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Laugh your blues away

Even the risk of heart attack is minimised in a person, who laughs well, says the noted psychiatrist Dr.N.Mathrubootham.


HE IS a noted psychiatrist. But he is more popular in his circle for his ability to crack jokes and his inimitable witty remarks. He shot into fame with his appearance in films. He is none other than Dr.N.Mathrubootham, whose forte is to make others laugh. If the name does not strike a chord immediately, he is fondly remembered as `Prof.Doss' (the name of his film character which popularised him), who is a medico-cum-film comedian-cum-writer.

When caught for a quick chat-up while he was in town recently, this multifaceted man could not immediately leave the doctor in him. "Laughter does a lot of wonder," he promptly advocated.

And then he explained with much ease: "Laughter helps drive out tension. Even the risk of heart attack is minimised in a person who laughs well and if such a person experiences any cardiac problem, the chances of surviving it is more than those who are always on the edge."

"When you laugh, only few muscles are put to work reducing the burden on so many other muscles. But when you get angry or worked up, more muscles get activated requiring an increased blood supply. This leads to high blood pressure and finally lands an individual with a health problem. Hence it is better to keep yourself in good spirits" - is his genuine plea.

Dr.Mathrubootham exudes perennial worry for those who get tense by the stress of mundane chores. "One finds people suffering from low tolerance levels these days. They lose patience at the drop of a hat. However, they should not be squarely blamed all the time. Perhaps they have no better option in this fast moving world today. Yet it would be better if they consciously find time to relax," he says.

Though a chronic renal patient and suffering from severe arthritis himself, this psychiatrist has kept his habit of laughing intact. "Everybody comes with his or her share of problems but brooding over them does not help. Rather objective reasoning make things clear and if one takes life easy, it holds one in good stead," says the man with a thousand smiles.

The medico even assures that patients affected with HIV can have lesser worries if they are determined enough to keep themselves cheerful and also take a healthy diet. "They can live longer if they learn to laugh," he underlines.

Though essentially a medical practitioner, Dr.Mathrubootham's penchant for drama is strong. He has directed a film `Puthira Punithama', a sex education movie and written and directed drama serial `Kondalippu'. Besides, he has authored several other literary works including `Iniya Illaram' and `Pen Oru Puthiralla'.

For his exemplary research work on alcohol-addicted families, he received the Dr.Marfatia award from the Indian Psychiatrists Association in 1998. He is also the recipient of Pinnacle award for the English version of his film `Puthira Punithama'. Besides he has also packed the Vocational Excellence Award and the Kamaraj Award among others in his kitty.

During the freewheeling conversation, `Prof.Doss', also gave tips on becoming a better human being. For this, "self criticism is essential'', he says. "It is important because it helps to evaluate oneself, look deeper within and conduct oneself better in the society,'' he opines.

What brings instant smile on his face is when `Prof.Doss' talks about his ventures in the film industry. "I am getting better recognition now. I feel most comfortable working with film comedian Vivek. He understands me well and our on screen vibrancy matches to perfection," he says fondly.

A versatile individual that he is, Dr.Mathrubootham is also known for his interpretations of melodious old songs, which, he claims have medicinal qualities.

"Of late, people have lost the desire to laugh. As a result, the sense of humour is waning. Whereas if a person tries to be happy and ever-smiling, he can become more modest in his approach to work and things in life," he says, sharing how he has sailed through the troughs and peaks in life by always holding a cheerful disposition.

"I don't get emotional when I am confronted with difficult situations. The art of laughing has instilled confidence in me and keeps me going," he says. Indeed, the thespian has shown that laughter is the best medicine for all ailments and when the going gets tough, only the tough can laugh it away.

T.SARAVANAN

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