Sunday, November 29, 2015

Once upon a baraat

I seldom get to laugh hysterically. Most of my going-to-die-laughing moments happen unannounced. My favourite laughfest moments are random in nature. As a kid, i remember laughing like a moron after watching this cartoon about a baby who eats everything that comes his way. He's perpetually hungry. Fed up (ironically) of him, the government puts him in a rocket and bids him away to moon. However, their relief is short-lived as they notice later at night that the full moon is changing to new moon. I still laugh thinking of him. Similarly, i also laugh thinking of the way Charlie Chaplin behaved in most of his films. The one where he's boxing and the one where he's stuck in a cage with a lion destroy my belly. The kind of stuff that crack people up—online or offline—leave me asking for more. Humour is too meme-based nowdays. I'm not trying to assert my comical superiority here. Just sharing a story that cracked me up although it left my friend bewildered why i found it so damn funny. He told me about a wedding procession back in his hometown which happens to be a tier 3 city in Uttar Pradesh. As is the thing with northerners in our country, they like making noise. Since firecrackers weren't enough for this purpose, they had rifles to help them up the decibel. But something untoward was about to happen that night. As the baraat was proceeding through the street, curious onlookers started gathering on the sidelines and womenfolk were poking their heads out of their balconies and windows to grab a better view. The bridegroom seated uncomfortably on the horse was goaded by elderly men from his family to shoot a bullet towards the sky. Needless to add, the young man was hesitant to go ahead with the proposal. To make him feel better, one avuncular figure took the rifle and shot three times. — perpendicular—before handing the weapon back to him. The poor chap was left with no option but to pull the trigger. In his clumsiness, he ended up shooting a woman who was standing with her relatives on a nearby balcony. She died on the spot.

OK, so why did i find this incident funny? Apparently, after that night, people in this neighbourhood stopped checking out a baraat proceeding on the street. On the contrary, whenever they hear a band baaja approach, they run back into their houses asap and shut their windows tight. 

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