Monday, 1 April 2013

A for April Fool

“Tok tok…..Tok tok….. Sir someone is seriously injured and unconscious; we need your help, you need to come” It was 5:00 AM in the morning and N Buddhan sir was disturbed by that incessant knock on his door. He reluctantly got from the bed to the door; when he heard about one of his students being injured; his sleep instantly vanished. It was Dorji Phuntsho, one of his students in class VIII. “What happened?” asked Buddhan sir.
“Sir you need to go to football ground, one student is unconscious” added Dorji Phuntsho vehemently.

That was how my science teacher- Mr N Budhhan sir,who was also the health-In-charge, was brought to the morning PT (Physical Training) by one of his students, my batch- Dorji Phuntsho back in the year 2004 on this day at Minjiwoong Lower Secondary School under Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag. Recall this: Every boarding schools in Bhutan has a thing called morning PT before the day begins; where the games captain and other school captains coordinates and which is compulsory for all students to take part except those below class three or two. The peaceful sleep of students is disturbed by the noisy sound of Wessel early in the morning. I still remember those times at primary school, of course the bitter ones like how the captains of the school used to guard at the door. If we were late by just a second, we would be whipped by rough belts (or Keras) on our back! That was the power of captains in the primary schools.

Anyways, to continue the story, Dorji Phuntsho, who is a teacher himself now in one of the schools in Pemagatshel, accompanied sir to the football ground, where every other student were in full swing with the usual morning exercise. Each student was vigil on that day as no one wants to be fooled around by their friends; hence the students were aware that the day was April fool day except sir himself who was completely taken by the news of injured and unconscious student. When sir enquired about someone being injured, everyone shouted: “April Fool”

He seemed angry at first (we could make from his reaction!) for being lied by his own student. Who wants to be fooled anyway? But still he kept aside and forced a broad smile. He then joined the students into morning PT for an hour and even taught us some tips for the morning exercise.

I don’t know if that’s even right and if the day really is about making others fool. I Google-ed and the following is what I got:

 “April fool’s day, sometimes called All Fool’s day is one of the most lighted-days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of new Calendar. The most commonly cited theory holds that it dates from 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian calendar, which shifted the observance of New  Year’s Day from the end of March (around the time of the vernal equinox) to the first of January.
According to popular lore some folks, out of ignorance, stubbornness, or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1 and were made the butt of jokes and pranks on account of their  foolishness. This became an annual tradition, according to this version of events, which ultimately spread throughout Europe. A major weakness of the Calendar-change theory is that it fails to account for the historical record replete with traditions linking this time of the year to merriment and tomfoolery dating all the way back to antiquity.
          Another explanation of the origins of the April fool’s day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman Emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed edict calling for absurdity on that day and the custom became an annual event..”
“Let us be thankful for the the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed” ~Mark Twain