Of the Fools- by the Fools for the Fools

Of the Fools, by the Fools, for the Fools

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Of the Fools- by the Fools for the FoolsWith all of us living in a fool’s paradise—why worry if there is just a day for being fooled! Some People can’t be fooled on April Fools’ Day because they were fooled too many times during the entire lifetime. Perhaps this is the only day to take people seriously.

By Nazarul Islam

Some People can’t be fooled on April Fools’ Day because they were fooled too many times during the entire lifetime. Perhaps this is the only day to take people seriously.

I recall how scheming we were in our younger days to send gullible people on a ‘fool’s errand’ to mark April 1, the most light-hearted day of the year. From simple jokes to elaborate hoaxes, friends and relatives who consider themselves to be wise, guard themselves against falling into the trap.

It is one day when the fools gain some social recognition, but not without letting the so-called wise be under the illusion of having all the fun. The switch from winter to spring has been a time for celebrations across diverse cultures—the Romans had a festival named Hilaria, the Jewish calendar has Purim and the Indians clown themselves with colors on Holi.

I am reminded how it had played differently on Iraq’s erstwhile President Saddam Hussein though, who was at the receiving end of a rather cruel joke. ‘April Fool’ was the code name of the double agent who had the last laugh in getting the dictator caught from his hiding. Come to think of it, it is one day in a year that reduces the contrast between the wise and the foolish– lets the wise person know that she or he could easily be a fool at a given time.

The fool’s day, April 1, is an old age tradition that caught popular imagination since the calendar was reformed in France in 1564. Those who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system had jokes played on them. It caught on and became a global ritual ever since. Such has been its popularity that even films were themed on the subject: the 1964 Saira Banu-Biswajeet starrer ‘April Fool’ had a song which continues to be played till this day, to mark the only day in the year for the fools.

But there is something seriously amiss in our lives in recent times though. Playing pranks on April Fool Day has become passé. Is it because our digitally obsessed world has saturated us with all kinds of silliness, more than what we can possibly process? Far from being a medicine, it has reduced laughter into a laughable hoax. Aren’t we been bombarded by unscrupulous videos of people doing and advocating stuff that only makes us look anything but foolish? No one would like to look that way. Isn’t it?

My sense is that most people have become cautious to avoid being publicly fooled. They may have their reasons but I wonder if such a protective approach to life makes them any wiser. Perhaps not, as it restricts us from being aware of our vulnerabilities and makes us less tolerant of the others who outsmart us. Learning to laugh at yourself, it is said, is the simplest path to inner peace that helps us to be more resilient and kind. With this, I’m ready for any prank. Are you?

My friend Stewart is not a great fan of this day. He admits he can take a joke, but just won’t like to BE a joke.

With all of us living in a fool’s paradise—why worry if there is just a day for being fooled!

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About the Author

Nazarul IslamThe Bengal-born writer Nazarul Islam is a senior educationist based in USA. He writes for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.