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Dubai Diaries: Find a reason to laugh

Dubai - Back in school, a carefree laugh from the heart was the most wonderful feeling.


Enid Grace Parker

Published: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 12:08 PM

Back in school, it took very little to make us happy. A colorful new pencil, eraser or other bit of stationery which we’d avoid using for as long as we could to preserve its ‘newness’. Racing back to class with a packet of chips from the school canteen just in time for the bell. Laughing uncontrollably at an illustration in a textbook (which no one else found amusing), and being banished from class. A ‘proxy’ period where we would beg the teacher in charge to send us out for games in the sandy playground. Celebrating the end of exams. Uncontrollable laughter was a phenomenon that came naturally to us back then. We’d be sitting quietly in class, discussing school work and suddenly break out in a fit of giggles. Now this could be triggered by anything as innocuous as a the sound of a desk being scraped back or forward on the floor, a loud sneeze in pin-drop silence, or even, as we found to our detriment, a teacher reprimanding us.

As young teens we had great respect for our educators but unfortunately no control over our emotions. I remember being made to stand up and explain why I was giggling over a perfectly serious lesson that the teacher was running through. As I attempted to get some words out all it took was a cheeky glance from a like-minded friend to send me into a fit of hysterical laughter. A few titters broke out in various parts of the class. And what was truly horrifying (and also extremely hilarious) was that I just couldn’t stop laughing! Tears rolled down my cheeks as I was sent out of class in disgrace. We never meant any harm with our jokes and I sincerely hope we never did seriously offend anyone by them. I remember the feeling of mirth — an irresistible tickle in my insides — would come straight from the heart and I’d laugh out loud without (at that moment) a care in the world. And it was the most wonderful feeling. It made the world seem bright and amazing.

My original ‘laughter gang’ eventually split up after Grade 10 going on to pursue different streams of education, some went back to India for further studies. We added new recruits and the hilarity continued for two years. Do I remember exactly what we found funny all those times we were beset by laughter? Of course not. Do I miss the spontaneity and the silliness? You bet. Moving on is inevitable as is the evolution of one’s personality. Changing circumstances and situations affect all of us. Life throws a lot of stuff at you and it’s hard not to be affected. Sometimes my laughter is an echo of the past. Sometimes, I am the girl in that bustling Dubai classroom from the ‘80s, spreading cheer, finding inner happiness with a laugh that endures through the ages. She comes to my rescue, when I need her most.

Enid often writes and giggles at the same time.

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