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A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Every day is Fool’s Day!

Life has been taking our case, and I’m going to tell you just how.

columns Updated: Mar 31, 2018 18:19 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times
A Calmer You,Sonal Kalra,Sunday column

Happy Chaddha ji Day, everyone! If you are dismissing or doubting the significance of fool’s day in our lives, you are fooling yourself. Ha! Pardon my pathetic puns, but I really feel April Fool’s Day serves as a reminder to laugh on one day for all the practical pranks life throws our way every single day of the year.

The idea to write about things that make a fool of us throughout the year and not just on April 1 has been given by my very creative colleague Abhishek Duggal, who feels ki duniya banaati hai aur hum bante hain, saara saal. So, why not write about them on our celebratory day? Here we go…

1. The ‘Re-test after the leak’ prank

The biggest irony ki googly has been thrown on the poor school kids this time. Re-test of a board exam? Are you kiddin’ me? Throughout the year we went hoarse telling these students to not stress about exams — because THEY DO NOT MATTER. Lectures, radio ads, helplines — one after the other we kept drilling into their minds that we are with them in renouncing the fear and stress associated with board exams. And then, for no fault of theirs, we want them to nurture this tension for a few more months — to take a re-test, because someone, somewhere screwed up in doing their job of safeguarding the question paper? Slow clap.

And you know what, this 10th standard math paper apparently was the easiest ever. We had one...ONE chance of seeing happy faces, and we’ve blown it. Vaise tell me, had the question paper not been leaked, what would the students have gone to? Grade 11. Now that it turns out that some students had the paper and knew the questions (and therefore would get good marks), where would they go – grade 11! Toh jaane do na yaar. All this tension tamasha for a class that didn’t even have board exams for so many years. Anyway, duniya bana rahi hai, aur hum ban rahein hain. Sigh.

2. The ‘In-hand salary’ prank

Those salaried would know the deep pain associated with this term. This fictitious entity has another attractive name —take home pay. What you get to actually take home is usually enough to just take you home, everyday. CTC and in-hand salaries are like two parallel lines, and never the twain shall meet. Itna tax kaat ke kahaan le jaoge yaar Sarkaar. Paisa haath ka mail hai. In the spirit of goodness, I’d much rather have my hands dirty than yours. Understand the sentiment, and let only that money be known as salary which we could would actually touch and feel. Pretty please.

3. The ‘Luxury homes’ prank

Swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gymnasium, lush-green lawns, blah, blah and blah. Almost ready for possession. They make us feel like the king of a riyaasat when we go and see the sample flat. And the moment you give the booking amount and start the EMIs, you can only do a waseeyat on the riyaasat, because the ‘almost’ in the status of possession turns around to bite you in the a**. Along with endless hidden charges. I told a friend of mine, who has been diligently waiting to claim his luxury for over two years since the promised possession date passed, to ask for the Jacuzzi to be installed at his presently rented apartment. Along with a few money plants outside, for the lush green feel. He should at least enjoy some luxury while enjoying being the target of the Fool’s Day, year after year.

4. The ‘T&C Apply’ prank

This terms and conditions phrase should just curl up and die. Itna paap kama liya hai isne. My heart really starts to skip a beat when I see big time offers of ‘80% discount’ in the sale season, screaming from hoardings or full page ads. With a teeny weeny ‘T&C apply’ phrase hanging on to an asterisk for life, somewhere at the bottom corner. It may be the smallest font size ever known to humankind, but it has so much power that when you enter the store and look for stuff on 80% discount, you realise that as per the T&C (my foot!), the discount was ‘upto 80%’…and the only thing with 80% reduced price after a markup of 90% is a pack of handkerchief. To wipe your tears. Happy Fool’s Day.

5. The ‘Dating apps’ prank

Arrey don’t even get me started here. Itna dhokha toh Vibhishan ne bhi Raavan ko nahi diya…the kind of fakeness that goes around on dating apps is mind-blowing. So many beauty filters are applied to DPs that the process of filtration is threatening to commit suicide. And then, at some point, you realise that the teetotaller, 21-year-old, Angel Priya staring wistfully at you with her angelic eyes, is actually Chaddha ji in a chaar bottle vodka state. Ewww.

Sonal Kalra wants you to take nothing that’s written above, seriously. Except for the gospel truth — Duniya bana rahi hai, kyunki hum ban rahein hain. Happy Fool’s Day. Mail your thoughts at sonal.kalra@ or Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra.

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 18:17 IST