finding it tough to maintain peace at home as all the children are home and they keep fighting for one thing or the other; he also sometimes feels irritated listening to his wife talking about the quarreling children and asking to control them.

He was also worried that his children are all busy at internet surfing and watching movies or else all day long which was the only time they didn’t fight. But continuously looking into the mobile phones, TV and laptop is equally dangerous for the health and mind of the children. So these days, Ram feels very low and do not know how to bring laughter in the family. Almost everyone had not laughed out loud for long.

Seeing Ram very upset, one evening his wife asks him, “What happened? Do not worry about  money, we can manage in less money as well. But this way your health will be ruined.”

Ram says, “It’s not about money dear. I know, I will find out some way for sure or learn to live in few until the business gets settled again.”

“Then why you look so sad?”

Ram says, “Because I see there is no zeal in me and you and children. All are simply busy with nothing. There is no laughter in home.”

“Oh dear! We are all happy. Don’t worry! They are happy. But yes, you are right even I think I have not laughed out loud for a long time. There has to be an occasion to laugh, isn’t it?”

Ram says, “I work so hard for your happiness and nothing else. I want laughter in family and life.”

Ram’s wife calls all children and shares what Ram wants.

The children agree with his statements.

“Life has become boring. Even I don’t remember when I laughed out loud, though we should do it regularly.” says his elder daughter.

Ram says” Laughter is a natural way to keep selves happy and healthy. Laughter is the best medicine as you all know. But these days, it has become so normal to live a stressed life. People think, it is necessary to be stressed to become successful which is completely wrong. Rather, laughter improves the flow of oxygen in heart, mind and body and inspires hopes. It’s a natural pain killer. Laughter reduces stress and boosts immunity system to fight against anti-bodies.”

His daughter pointing towards her brothers adds, “Laughter relaxes whole body and releases feel good hormones, helps forget anger and pain and enhances good mood. It is most important for growing teenagers who have mood swings and irritation very often.”

Mother says, “You are right darling! Laughter is a free and easy to use medicine. It is contagious as well. Not only it improves mood but also strengthen relationships and helps defuse conflicts.”

Ram says, “Okay then, let’s make a plan to add laughter in our daily routine.”

Daughters add one by one.

“We must practice smiling often then.”

“We must learn to be grateful for whatever we have and count blessings.”

“We should try to include humors into our talks and activities.”

The boys suggested.

“We can watch funny movies and comedy shows together instead of watching alone and crack jokes.”

“One thing I know is, we can’t scold someone or fight or get angry with a smile in face. And I really don’t want to get angry and irritated with my irritating sisters. So I will smile often and laugh.”

Everyone laughs at that note.

Ram adds, “We can do laughing in the morning together for no reason. All the blocked veins should receive oxygen. I want you all to contribute to my dream of laughing out loud and being a happy happy family.”

Everyone nodes yes and laughs out loud, louder, louder and even louder till their eyes filled with tears of happiness. They now laugh many times a day for no reason and even for a small reason. Ram is very satisfied the glowing faces and shining teeth.


Ritu Gupta

Birgunj, Nepal