Event Laughathon 2009 brought forth snorts, chortles, giggles and laughter aplenty

It was a call for all and sundry to unite under one roof for hearty laughs and cheery smiles. What better way to welcome 2010? In the end, with some determined will, Laughathon 2009 saw people come in droves. It was arranged by the Humour Society of Coimbatore at the Gee Dee Auditorium. On for its third consecutive year, it didn't take much convincing to purchase a ticket to a week-end of unabashed laughter. The string of events had something for everyone. Theatre, stand-up comedy acts, skits and spoofs –the plate was stacked with humour. But then again, there's always more than one good reason to laugh in complete abandon!

One couldn't get enough of Dr. G. Lakshmipathi, President of the Humour Society.

Pure genius

The man embodies pure genius, and is in the same league as other internationally acclaimed stand-up comedians. Greed for more of the good doctor's sense of humour was evident. He appeared in spurts however, first during the inaugural session, then some more the following day with his short film clips and a skit, which also saw other members of the society perform.

Dr. Lakshmipathi knows the fundamental philosophy of good humour – a fantastic sense of timing, disarming self-deprecation, keen observation of people and society, generous supply of spontaneity, an openness to think laterally, and having that ‘zing thing' that only a good comedian enjoys. Under G. Lakshmipathi's leadership, one is assured that there'll be plenty of laughs just waiting to happen in the years to come! One can gush on - he is simply that good.

The inauguration was followed by the critically acclaimed play ‘Hamlet- The Clown Prince' by celebrity director Rajat Kapoor. As the name suggests, Hamlet was torn to shreds in the hands of a few quirky clowns. In the midst of chaos and gibberish they still managed to unearth the essence of the tragedy. Chilling and truly sad moments, also found one laughing out loud. The paradox was a bit disconcerting, and yet it helped to know that even in the midst of sadness one could emerge with a smile.

The interaction of the actors with the crowd was good fun too. The concept of the play is unique. One wonders however, as to how differently the play might have turned out, had the actors used Indian accents instead of those drawn from the West. Plenty to explore with perhaps a Tamilian, Bengali, Punjabi, and Kashmiri on stage, all trying to read Hamlet in an Indian context through comedy!

The following day had a series of guest speakers which included Indu Balachandran (ad guru and humour writer), and Dr. CS Ramachandran (leading surgeon from Chennai). The former provided a presentation on ‘Tanglish' ( ‘tamilization' of the English language).

Dr. CS Ramachandran had people in splits with the memories of his career in the medical field. Unfortunately, YG Mahendran (television, film and theatre personality) was unable to attend. He was slated to enthral the audience on the subject of humour in films. Master of Ceremonies was played by Bosskey (once again, a television and film comedian). Humour Society members also took the stage with a skit and the spoof ‘Kaun Banega Lakshmipathi'. All in all, it's good to know that there are plenty of people in Coimbatore who can see the funny side to life and can enjoy it wholeheartedly. That's a lot to take cheer from, as we start a fresh and new year.