‘A’ for April Fools’ Day!
As I begin my maiden journey on #Blogchatter’s AtoZ Challenge, I wish for more happiness and more laughter in the World today. And though, the history of April Fools’ Day is varied and isn’t necessarily meant to celebrate cackles, I have always seen it as an opportunity to make people laugh. Hoping you do have a date with laughter today, here is how the expression changed for me over years and time…
Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when I was as yet not a ‘thinking adult’ there were some comedy shows that would be aired on TV. They had some assumingly funny situations that would be followed by pre-recorded sounds of people laughing in the backdrop. These spasmodic guffaws always amused me. I also wondered at the amount of rehearsal that went into getting that perfectly orchestrated sound.
In real life, well, it was more real! Every time there was a chai-pakora or samosa session at home, the elders of the family found enough jokes for their belly laughs. My mother, I remember, laughed very loudly. She always suggested that it was a great exercise for the lungs. My father simply chuckled. He found the boisterous display of what was called a hearty laugh, slightly ludicrous.
But as I grew up, life became seriously serious. And again, I was mostly confused. How did my parents find something that they could laugh about? For me and my likes, weighty matters made more sense. Chai sessions couldn’t be nonsensical. After-all there was so much seriousness in the world! And the samosas and pakoras were totally disbanded. They didn’t qualify to make it to the elite list. They were absurdly laughable and life was no laughing matter.
With the all-pervading gravitas that gradually started to engulf life, I stopped flirting with laughter. It took the back seat. In fact, it almost began to sound frivolous (the estranged case of a certain Archana Puran Singh).
Then once I witnessed a group of people gathered in the compound of a building early in the morning, for what they called a ‘Laughter Club’. As it became a common occurrence, my friends mostly found it crazy. Not me. I thought what was crazy was not being able to find a laughable situation. What was crazy was being seriously serious about life.
But my chants didn’t really matter to my fellow netizens. With each passing day, they found solemnity meditative. Making ‘light’ of anything was preposterous to them. Comedy shows were constantly hitting below the belt and nothing that was not tastefully hilarious could dare tickle the funny bone.
And so, in a world where you always try to balance it out, I found solace in the acronym LOL (Laugh[ing] Out Loud). Or really, was it? Nobody seemed to mind it at all! It was only supposedly loud. But then, even as I typed ROFL on the keypad every now and then, how I wished that we would find reasons to actually roll on the floor laughing. And this, I say, in all seriousness!