Laughter the best medicine
Posted on January 30th, 2012

Dr.Tilak Fenando

Following my column last Monday about ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”home style in LondonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ I thought of adding one more into the array due to some feedback requests. These stories are not fabrications but out of true to life incidents over a period of time. Hilarious these may sound, but equally it demonstrates on individual ingenuity and how some have come out of the woods in certain tricky situations.

There is a golden rule which implies that oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s shortcomings, inexperience or problems should not be focused and criticized. But is there anything wrong in looking at the funny side of a situation that has really taken place? Sometimes it helps to review such situations and laugh with them and by no means to laugh at them. Health wise it is said that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”laughter is the best medicineƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢!

My memory goes back to late 1980s when Wolli (not the real name and may his soul rest in peace) took up his first overseas diplomatic appointment in the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. Whether he possessed a driving licence at home was immaterial, but somehow he arrived in London with an International driving licence.

He was a fast learner. Only after a few months of landing in London he saved up enough to buy the High CommissionerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Alpine White Mercedes Benz 200; second hand, fully hacked but it was worth as a prestige symbol, he thought.

Tongue in cheek

Upgrading from an Austin Mini which cost him Sterling Pounds 75 initially, Wolli was now seen ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”glidingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ along the Bays water road like a cock on a brick wall! His second move to drive overland to Germany became somewhat memorable. On a week-end he was practising to drive on the right hand side of the road along the Hyde Park when Police cars gave chase assuming he was a drunken driver.

The Police pounced on him rather harshly. But as cool as a cucumber, Wolli quite calmly claimed diplomatic immunity. Irritated Police officer with a stiff upper lip remarked: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sir, in this part of the world people drive on the left hand side of the road and not on the rightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚! With tongue in cheek Wolli replied: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Yes officer, you see, I will be driving to Germany tomorrow and thought of having a bit of practice inside the park driveway before I embark on German autobahns.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Exasperated officer would have thought, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”God Bless the diplomatic Corps.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

Amused royalty

My good friend dentist, the late Dr. Nalaka Fernando, was a witty person and an authority on English poetry. Once he was invited by the High Commission to the Buckingham Palace Garden Tea Party in summer where the Queen intermingles with Commonwealth folk informally. When the Queen approached the Sri Lanka marquee the High Commissioner introduced Nalaka to the Queen, thus:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Your Majesty! This is one of our eminent dentists in London, Dr. Nalaka FernandoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

As Nalaka bowed down to greet the Queen, she blurted:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-How nice it would be Mr. Fernando, if we all do not have to visit the hair dresser and the dentist from the time we are born?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Nalaka was instantaneous to react rhythmically: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Yes MƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢am, that indeed is quite true, but I have heard of an old adage that goes to say:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”All pain is mental, but the one that is both mental and physical is DentalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚! Quite amused Queen was heard saying, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Can you repeat that again please, I want to add it to my collection.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚


A young posh lady from Colombo residing in an up-market block of flats at Holland Park in West London once sprained her ankle. She requested a home visit from a physiotherapist and every time the Englishman tried to touch the affected area the young miss in pain looked at her flat mate and mumbled in Sinhala : ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Me yaka monawa karanawada mandaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

(donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t know what this rascal is up to). When he looked at her face, she would, in a most enchanting manner, say: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Thank you dear, I can feel itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s getting betterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

The treatment came to an end and the lady sat down to write out a pay cheque for his services. She was heard muttering to herself while writing out the cheque, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Me muusala yaka mage kakula kewa (this rascal ruined my leg) and handed over the payment with a polite ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”thank you very much dear, so sweet of youƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. The Englishman walked up to front door, stopped for a second, looked back and said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-By the way madam, I have been to Sri Lanka and have lived in Anuradhapura for a while and I speak perfect Sinhala.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ She almost fainted and dropped ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”deadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ on the carpet with embarrassment!


It was a period when tea bags were not discovered in Sri Lanka when citizen Perera accompanied his wife to London during his Sabbatical leave for further studies. Mrs. Perera, bless her soul, had never seen a tea bag before, so she removed the tea bag from the packet, cut into two, poured the tea leaves in the bag into a pot and boiled with ginger to make spicy tea.


Manikhamy suffered from severe constipation. He thought it was perhaps due to lack of home grown green roughage or mainly due to the unaccustomed seating position of his commode in his London flat. He finally consulted his General Practitioner who examined him and diagnosed his problem as having a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”lazy colonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. The doctor prescribed Manikhamy some Glycerin suppositories. God bless Manik! He thought they were some kind of modern laxatives similar to that of Jayapala Guliya and swallowed the whole lot. It was too late when he read out the directions on the packet that said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Moisten the tip of the suppository before insertion – should not be swallowedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

Human beings need humour to overcome stress and relax to be happy. On that context we Sri Lankans will become more efficient and creative when we apply our ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”newlyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ learnt sense of humour in our daily lives.

2 Responses to “Laughter the best medicine”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Absolutely right ! Laughter is the best medicine !
    Thank you once more, Dr Fernando.

  2. lingamAndy Says:

    Laughter the best medicine- Agreed
    My cut & past …..
    Polish Divorce
    A polish man moved to the USA and married an American Girl. Although his English was far from perfect, they got along very well. One day he rushed into a lawyer’s office and asked him if he could arrange a divorce for him. The lawyer said that getting a divorce would depend on the circumstances, and asked him the following questions:

    Have you any grounds?
    Yes, an acre and half and nice little home.

    No, I mean what is the foundation of this case?
    It made of concrete.

    I don’t think you understand. Does either of you have a real grudge?
    No, we have carport, and not need one.

    I mean what are your relations like?
    All my relations are still in Poland.

    Is there any infidelity in your marriage?
    We have hi-fidelity stereo and good DVD player.

    Does your wife beat you up?
    No, I always up before her.

    Is your wife a nagger?
    No, she white.

    Why do you want this divorce?
    She is going to kill me.

    What makes you think that?
    I got a proof.

    What kind of proof?

    She is going to poison me.

    How do you know?

    She bought a bottle at drugstore and kept in the shelf of bathroom.

    Then what?

    I can read, and it say…..


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