Today is the day set aside to have fun with friends and neighbors with practical jokes and harmless pranks. April 1 is celebrated as April Fools’ Day around the world and although it is not a public holiday in any country, it is celebrated by playing pranks or spreading hoaxes. The free ticket to the Tower of London on April 1, 1698 to watch the lions getting washed was one of such hoaxes. On this day, the practical joke or the prank is usually revealed by shouting “April Fool!” and the victim becomes the April Fool. It is believed that the April Fools’ Day is celebrated only until mid-day and those who play pranks after that become the April Fools themselves. Although the origin of this tradition is not clear, it is believed to have emerged from the Middle Ages during which some European countries used to celebrate their New Year on this day. Those who celebrated New Year on January 1 found them foolish and called them April Fools.
During my school days, we had to be always careful on this day because we could be fooled by friends at any time of the day. When I was in class 3, one of the cooks of the school told me that Sir Kishore, one of the teachers in the school had my parcel sent by my father and that I needed to collect it from him. I was so excited that I instantly rushed to his house. During those days, we were considered lucky if we ever received parcels from home. I had not expected that my father would ever afford to send me anything, but the unexpected news filled me to the brim with excitement and delight. But when I knocked at his door and told him that I had come to collect my parcel, Sir Kishore was shocked. It took him a while to realize that it was April 1 and told me that I was fooled. My heart froze with shame. I felt really stupid and sad at the same time. When I got back to school, the cook laughed at me and asked me if I got my parcel. I kept quiet and did not say anything. I didn’t know that there was a day in a year for people to tell lies and fool others. Anyway, it was a fun time for those who knew how to play believable pranks and jokes. As I grew up, I began to enjoy more on this day deceiving friends and spreading shocking rumors in the school. There have been some funny incidents as well. Once I and my friend decided to make a teacher an April Fool early in the morning and went to his house to tell him that the Principal was asking him to see him immediately. But when he asked us why we were there, we could not say anything. We could not help but burst into a laughter. He knew we had come to make him an April Fool but he won the game. That was a real flop show. However, it used to be a great fun during those days. Today when my kids play tricks on each other to make April Fools, the memories of my own school days flash back to life. I really miss those olden days in Khaling.