Thursday, March 18, 2010

Laugh out loud

Laugh out loud

R. Priyadarshini

16 March 2010

Say the word recession and some Dubai residents literally laugh it away. Don’t believe us? Well then you’ll have to check out the Emirates Humour Club to see what’s so funny

The fifth floor auditorium at the Karama Centre in Dubai recently roared with laughter when the Emirates Humour Club (EHC) held its first anniversary function attended by around 350 people. What started with a handful of residents sharing jokes has now become a hugely popular event around the city.

“EHC also stands for ‘Eeee, Haaa, Corner’ where once a month, ordinary people gather, laugh it out and become extraordinary people. This is one forum where people take humour seriously and everything else in life lightly,” say KG Guna and Suresh Krishnan, who are the brains behind the club. Both are seasoned entertainers and communicators with a penchant for humour.

‘Know humour? No worries! No humour? Know worries!’ is the tag line of the venue, and sex, religion and politics are forbidden subjects. True happiness is to make others happy and members literally live by this rule, insists Suresh.

The president of the club opens proceedings with a humorous welcome address which is followed by the general humour session, and after breaking the ice, calls out people from a list to the podium to share some humour.

Joke sharing is the basic requirement for a humorist. Applied humour like mimicry, slapstick comedy and miming are also in the fray.

Humorous skits are part of the activities at the EHC club and with every session, special skits spanning 10 to 15 minutes enthrall the audience, covering everything from contemporary news to interesting facts from around the world.

The U.A.E. is a rare country where people of more than 150 nationalities live in harmony. How does EHC intend to break the language barrier as its present programmes are mostly in Indian languages?

“The EHC is planning to have its second chapter in English. This is primarily aimed at expanding our horizon and includes numerous humour lovers from other sections of the community, as well as children. We are open to one and all,” says Guna.
“Many people still hesitate to take to the stage and share a joke. If I say something funny, they will laugh. But the basic idea of the club is to do just that,” he says with a smile.

Dr Sujatha Parthasarathy, an active member of the club, believes ‘humour is infectious’.

“At a time when there are so many negative thoughts thanks to the recession,” he says, “nothing proves better than loads of humour to lighten our burden.”
Guna and Suresh echo the same sentiment.

“People asked us where is the need for such a club at a time when recession is striking everyone hard. We replied that this is precisely the right time as nothing offers better remedy than comedy.”

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