Let's laugh it off! Ex-Mumbai Club cricketer trying to make a difference through free online sessions

Updated: 16 April, 2020 08:23 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

That's what club cricketer-turned-laughter therapist Kishore Kuvavala wants viewers to do through his free online sessions during Coronavirus lockdown.

Kishore Kuvavala (left) during one of his laughter sessions at Chowpatty before the Coronavirus-caused lockdown was announced
Kishore Kuvavala (left) during one of his laughter sessions at Chowpatty before the Coronavirus-caused lockdown was announced

With most people struggling with the Coronavirus pandemic-caused lockdown, staying upbeat is becoming a challenge.

Former Mumbai club cricketer and coach Kishore Harkisandas Kuvavala, 73, who is also a laughter therapist, is trying to make a difference albeit in the virtual space.

For the last 18 days, every evening at 6.30, Babulnath-resident Kuvavala goes live goes live from his Facebook account in an attempt to make people laugh and relieve some stress.

'Stress, a bigger threat'

He claims around 350 to 400 people join him live everyday for his fitness and laughter sessions. "Most people are worried about Coronavirus even if they are confined 24x7 to their homes. They are only watching and hearing about the pandemic during the day through various mediums. Corona will not be the biggest killer, but stress will surely have a huge impact on everybody.

There is nothing else left for people to talk about except Corona, it seems these days. So, I am trying to ease a bit of tension that's surrounding us today. Laughter is the best medicine. I have been championing this cause for over two decades now. I feel it can make a lot of difference to people especially in these times," a fit Kuvavala tells mid-day.

Kuvavala has always believed in leading an active life. He played competitive cricket on Mumbai's local circuit till he was 50. Kuvavala owes a lot to cricket. He got the Bank of Baroda job for his cricketing credentials. "I led the bank team too," he says with pride.

He played the famous Dr HD Kanga Cricket League in the 'A' Division for Young Maharashtra Cricket Club. He was also a Managing Committee member of the Mumbai Cricket Association in 1988-89 before taking up coaching.

Fitness first

Kuvavala decided to work towards spreading awareness on the importance of fitness after giving up the sport. In 1995, he began his journey as a laughter therapist, starting with lessons at Priyadarshini Park. Before the lockdown, Kuvavala and his group of 30 to 35 people would gather each morning at Chowpatty on Marine Drive for their dose of laughter. "Do we ever laugh at ourselves? When we do that, we laugh from the heart. There is an expression and feel involved in it. It is the best form of exercise. It fills you up with positivity," explains Kuvavala, who is often invited by top hospitals for laughter sessions. He also conducts laughter therapy activities for corporates. "I do that for a fee, though," he clarifies. "People nowadays have forgotten to laugh," he remarks.

With anxiety and sadness around due to the pandemic, all that Kuvavala wants to ensure is that people do not stop smiling.

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First Published: 16 April, 2020 07:04 IST

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