As a general rule, the freedom of any people can be judged by the volume of their laughter.-(Anonymous). There is a show on television. A vibrant show they say, but also a show full of bloopers. Since the host of the show herself admits she is just being herself I find it unwinding to watch it whenever I can. People who are invited on her show have to succumb to humility and humour, no matter how much it cramps their style. It's easy to laugh and be laughed at when your host is comfortable with life's imperfections. It was only a decade ago, give or take a couple of years, that we used to be a calm society. Peace loving, with a few people ever having seen a gun, let alone used one. Where Kerosene Oil was used to cook food and not people. Where evenings were spent either sitting in the lawn having tea and samosas, or taking a long walk. Every house had electricity and generators were unknown and mostly looked down upon luxury. The elite had one in their homes for the surprise breakdown that resulted from a major storm that took trees, poles and even animals by surprise. We rarely, if never, locked the kitchen door. Fifty-Fifty was the height of humour (and still is). And children went to school to study, slept in the afternoons and played in the evenings. Homework was minimal but we turned out intelligent enough. Tuition was for the cousin who was going to barely do his Matric and competition was a healthy word that was used to outrun a friend in a race. Times have changed in a blink of an eye. The "lion" has brought with him misery to this country and he just won't admit it. Sitting on his throne, the blind man cannot see what the population is facing. We are stuck in quick sand and every hour, every day we are suffocating, sinking deep under. He has taken the word "power" too literally. Think  Mummy should intervene and give him the spanking he deserves. A mother's tight slap always undoes many a wrong When I list the wrongs I do not know which one to put on top. It is like answering a tricky question where all the choices will make you look bad; is the food crisis worse than the energy crisis or not having money to buy food worse than there being no food in the market It is like being stuck between the rock and the hard place or the devil and the deep blue sea or any two places where death is evident. I am not morbid but I hate to say no to my children when they want to eat something and I cannot either afford it or cannot make it available. In a country that is predominantly agricultural, it is inhumane and downright sadistic for the state to export everything to other countries and let its own people sleep hungry. To die without a sound or a fury, and only thirst on the lips and hunger in the stomach. A yearning to have been recognised as the person who let you rule while he was trampled. There are incidents of killings and suicides reported across the country where people are succumbing to desperation bordering on salvation. Unable to provide food and utilities for their children they will either kill them or sell them before committing suicide themselves. Do we call ourselves a society at all? Hoarding what, smuggling it to another country, I look at the state and feel contempt mixed with anger at its impotency to curtail this cruelty. Back to the morning show; on one of the recent mornings, Uncle Sargam was invited. Those of us who did not know television before cable and are not aware of the fact that other than PG rated movies and stage shows of an annoying kind, there was a time in Pakistan television's history where all houses only had antennas and the only channel was PTV where entertainment included thought provoking dramas and hilarious comedies. From that era bygone comes Uncle Sargam the evergreen puppet and the man behind the puppet, Farooq Qaisar, who is the pioneer of puppets in Pakistan. With a keen eye on the society and its death, politics and its inability to grapple with problems of the common people. Uncle Sargam used to make us laugh and think at the same time. This was the Zia times, which was similar to the present times; so subtlety and a tongue in cheek manner helped because the politicians and military rulers alike could not actually tell when they were being targeted or laughed at So, there was Uncle Sargam on the morning show, tearing the state apart so subtly that I could not help smiling, then laugh and roll my eyes. I invited my daughters, aged twelve and five, to join me. The levels of perception were different but the common factor was the same...laughter. For those few moments the troubles lifted and melted away. For a few moments we laughed and let tears roll down (from laughing too much). For just a few moments I forgot my troubles. I learnt that it is important to forget one's troubles, but for a moment only. More than that could lead to forgetting altogether and looking away from reality and for that we already have the state, unfortunately but true. I pulled my children closer and prayed to God for "peace and happiness" to take a U-turn and come back to my country. E-mail:aaakn92@gmail.com