01 Apr You are the biggest fool, I’m told
A fushia Barbie bag, crispy uniform, new shoes and freshly-wrapped texts which were a source of infectious excitement for the last few days at home lost its sheen last night.
With the new academic session beginning today, I thought I had a situation on hand to diffuse for I almost believed my child was getting the blues the previous night.
I decided to give her some pep talk. So sat her beside me and began playing the mother hen to perfection. “It doesn’t matter if all your friends are not in your class. You can still meet them during recess…we’ll invite them home…this is life…you will have to shift schools, cities…”
The expression-less countenance of my daughter worried me, and I decided to change the topic totally. I started on Earth Hour assuming to getting her to speak up and then gradually tackling the school issue, when she said: “It is of no use. Street lights will be on. Metro stations, airports, shopping malls all such places will have light. Everybody will be watching TV now. Especially tonight, because it’s the last day of holiday. They are fools. They should cut off power to save energy. Asking people to volunteer will not help.”
Ok, so whoever the ‘they’ are, my child was substantially updated. Grabbed my opportunity and said: “Wow! so you know all about Earth Hour. It’s a shame that such a smart girl is sad about starting school tomorrow?”
“Yeah. I asked Papu. He explained it to me. And who told you I’m sad? I’m feeling bad. Not sad. As if we are all fools. If they have given us almost three weeks holiday, they could have given us one more day, isn’t it? Why re-open on Fools Day?”
“Oh! that’s just another day. Nothing great,”I said.
“So Mother’s Day, Teacher’s Day, Children’s Day, Women’s Day are just other days? We make cards and wish people. Each day has a meaning.”
“Of course, yes. But this Fool’s Day has no meaning. It’s just a fun day, when you play pranks on others,” I said.
“Playing prank is the activity of this day. That I know. But why is it called Fool’s Day? If it’s only about playing pranks then we can call it Fun Day. Why Fool’s Day?”
Now I was getting into tough waters. “Well, that I don’t know. I’ll check and let you know. But am sure it has no significant history to its origin,” I stressed.
“Have you made fools of friends?” When I replied in the affirmative she wanted to know how many times and when, where and whom all.
After I recalled a couple of instances when we really freaked out in college, and thought the topic was done with, she quipped: “You know what mama, you are the biggest fool I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“How weird. For so many years you’ve celebrated this Fool’s Day without knowing why you are doing it. Why didn’t you ask your parents or teachers? My ma’am said, ‘Copying is bad, but if you have to copy then at least use your brains. Copying without understanding is foolish’!”