Aspire to be a fool


Who’s the calendar trying to fool?

Everyone fools everyone every day of the year, and yet it marks just one day as the All Fools’ Day.

It was probably designated so with good intentions.

A free-for-all day when we could fool others to our hearts’ content so that we’d refrain from doing it for the rest of the year.

But it seems to have backfired. It has become the only day when people don’t let others fool them easily.

There was a time when I used to open the main door and yell, ‘Look who’s come!’ The kids would come running and find no one. They’d laugh in embarrassment when I declare, ‘April Fool!’

Today after calling out for a full 10 minutes, when I go to see why they didn’t come, I find one on the phone, the other with his PSP.

But I don’t give up. I try sillier tricks the whole day. Some of them elicit half-responses like, ‘Come on Acha, we know it’s the 1st of April. Every year you do the same thing.’

Never mind that. I still love this day. I don’t know, there’s something innocent, harmless and child-like about it. Fooling is fun, never sinister. And when fooled, the laugh isn’t hurtful either. The gullible are hugged, loved and celebrated; not trampled upon, mocked and dubbed losers.

I guess my liking for this day comes from my fondness for fools. They are different from idiots. Idiots are far too complex. In fact, idiots and geniuses are two sides of the same coin. One flip of the mind, and one can become the other. Remember Kalidasa? Remember Einstein? Remember Bush? (Sorry, the last one was a coin with 2 tails and no head.)

Idiots are grumpy, moody, depressing and have this unique knack of landing up in front of us all the time. They are good inspectors of our patience.

Whereas fools are happy souls. They are upbeat, flexible, egoless, positive, care a damn and go about life with an inappropriate song on their lips.

Here again, don’t confuse them with those who are annoyingly self-confident, chirpy and optimistic. That’s a breed worse than idiots.

 Fools have it easy and are born naturals. They don’t follow self-help bestsellers.

All our lives we struggle to define our destiny, pave wrong paths to spiritual awakening and wander directionless in the wilderness of life, while the fools are gathered there already- yawning, stretching and chilling, blissfully unaware that the Niagara-like Nirvana is one turn away from where they sleep.

Fools are too foolish to have an ego. Enemies are too unimportant, for them to bear a grudge.

Their feeling = Their deeds.

Don’t expect too many reasons, logic or arguments in a conversation with them. All you’ll get is a long silence and a poker face, in return. After which they’ll do exactly what they feel.

They haven’t heard of multi-tasking.  They believe only in the first half of One at a time and that done well.

I can see what you are doing. Don’t try evaluating yourself. There are no pathological tests for foolishness either. Which is why I have compiled a list of brain-types for you to know, at least, what you are not.

The Knowledgeable: They are like the internet. But with no Intel inside.

The Intelligent: They always come up with the world’s best solutions. Now, if only our problems match up.

The clever: They are caught in a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Sadly, with themselves.

The Wise: They find no problems with our problems. But have huge problems with our no-problems.

The Creative: They create a fantasy world for us. And choose to live in a nightmarish one, themselves.

The Fools: It is easy to recognise them whenever, wherever we see them. Except in the mirror.

These are better explained by this simple parable that I heard a few days ago.

A farmer had a problem.

‘If I sold my foolish donkey, what value would I get?’ he asked people.

The Wise man said: ‘There’s 50% chance that you’ll die before the sale. According to the other 50% you’ll die after the sale. Now tell me, does the donkey, its foolishness, its sale or its value matter?’

The Intelligent said: ‘Quit farming and become a dhobi. That’s where the real value of a foolish donkey lies.’

The Knowledgeable said: ‘Exchange the donkey for two goats.  A milkman is more valuable than a dhobi.’

 The Creative said: ‘The donkey gives milk too. So keep the donkey. Stay a farmer during the day. Become a dhobi and a milkman by night.’

The Clever said: ‘Just find someone more foolish than your donkey. Its value would be whatever you ask for.’

Someone asked the farmer what he was finally going to do.

The farmer said: ‘Nothing. I don’t have a donkey. Just that my wife had called me a foolish donkey and so I was curious to know my self-worth.’

When I told my friend all this, he asked, ‘What would you then call people who are supposed to be creative, aspire to be fools, think they are intelligent, pretend to be wise, talk as if they are knowledgeable and try to be clever?’

‘Fakes!’ I said without hesitation.

‘Absolutely!’ he said, and kept smiling at me.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Naren on April 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Hahaha… The BUSH example is deadly… 😀


  2. Posted by Shobhana on June 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Enjoyed reading……


  3. Posted by kausalya on July 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    really enjoyed reading. do u know that my son who is 7 makes a fool of us any time of the year and just yells June fool or July fool – how is that for a change?



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