If laughter, indeed was the best medicine –
he surely was one of the finest doctors.
Being sad, and making the world think otherwise,
also placed him in the ranks of the finest actors.

Legendary was his wit, contagious was his charm…
thousands flocked to hear every word he spoke.
A cacophony of guffaws and giggles followed,
each time he adroitly cracked a classy joke.

His countless patrons loved and adored him,
for none but him could so lighten their spirits.
He basked in glory and swam in showered silver,
as jesters from far and near failed to match his wits.

Being sharp, he knew where a man’s funny bone lay,
and was adept at brewing new brands of comedy.
He became an obelisk of cheer for the crestfallen,
and they assiduously sought him as a voodoo remedy.

All was well – till his heart was pure…
and no innuendo of insult tainted his tales.
But that sweet poison called fame made him giddy,
as flattery began tickling him with its sculpted nails.

His ego soon catapulted to worrying heights,
and rancid narcissism swiftly took over his mind.
With a critic’s eye did he now see the entire world –
no longer was his humour guileless and refined.

Insinuations and insults became the new flavour,
of this new and hideous form that his humour took.
Half the world he called imbeciles; the other half idiots,
and darted towards their failings like a hungry rook.

He began to engage in mimicry – the diet of buffoons,
and turned the high and mighty into a caricature.
He lost all respect quicker than it was earned,
as a tragic fall got superimposed over his stature.

The very people who till then were fans of his wit,
now locked him under a discerningly cold gaze.
Up in lashing flames went that celebrated charm –
a sinister wave of resentment now numbered his days.

And when he died – a man-hater and a hated man,
Oft calling the world rogue, and oft being called knave.
The very man, who had lived to make people laugh,
had not a single soul to shed tears over his grave.


NISHANK MEHTA  |  17.08.2009