WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
A teacher is giving a lecture on population: “In India, after every 10 seconds a woman gives birth to a kid.”
A Sardar stands up and says, “We must find and stop her.”
What is the first image that pops up in your mind when you hear the word ‘sardar’? Undoubtedly a rolly-poly turban-clad man with his hands up in the air laughing with glee. Reminds you of someone?
Well, while Navjot Singh Sidhu may be the fun-loving Punjabi whose incessant laughter is the heart of weekend evenings on The Kapil Sharma Show but Sardarji jokes remain all the rage in the country despite the never-ending moral dilemmas that surround them.
However, keeping all those dilemmas aside, Jayanta Mallick pens hilarious Sardarji jokes without meaning to offend any community or culture.
Forget Not to Laugh is an odd collection of 260 jokes mostly on Sardarjis all under 158 pages.
Despite all the fun, Mallick comes with a noble cause. The book closely explains the scientific needs behind laughing on a daily basis.
Both the back cover and preface of Forget Not to Laugh deal with the effects of laughing on the body. They detail that laughing is a lot more than simply enjoying life or making one feel good. It has a lot to do with proper bodily functioning that needs to be kept in mind.
The author’s intention behind writing this collection is to make people aware of the scientific benefits of laughing.
According to the World Health Organisation, India is one of the most depressed nations of the world. Despite a largely young population, India has a great burden of mental and behavioural disorders in terms of most lives lost due to disability or death adjusted for population size. Mental health only worsens due to the fear of stigma and discrimination.
Mallick mentions that laughter relaxes the body and relieves tension by relaxing the muscles. It is an effect that lasts up to 45 minutes after. Laughing also triggers the release of several hormones in the brain. These are called endorphins that promote an overall sense of wellbeing.
He writes with genuine concern and desire to make people laugh and relieve their stress so that they lead healthier lives.
Decreasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, the jokes range from hilarious, rib-tickling humour to simple jokes that will bring a smile to most faces.
Some jokes are based on teacher and student relationships while others are about the famous duo Santa and Banta. Several of the jokes are ones that people may have read or heard before.
It would have definitely brought a lot of variety to the book had Mallick included funny aspects and jokes about people from all parts of India. After all, people across the country have laughable idiosyncrasies that are not restricted to any single community like the Punjabis or Sindhis.
The themes of the jokes are mainly based on Sardarji’s various experiences with different people including teachers, classmates, monkeys, doctors and police constables.
Keeping up the Funjabi Tadka, the other jokes have varied themes about the quarrels between husbands and wives, office interview exchanges, petrol price hike, girlfriend-boyfriend jokes, international travels, relationship tussles and political banter.
Forget Not to Laugh is a light read and can be easily read in a single sitting. It can also be read on-the-go anytime and anywhere in bits and pieces and need not be read from the first page to the last.
The last joke is an enumeration of the characteristics of a Sardar and it counts up to 34 funny features that are side-splitting making Forget Not to Laugh end on a high note.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Forget Not to Laugh using the link below.