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Recalling pranks played on April Fool’s Day

‘Cracked screen’ app on tabs and phones high on popularity on All Fool’s Day

Brinda Sarkar | Published 01.04.22, 12:13 PM

Illustration: Pratik Chakrabarti

After two long and arduous years, the Covid count has finally has dipped low enough for people to consider playing April Fool pranks. Children have been busy exchanging notes on tricks and the grown-ups too are reminiscing the most successful pranks they have played or have fallen prey to.

A Salt Lake CJ Block university student recalls a late night conversation with her boyfriend a few years ago. “He, as it is, got me nervous with the ‘we have to talk’ line. Then he said he had to walk away from me, despite how much he cared. Why? Well, he made me swear not to breathe a word about it to anyone, because apparently he was a RAW agent! He was being sent to on a secret mission to China!”

The gullible girl fell for it hook, line, and sinker. She started sobbing before the prankster asked her to glance at her watch, her calendar and then shouted: “April Fool!”

An equally mischievous BE Block resident recalls the success of a prank chilli sauce. “This habanero pepper sauce is one of the hottest in the world and for a few months, every guest to our house would be served a helping, without their knowledge of course,” says the corporate communications professional.

When word spread about the sauce, others would refuse to try anything from his hands. “So we started ordering fritters from restaurants and swapped the sauce they sent with this deadly one,” he guffaws. The guests’ sufferings would then be video recorded for posterity. Some jumped and yelped in discomfort, others fell to the bed gasping, one begged for an ambulance and one locked himself in the bathroom and came out only after taking a shower.

Mass pranking

When students of a college in Salt Lake failed to procure a judge for their band competition even till the morning of the event, one of them decided to play a prank. “I took a senior friend to the show as judge and passed him off as a world-famous guitarist from Shillong,” says the man who is now a teacher.

Those were the days before the internet and so no one found out. And that’s a relief because while this impostor had sound knowledge of rock music, he couldn’t play a note on the guitar to save his life! “We would have been exposed had anyone requested him to play a couple of lines,” laughs the mastermind.

A couple of years ago, when a Sector I resident was feeling particularly adventurous he — hold your breath — jumped into the boot of his car and asked his friends to drive it to the mall. “As is the norm, the City Centre guards stopped us at the gate for routine checks. But they were mighty startled when they opened the boot and out sprang a full-grown man who looked at his audience, ran his fingers through his hair and smartly walked away,” says the man who drove the car. Though dumbfounded, the guards had no grounds to stop him from entering.

Lockdown specials

Nine-year-old Riyan Dasgupta recalls clicking on what appeared to be government notices about new lockdown restrictions last year. “But they turned out to be April Fool pranks!” smiles the AJ Block resident.

In April 2020, Anubhab Niyogi’s cousin sister told him that he had stood first in his class but that the authorities weren’t able to inform him about it due to the lockdown. “I even emailed my school principal about it before realising I had been had,” the Class VII student of AJ Block slaps his head.

Kestopur’s Soujanya Giri recalls the harrowing time he had during Amphan two years ago. “I’m a huge fan of the American rapper Eminem and my naughty cousin told me he passed away. The Net had conked off for days after the cyclone and so I wasn’t able to verify the news. I spent days in mourning before I found out I had been pranked,” says the adolescent.

Parthasarathi Mitra of Kestopur recalls hosting a party of friends at BJ Park. “Four of them had come all dressed up and eager to dig into the big cake box I carried in my arms. The box, of course, was empty and had April Fool written inside,” smiles the boy.

Shivam Bhattacharya, a nine-year-old got an earful from his mother last April when he swapped the names on her phone’s contact list. “So when my grandma was calling her she replied thinking it was her spiritual guru!” laughs the BK Block boy gleefully.

Other popular pranks include the “cracked screen” app on tabs and phones, passing ketchup on fingers as blood and throwing rubber snakes and lizards on people. “This year I plan to offer a box of strawberries dipped in chocolate to friends. Except that the largest one will have a chilli hidden inside it,” laughs Shonak Jain, an 11-year-old of BL Block, in anticipation.

His friend Raj Ghosh wants to replace the layer of cream in Oreo cookies with toothpaste.

Phone a prank

Rajat Mandal of BL Block still laughs recalling how decades ago he and his brother had made an April fool out of their father. “We had two phones in our house and from one of them we called our father on the other, posing as his boss. The joke went quite far but my brother and I were so amused to hear our dad addressing us as ‘sir’ that we started giggling,” says Mandal.

Another resident had pulled a fast one on his grand-uncle back in his college days.  “The man was a septuagenarian but a bachelor and I faked a feminine voice on the phone and started posing to be his secret admirer. He was perplexed but the joke went on for months!” laughs the certified prankster of BE Block.

Did you ever pull a fast one on anyone or get April Fooled? Write to us at saltlake@abp.in

Last updated on 01.04.22, 12:13 PM
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