The funny side


The funny side

The Rupa Laughter Omnibus edited by Ruskin Bond will not make you laugh out loud but a few will bring a smile to your lips. Light and easy to read, these stories are interesting. Bond in his introduction says, "There are basically three kinds of humour: wit, satire, comedy. The wit (in the manner of Wilde, Shaw etc.,) is funny at the expense of other people; the satirist is funny at the expense of the world; the comedian is funny at his own expense, or he sees the funny side of human existence.

The best of the lot is "The Ghost Ship" by Richard Middleton. "A Comedy in Capricorn" by Morley Roberts and "The Inn and the Dog" by Jerome K. Jerome are old favourites and pleasant to read again. And of course "Last Tango in the Far Pavilions" by Bill Aitken takes a humorous look at the sad degradation of the hills. Tongue-in-cheek descriptions like, "the municipal authorities were not satisfied with the hand of God however and had used up their allocation of cement on providing an artificial lake with cemented bottom and sides. In place of water there were painted pink and blue stripes of fluorescent brilliance... " The selection of poems however, is more promising especially with "Major Canamus" by A. G. Shirreff, "Company" by Aimor A. Dickson and "Song for a Beetle in a Goldfish Bowl" by Ruskin Bond are humorous and sure to appeal. This collection of humorous stories, sketches and verse are compiled to help the reader see the "funny side of life" and follow the edicts of Dr. Johnson, "Laugh and be well!"

The Rupa Laughter Omnibus, edited by Ruskin Bond, published by Rupa & Co., Rs. 295