I don't know what stress is - Thanks to
the Hindi states of India, if you think of laughter, chances are
that the face of Surendra Sharma - the straight faced, glum
looking poet - will spring to your mind. Surendra Sharma is a
well-known name not just in the literary circles in India but
among the masses as well. He has also travelled abroad
extensively and entertained Indians away from their
As a satirist his fame has reached far and wide and his works
have caused many a laugh riots. An amazing fact about him is
that although he makes all and sundry laugh, he himself seldom
laughs and maintains a straight face most of the time. In fact
it is this demeanour that a lot of people find amusing and so
start giggling just by looking at him. An avid Osholover, he has
regaled audiences at scores of Osho events. He was the guest of
laughter at the Laughter Week recently at Osho World Galleria in
New Delhi when Ma Bodhi Shashi interviewed him.
Q. When did you come in contact with Osho and how?
A. I never met Osho in person. Once I got a chance to listen to one the cassettes of his audio discourse and that became a turning point in my life. It felt as if the notions and beliefs I have so strongly held on to are clinging on to me like deadwood. After reading him I realised the expanse of His thought.
Q. What do you think is the effect of Osho in your profession that is laughter?
A. I was also critical about him like everyone else but all my preconceived notions and dogmas about caste, religion and country suddenly gave way. Earlier I enjoyed jokes where Christians were made an object of humour. Now even if someone else enjoys these jokes I feel a certain irritation. Now I wonder how I could enjoy all that I hate now.
Q. What did you learn from Osho and how did you put this to practice?
A. Well, I have learnt that in serious discussions you cannot do
away without quoting Osho in some or the other context. That is
because you do no have solutions without Osho. On many burning
issues, for instance, the explanations and solutions Osho has
given us, nobody has been able to do that. Reading Osho is very
different from understanding, appreciating and putting His ideas
into practice, in my opinion is no less than a revolution.
Words are the greatest force in this world. No less than 26
countries did not allow Osho to enter their boundaries. Osho did
not have an atom bomb or any weapon. Just the strength of
thought was what these countries could not digest. Now there is
no more thought or thought process in this nation. Osho came at
a right time but left very prematurely. This country has taken
satire as humour. A frustrated man cannot create humour. It
always arises from deep down, when all distortions have ended.
This happened when I read Osho. Frustration was gone because
when you set targets you are bound to be frustrated. I was freed
of the entire clamour inside me and I became relaxed. This
relaxation brought about a better quality in everything. Today
all things we do are commanded by brain. Heart, love and
aesthetics are becoming redundant. We celebrate the Day of Love
and Mother Day every year! Does this mean that you can go on
hating others on 364 days? One day for Mother…Why? What should
have been a feeling that remains in us all the time, now a Day
has been fixed for it?
Q. How have you translated Osho in your personal life?
A. I don't know what stress is. I believe on keeping my feet on the terra firma no matter how high I go. One of my children is physically challenged. But I have never let him realise that he has any handicaps. He does all his work by himself. Children should grow by their own, of their own, on their own. Even if they fail I remind them that this is not Hailey's comet that will come after 76 years or the Kumbh that is held every 12 years. You cannot teach a child swimming through theory lessons. For that he has to take a plunge. The endeavour should be to make them sensitive and receptive towards arts.
Q. What is Osho to you?
A. Osho says that you can feel the fragrance of a flower but how can you express it? You can feel the beauty but words will fail if you will try to describe it. If you love someone, it's only your heart that witnesses it and knows it. Language then becomes useless and inadequate. Words are not even needed.
Q. How have you adopted religion in your life?
A. Being a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist is not religion.
The free flow, the effortless blending, the intermingling. This
is the concept of religion for me. Never ill-treating anyone,
not hurting anyone by words or deeds. That is true religion for