As I said earlier somewhere, I love reading,hearing and collecting humorous articles,poems,tit bits etc.
The bye-line of my blog is also amply clear-” Laughter is the Best Medicine.”
In this connection, I now go back to a letter of mine published in THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS news paper of 13th August 2000. ( nearly 9 years ago )  
Sometime in June 2000, FE had reviewed a joke book published by Khushwant Singh.
Yes that ‘young’ novelist,journalist,humorist etc who is still actively involved with writing at the age of 94 !
I quote an opening para about him from Wikipedia :
Khushwant Singh : born 2nd February 1915 in Hadali,Punjab, (which now lies in Pakistan) is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. Singh’s weekly column, “ With Malice towards One and All ”, carried by several Indian newspapers, is among the most widely-read columns in the country.An important Indo-Anglian novelist, Singh is best known for his trenchant secularism, his humor, and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behavioral characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as an editor of several well-known literary and news magazines, as well as two major broadsheet newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s.
(Those who wish to read in detail about him,may click on the following link or cut and paste it in the address bar 🙂

Now,I happened to read the review of his joke book as well as the joke book itself,borrowed from a friend.I found that some of the jokes were stale and repeated from other sources.What took me by surprise,was the price of the joke book  – Rs.250/- !!
At that point of time,FE also used to come out with a humorous column titled ” LAUGH TRACK” in its Sunday issues.
I used to read that column as well and cut out and keep the columns in my collection.
So,this is what I wrote to FE and it was published as under :

A Letter
Dear Editor,
This refers to the review of Khushwant Singh’s Big Fat Joke Book in the June 6 issue of FE on Sunday .As the erstwhile editor of The Illustrated Weekly Of India  ( often dubbed as The Lust Rated Weekly due to Khushwant Singh’s penchant for such stuff ),he regularly included Sardarji jokes in his editorials and the Weekly’s joke page titled ‘Ha’ was very popular.
Singh has confessed somewhere that his joke books fetch him the highest royalty,much more than he receives for his other literary works.Hence,even at the ripe old age of 80 plus,he keeps pushing joke books to tickle the funny bones of his loyal readers.However,the price of the book Rs 250,seems to be a good joke in itself. There may be a few takers for this effort,which presumably is a rehash of old jokes hitherto often heard in various cocktail circuits or read in the humor columns of other magazines.
Frankly speaking, your ’ Laugh Track ’ column is more rib-tickling.With its witty collection of jokes,it is certainly the one bright spot in our Sunday mornings,which adds sugar and spice to our morning cuppa tea.
Say,why don’t you compile all the ’ Laugh Track’ columns and publish them as an accompanying supplement to one of your future issues ? For a change,send a copy to Khushwant Singh for his review !
As for me,I regularly cut,clip and keep ‘Laugh Track’ columns and on Mondays,during the lunch break,I share them with my office colleagues who have all become ‘Laugh Track’ addicts by now.Keep spreading the smiles.
Thanking you,
Yours laugh-trackingly,
J S Broca

Dear Readers,what was so special about this letter,you may be tempted to ask!
What I liked was the following bye-lines printed below the above letter by FE:
This week’s ‘Laugh Track’ is dedicated to you,
Mr Broca ! May your tribe increase.
I  now dedicate this posting to all the readers of this blog !

As a bonus, readers can see a short animation clip about a
person laughing if you click on or cut and paste the
following link in the address bar. ENJOY !!

This entry was posted in Comments to print media, Humour, People, Social Commentry. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. J S Broca says:

    I now dedicate this posting to all the readers of MUSE! I again appeal to the Editorial Board of Muse to seriously re-consider my earlier suggestion and think of re-starting their earlier feature “A-Muse-d” ,which as informed to me, was dis-continued for there were no takers for such funny stuff. ?? (!!)

  2. G S P RAO says:

    Brocaji, I need to correct your impression. “A-muse-d” was started with the objective of providing a light-hearted feature. It was planned as a section and we had invited contribution from readers to it. Unfortunately there were no responses. Then it got reduced to just a column. Since its editor had far too many assignments on his hand he could not devote much time to it and regretfully we had to discontinue it. If you are willing to shoulder the responsibility of handling the section/column, we will reintroduce it. Incidentally, the sketch used for its editor was that of a Sardar!!

    We believe there is a lot of humour literature in all our regional languages. The section could bring focus on these.

    G S P Rao, Hyderabad
    Jan 20, 2009


  3. Atreya Sarma says:

    My dear Jatinder, it is said, thanks to their largest circulation, jokes have exhausted themselves; that there are no new jokes; they repeat themselves, only slightly adapted. Would you please illuminate me? Anyway, there is no problem with me if I am fed on stale jokes, for I can never recall any beyond a day. That’s why amnesiacs like me are the hottest target for stale joke books as by Khushwant Singh, though priced at Rs 250 or more!

    U Atreya Sarma, Secunderabad-56
    Jan 21, 2009

  4. Dr Pooja says:

    Jitoo Sir,
    When I opened the link, I saw a cartoon laughing and so many other videos came up.I have seen a few.I shall open that link often to see those funny clips of humour.I shall read in detail about Kushwant Singh Sir.Before I submit my response, I would like to tell you something.Singh is King.Best wishes.

    Dr Pooja G Bhuyar, Bijapur
    Jan 21, 2009

  5. j s broca says:

    Dear Shri Rao,

    I am indeed thankful to you for your clarification about the reasons why your humour column did not take off. Sir, after my retirement in May 2009, I would like to take up the offer you have made to me. However, you will have to teach me a few tricks of editing, handling the incoming responses etcetera. It is said that an old monkey cannot learn new tricks. I shall make all efforts to prove it otherwise. Thanks for your continued support Sir!

    J S Broca, New Delhi
    Jan 21, 2009


  6. j s broca says:

    Dear Shri Sarmaji,

    Thanks for your feedback. You must be aware that a clever housewife,can turn leftovers in the kitchen and the fridge into new dishes with slight changes and addition of masalas, garnishings etc and a husband rarely finds out the fact.So it is with jokes too,as I believe. They can be slightly changed,re-packaged and re-cycled and still be loved by all those who enjoy them. Even a repeat of a joke heard earlier helps jogging our memories by asking, “Now where did I hear that joke earlier ‘ or ‘Who had told me this joke earlier-was it Broca, or Mallick or Mr Rao.?” Once you re-collect the facts, you can laugh double the dose. Only thing you need to ensure is that the person telling the stale joke should not be led to know that you have heard it before. So, ENJOY the fun as long as it lasts, Sir!

    J S Broca, New Delhi
    Jan 21, 2009


  7. j s broca says:

    Dear Doctor Puja ji,
    Thanks for your lovely response. A Doctor may not need a king,but a King will always need a Doctor! I am happy that you enjoyed the funny clips. Keep smiling !! I would love to remain a humble commoner in the realm of an enlightened comedy king!

    J S Broca, New Delhi
    Jan 21, 2009

  8. J S BROCA says:


    22ND OCT 2012

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