Saturday, March 27, 2010

33. Who is fooling whom?

Gone are the days when preparations for April Fool's Day would be well orchestrated. From simple jokes to elaborate hoaxes, friends and relatives would remain on toes for being the intended beneficiaries! Whatever the prank, the trickster would usually end by yelling to his victim, `April Fool'. Saddam Hussein was at the receiving end of one such cruel joke, April Fool was the code name of the double agent who played a role in his downfall.

April Fool has remained in popular imagination ever since calendar was reformed in France in 1564. Those who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st had jokes played on them. Even films were themed on it: 1964 Saira Banu-Biswajeet starrer April Fool had a song to signify the day. But playing pranks on April Fools Day now seem passé.

Hasn't making fool become a national pass time instead? Government is fooling its citizens; ministers are fooling their portfolios; elected representatives are fooling the democracy; judges are fooling the law; teachers are fooling the books; market is fooling the consumers; actors are fooling the medium; and news is fooling its readers. Closer home, the vegetable vendor fools the housewife; the autorickshaw fools the passenger; the policeman fools the hawker; the employer fools the employee; and the doctor fools the patient. The list goes on...!

Once in a fool's paradise who bothers for April Fools Day!