I wouldn’t care less if you don’t laugh at my jokes. However, I would be embarrassed, and would be embarrassed for years to come, if I didn’t laugh at your joke. Yesterday I had a chat (IM!) with a friend (you’ll know who you are soon enough!), and he cracked a .. umm, dramatic dialogue, which I should’ve caught as a joke. Yet, possibly a sense of drowsiness (oh, that’s an excuse..), caused me to imagine a touch of sincerity in his statements (The fool was in love!). Anyway, I felt ridiculous later. I don’t think my attempts at hiding my naivety had worked.
What’s with embarrassment anyway? Every single time this happens, I get reminded of a certain few of these instances that happened to me long long ago. I still feel the embarrassment long after the the five year period, long after many five year periods put together. Part of the problem with these few instances is that I cannot bring it up anymore: I cannot talk to most of the people involved, since I’m no longer in touch with them.
When I was a little little kid .. maybe, 1st or 2nd grade.., I might have asked my Mom the purpose of the bellybutton. I think, parental guide books should have a rule: never tell jokes to your kids. Because Mom told me that the bellybutton holds the skin together: it’s like the button on your shirt, remove the bellybutton and poof.. your whole skin comes out.
What was I supposed to believe? I was a kid! Anyway, although I might have been fascinated by the thought at that time, it receded to a small inactive corner of my mind for many many years.
Until, the topic came up among my friends when I was in some .. maybe 7th grade. And I opened my mouth. I just said it out. As soon as I said it, I knew… I knew that something was not right. It just could not be possible. I can’t recollect what happened after that … I hope my friends just took it as a joke.
Anyway, every time I don’t understand a joke: this is the incident that comes to my mind. I don’t know why, and I can’t do anything about it. Can I search through my orkut friends list to find out all my friends in Delhi at that time and send out a letter: I’m sure that’ll make me feel a lot better. Here’s your letter! Go! Make fun of me! I was young and stupid back then!
While I’m at it. In Delhi, around 7th grade, I should confess that I was still innocent. Innocent of a certain knowledge that would probably form the foundation of all humour through the rest of my life. But I was beginning to smell it in the air, I knew that there was something very suspicious about this business, for which I got a word later on: sex. There was this other kid, about two or three years my junior, who once on the school bus asked me: How are children created? If I had known the true facts, I might have feigned innocence. But there were all these bigger kids around, and probably I didn’t want to seem like a loser. So I laughed at him: oh you fool! you are just a kid! you are so innocent and naive! you don’t know how children are created? Ha Ha Ha! He persisted, and I told him, I imparted my knowledge to this poor chap — knowledge I had learnt from a Bollywood movie featuring Akshay Kumar, — children are born when a man and a woman kiss.
I feel a lot better already.