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Making everybody laugh

NEW DELHI, OCT. 25. To make people laugh, they say is tough. However, for the renowned `Hasya Kavi' Surinder Sharma, laughing at himself comes easy.

``Earlier, people were tolerant of jokes aimed at themselves. But now we prefer to laugh at others. The times are such we can laugh only on seeing some one else suffer. It is reflective of our frustration, our inability to be satisfied with whatever we have,'' says Sharma.

True to the changing times, when we need to have laughing fests to make us laugh, the man whose name has become synonymous with humour, stands with his hallmark straight face delivering the funniest of lines.

Sharma does not flinch when he cracks jokes about his ``hen-pecked husband'' status, and prefers to call himself ``the Ambedkar of Indian men'', somebody who fights for the cause of Indian husbands.

``I definitely do not mind downgrading myself.'' says Sharma. But he ensures that his poetry is ultimately a message for marital harmony.

Funny, his poetry may well be, but Sharma's recitations are often a commentary on the state of the society, the nation and our way of life.

``I started writing poetry after the death of Indira Gandhi, when tension between the two communities was at its crescendo. I felt the need to make an attempt to mitigate it in my own way,'' says the poet who feels his poetry should be a message for social harmony and brotherhood.

So, what makes the man who has left thousands breathless with laughter, laugh.

``Nothing has made me laugh for a long time now. I do not find anything too funny,'' says the man whose dead-pan manner of delivering the most hilarious lines have attained huge popularity among the listeners.

``My style of delivery is not something which I have practised. It comes naturally to me,'' says Sharma.

Like his style of narration, poetry for Surinder Sharma is also instinctive. Be it answering his callers on `Sharmaji se pucho' programme on radio or addressing a live audience, he delivers his lines without deliberation.

But the poet in him laments the loss of Hindi's popularity among the young crowd. Though the avenues for reaching people have multiplied manifold ever since he started, nothing gives him a high than the response of a live audience.

``Today I can reach people in more ways than one and I do appear on FM radio. But among the youngsters, what's the point of reciting the most humorous couplet if they fail to understand the nuances of the language?'' he asks. - PTI

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