On June 18th, Mumbai’s high court informed police that something had to be done to stop the laughter around Sheetal Talao pond. For the past three years the Sheetal Jogging Association has been coming to the pond to engage in laughter yoga, devotional singing, and light exercise. Vinayak Shirsat and his family are claiming that the groups’ activities are causing “mental agony, pain, and public nuisance.”
The Sheetal Talao pond is not necessarily the nicest pond, but those in the Sheetal Jogging Assocation claim that it is the only open space in the area where they can conduct their routine. Specifically, there is one section surrounding the pond where there is shade that the group utilizes for meditation and laughter yoga. Unfortunately, for Shirsat, the shaded area is right in front of his apartment. Roughly a dozen club members would perform devotional songs, clap for seven minutes, and laugh out loud for two minutes. All of this would take place around seven o’clock in the morning, outside of Shirsat’s window.
Kamal Ahmad Khan, a doctor, has stated that “laughing brings peace and good health.” In addition, physician Madam Kataria claims that even fake laughter confers physiological and psychological benefits. Kataria’s website estimates that there are currently “more than 6,000 laughter clubs in 60 countries.” The participants have seen the benefits of this type of exercise, and some of those who live around the pond have actually been persuaded to partake in the activity as well.
Police have advised the group that they must quiet down, and the group has been responsive to that request. Since the complaint the Sheetal Jogging Association has made a concerted effort to try to whisper as they laugh, and keep “a pillow of air in their palms” while they clap. It seems as though the group has been scared into silence claiming that Shirsat comes from a family of lawyers. Only time will tell what will happen with this case. The case is set for a hearing this Thursday, June 28th.
Do you think Shirsat was wrong to seek court assistance to silence the Sheetal Jogging Association?
SOURCE: The New York Times