What started 14 years ago in a corner of the KBR Park now resonates with sounds of victory through the simple act of laughing. Welcome to the Laughing Club, where age is not determined by numbers
The early morning rays of the sun shine bright on the trees in the KBR park, giving the leaves a strange golden hue. Here to savour the freshness and the quiet, are the walkers and the joggers. What seems to be an otherwise calm and peaceful entity in Jubilee Hills, is broken by the sound of crying peacocks, and a few happy people laughing away. While some ‘throw their worries into the sky’, others share their jokes on a piece of paper. This is the Laughing Club — an organisation with more than 50 members, who come every morning to spread the joy of laughter.
Ramachandra Reddy is one of the most active individuals in the group. He is 81, and he is as enthusiastic as any young member of the club. The secret to this he says is simple. “I live and enjoy life to the fullest.” Being the president of the Laughing Club, he says, has made his life more fulfilling than he could ever imagine. In his jogging shorts and a t-shirt, Reddy is the personification of liveliness and enthusiasm.
He shares his experience with us, “Twenty years ago, the KBR Park was not open to the public. A couple of us protested against this and filed 13 cases against the chief minister then, and won every single one of them. I remember the time we took a rally to Chandrababu Naidu’s house — looking behind, I feel happy to not have given up. There is a sense of satisfaction today because of that. Interestingly, the judges and forest officers who opposed us, come to walk today and greet us!”
The Laughing Club started around 14 years back in Hyderabad and today has a list of members who swear by the benefits of simply laughing. Says Reddy, “Dr Madan Kataria, who was the brains behind this amazing club is all set to start a Laughing University in Bengaluru. This shows how important the organisation is today. There are different types of laughing, and we try all of them, including physical activities to make it a wholesome and benefitting initiative.”
Reddy’s passion for a healthy living doesn’t stop with himself. He believes in spreading the joy of living, a healthy life to as many people as he meets. Which explains why, he strictly opposes any hike in the membership fees to access the KBR Park. He tells us, “There was a move to hike the fees of the park from `500 to `1,000. I was against it as I strongly believe that the park should be accessed by as many people as possible. I met the
previous CM and convinced him to reduce the fee, which now thankfully is `800. For senior people like me, it still remains `500. At the end of our talk, as Reddy walks towards the exit gate, he is greeted by many walkers. It becomes increasingly obvious, the respect and gratitude that people have for the man who made it all possible.
A friend of Reddy for over 50 years summarises it all, “Reddy is a friend for life, not just to me, but to many others. He embodies simplicity in living and a high quality in thinking. I am proud to still be associated with this man,” he says.
The Laughing Club is open to all who are young in their minds.