English Vocab

Who’s Afraid of Laughing Women?
Renuka Chowdhury’s booming laughter enraged leaders in Parliament. That one merry female parliamentarian should be singled out for ridicule is not surprising.
As girls, our generation was often reprimanded (to speak in an angry and critical way to (someone who has done something wrong, disobeyed an order, etc) for walking with long, manly strides (a confident or assured walk full of purpose or arrogance) or laughing out loud. Girls from good families were only permitted to giggle when teased by fathers, brothers and uncles or when they cracked (they thought) funny jokes, but heaven help a loud female if she scowled
(frown in an angry or bad-tempered way) and said it’s not funny. Or worse, burst out laughing when they were delivering a serious but silly spiel (to utter, express, or describe volubly or extravagantly). That was long ago. But judging by the nastiness that Renuka Chowdhury’s booming laughter uncorked in Parliament, it appears things have not changed much for women. If they had, one merry female parliamentarian would not have been singled out for ridicule, from among so many who also dared to laugh or raise slogans.
Laughter and women of all ages have together created a non-threatening camaraderie (mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together). Women, as they sit working or just sunning themselves after a hard day, oftenmirthfully (filled with joy) swap stories about their daily humiliations: The gropings, dog whistles, the name-calling and leery beery jostlings (push, elbow, or bump against (someone) roughly, typically in a crowd) in public places everywhere. But the collective laughter in these all-women gatherings is a sort of gallows humour, Hamlet edition. And laughter being the best medicine, a sympathetic woman will cackle (laugh in a loud, harsh way) and cap one dark story with another, lest the eyes begin to glaze over with sadness.
As they mature, women learn not only to just disregard rampant sexual discrimination and the language it has spawned — a standard part of their lives. They also learn to keep such experiences limited to their own all-female groups. The shared wisdom is: Why empower the gropers, flashers and hecklers by giving them too much importance and turning grim (unpleasant or shocking to see or think about) when no one from the other sex, those who make the rules and enforce them, will actually help you. Life teaches women that such stories, if recounted to boyfriends, brothers, husbands or fathers, do not evoke sympathy or self-examination, but only walk-outs. Or worse, a grand rage of the “how-dare-he” kind. Most men will begin talking about enforcing the law (ha ha), or retaliation (a close synonym for fifty shades of honour killing, so more ha ha).
Men, who have mostly been brought up to believe that their ability to make females laugh can win them sexual favours, believe by the same logic that it is badly brought up women of “easy virtue” or women who are (even more sinisterly) their political rivals, that will dare laugh aloud when they are displaying great oratorical skills. Very few men will spot the angry suppression of female laughter immediately as a matter of power. So, let’s say it like it is: Since it is fashionable these days to begin all arguments with the Licchavi republics and the Mughals, let’s tell readers that there is a rather long civilisational line of illustrious women, both the divine and mortal, who laughed openly at men and the follies of their making. Iambe, the ancient Greek goddess of laughter born to Pan and Echo, was understandably the best mate to the patient and forever kind, Demeter, Mother Earth. In our own divine establishment, we have the merry Durga who laughs when Mahishasur makes a pass at her and then gleefully (in an exuberantly or triumphantly joyful manner) proceeds to behead him. A little later comes the lore of Draupadi who laughed when Duryodhana, smitten with envy at seeing the great palace of the Pandavas, slipped and fell, triggering the war in the Mahabharata. Marathi writer Iravati Karve, though, points out that the story was actually cooked up by Duryodhana to enrage his blind father who held the nuclear button. Anyway, the damage was done and war ensued.
There is yet another tale recounted among the followers of the Nath sect, about Mandakini, another controversial princess from the Simhala Dweep (the other being Padmini). It is said she once saw a god flying across the seas and burst out laughing when she happened to catch a glimpse of his unmentionables through his fluttering clothes. The god descended at the sound of the disrespectful laughter and cursed the girl to be banished to a Triya Raj, a kingdom of women with no males. Later lore tells us how the charismatic Matsyendranath, Guru of Gorakhnath, the founder of the Gorakhpanth, entered this mythical kingdom and forgot all his sadhana and yoga and lived happily surrounded by good-looking women. He was eventually abducted and taken back to the ashram by his obstinate chela, Gorakhnath, who broke in (do not laugh), dressed as a female percussionist.
Let’s fast-forward and see how Renuka Chowdhury’s booming laughter has once again enraged the leadership resulting, if not in a curse or a war, then in a questionable personal jibe at her. In 2018, with the country close to the next general elections, there is nothing apolitical. And since Chowdhury laughed during an important prime ministerial speech on the presidential address, the nasty aside has been immortalised as a part of it. Ever since then the matter has become the subject of a complex, layered, almost Talmudic debate both in Parliament and the media. But in the meanwhile, this may be a good opportunity to include all well-meaning rational men (yes, one realises through the social media that they exist in surprisingly large numbers) into this debate. And let us together raise the rhetorical question from The Sound of Music, “how do you solve a problem like”, well, publicly laughing women in a democracy?
