Ever since I was a baby, I was known as the child with the golden smile. My parents would always say my smile would take me far. People often ask me why I am always so happy, and I usually reply with a sarcastic remark like “Because I didn’t swallow a doorknob today”, or something along those lines. But the real reason is that I have a quality that not everybody has, a sense of humour. Humour has many definitions, but to me, it is the ability to perceive and express something that is absurd or incongruous.


Humour is a complex reasoning function which often leads to laughter.

Contemporary humour theorists have begun to formulate hypotheses outlining the possible inborn intellectual structures underlying humour. Humour’s conspicuous presence in the behavioural range of humankind invites adaptive explanations.

Perhaps the most primitive ethological behaviour linked to humour and laughter has been contemplated by Van Hooff (1972). He proposed that the possible genetic roots of smiling could reside in the “bared-teeth display”, seen in many mammals, while laughter could be related to the “relaxed open-mouth display”, observed in primates and often associated with playful activities.

Panksepp and Burgdorf (2003) detected a 50 kHz chirp in young rats during social interactions resembling play, and now wonder if this positive affective vocalization could be related to human laughter.


Humour is widely classified into different genres, but without a universal value set upon the quantitative. Thus the genres will be classified qualitatively.


We’ll start with anecdotal comedy, which refers to comic personal stories that may be true or partly true but embellished, with the greatest example for us proud Indians being Zakir Khan.

Zakir Khan performing on stage


Following this is dark humour, which is grim or depressing, deals with misfortune and/or death and a pessimistic outlook, but still intends to make the audience roll on the floor with narratives involving burlesque and irony, with the greatest influence on the same genre being Bobcat Goldthwait.


The rising genre award goes to satirical humour. It is the kind of comedy which makes you clench your jaw from making yourself to put a stop to you crying, while hitting you with factual realities about our society, covering topics varying from religion to the educational system. Who’s greater than the hosts of the Daily Show, Trevor Noah and Jon Stewart, for this persona of prominence?

Hasan Minhaj on Patriot Act


Humour is meant to help you be able to relax and detach from the busyness of life. At the end of the day, all of the things people worry about are not worth the toll it takes on their health and happiness.

I encourage you to forget about what that one kid said about you at school or that big mistake you made, instead, crack a joke, or maybe watch a comedian and try not to take yourself too seriously. Spend less time worrying about things you can’t change, and more time doing what you love. Make a choice to spend time with positive people who also have also tapped into their sixth sense: their sense of humour.


– Vaasvi Sethia, Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra


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