Courtesy-Indian Express (National)
1. Reprimanded (verb) : (To speak in an angry and critical way to (someone who has done something wrong, disobeyed an order, etc.) (धमकाना, डांटना)
Synonyms: Rebuke, Scold, Reproach
Antonyms: Praise, Reward, Commendation, Applaud
Example: When I misbehaved in school, my teacher sent me home with a writtenreprimand for my parents to sign.
Verb forms: Reprimand, Reprimanded, Reprimanded
Related words: Reprimander, (noun) Reprimandingly, (adverb) Unreprimanded, (adjective)
2. Strides (verb) : (A confident or assured walk full of purpose or arrogance.) (लंबा डग, फलांग)
Synonyms: March, Stalk, Pace, Tread, Step, Walk
Antonyms: Drag, Scribble, Haul, Linger
Example: When the interviewers saw their next candidate stride into the room with confidence they automatically considered him a serious contender
Verb forms: Stride, Strode, Stridden
Related words: Strider (noun)
3. Scowled (verb) : (Frown in an angry or bad-tempered way.) (भौह चढ़ाना, मुंह सिकोड़ना)
Synonyms: Glower, Frown, Glare, Lour, Pout, Disapproved
Antonyms: Smile, Grin, Beam, Chuckle
Example: Whenever my husband looks at our noisy neighbors, he has a scowl on his face.
Verb forms: Scowl, Scowled, Scowled
Related words: scowler, noun, scowlful, adjective, scowlingly, adverb
4. Spiel (verb) : (To utter, express, or describe volubly or extravagantly) (बकना, गपशप करना, लंबी-चौड़ी बातें बढ़ाना)
Synonyms: Talk, Patter Gossip, Jive, Balderdash
Antonyms: Silence, Quiet, Tranquil, Dormant
Example: The teacher gave his usual spiel about the importance of completing all assignments, but the students just yawned.
Verb forms: Spiel, Spieled, Spieled
Related words: Spieler noun,
5. Camaraderie (noun) : (Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together.) (सौहार्द, भाई-चारा, मेल-मिलाप)
Synonyms: Friendship, Comradeship, Fellowship, Good Fellowship
Antonyms: Hate, Solitude, Loneliness, Animosity
Example: Because of the camaraderie they shared, the soldiers trusted each other with their lives.
6. Mirthful (adjective:) : (Filled with joy) (आनंदित, ख़ुशदिल, ज़िंदादिल)
Synonyms: Cheerful, Cheery, Hilarious, Gleeful, Laughter-Filled, Jovial
Antonyms: Miserable, Dejected, Sad, Cheerless
Example: On the morning of my wedding, I felt particularly mirthful because I was marrying the man of my dreams.
Related words: mirthfully, adverb, mirthfulness, noun, mirthless adjective
7. Jostle (verb) : (Push, elbow, or bump against (someone) roughly, typically in a crowd.) (ढकेलना, धक्रका देना)
Synonyms: Push, Poke, Thrust, Nudge, Jab
Antonyms: Pull, Repress, Dissuade, Tug
Example: In the cafeteria, the students rush through the lines and jostle to get the best tables near the windows.
Verb forms: Jostle, Jostled; Jostled;
8. Cackle (verb) : (Laugh in a loud, harsh way.) (कुड़कुड़ाना, खिलखिलकर हंसना)
Synonyms: Chatter, Giggle, Babble, Titter, Murmur
Antonyms: Moan, Bawl, Blubber, Roar, Lament, Deplore
Example: She cackled with laughter.
Verb forms: Cackle, Cackled, Cackled
Related words: cackle, cackler, noun,
9. Grim (adjective) : (Unpleasant or shocking to see or think about) (विकट, निरानंद ,दुखी)
Synonyms: Scary, Gloomy, Ghastly, Bleak, Gruesome
Antonyms: Cheerful, Bright, Warmhearted, Compassionate
Example: The soldiers were grim after losing many of their comrades in battle.
Related words: phrase:- ‘The grim reaper’(a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe.)
Grimly (adverb) Grimness (noun)
10. Gleefully (adverb) : (In an exuberantly or triumphantly joyful manner.) (प्रसन्नतापूर्वक)
Synonyms: Cheerfully, Felicitously, Gladsomely, Rejoicingly, Merrily
Antonyms: Joylessly, Sadly, Unfortunately, Wretchedly, Dolorously
Example: When the ice cream truck arrived, the gleeful children would run up to the vendor with smiles on their faces.
Related words: Gleeful (adjective) Gleefulness,

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