Pranksters of the past
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
Pranksters pull pranks almost every day but on April Fools’ Day it is different. While the funniest pranks are expected from youngsters, adults too are known to prank their near and dear ones.
Resident of Cansaulim, businessman Brian D’Silva was very naughty in his childhood and even during his teenage years. D’Silva and his lively group of friends from the locality are known for their mischievous ways even today. Narrating one of the pranks he played, he says: “I used my sister’s phone and called my relatives. Mimicking her voice, I asked them to come to our place due to an emergency. All my relatives started flocking in and my parents were shocked to see them.” Eventually his parents realised it was a prank and he was punished.
However, the 36-year-old says that no one dares to prank him and even his siblings were always at the receiving end.
Self employed Savio Fernandes from Taleigao was the youngest child in the family and a prankster from the start. He loved pulling pranks on his neighbours. The 50-year-old recollects: “One night I stayed over at my friend’s place and when he went downstairs, leaving me on my own, I had an idea. I turned off the lights, covered myself with a white bed sheet and stood in front of the door.” When his friend returned, he was terrified as he thought there was a ghost and was down with a fever for the entire week.
Dona Paula-based retired accountant, Terrence Pereira does not remember playing any pranks, except the time he sent his neighbour on a blind date to the train station. “The poor guy waited for 45 minutes and no girl showed up. This was in the days when there were no mobile phones,” adds Pereira.
Thirty-nine-year-old businessman, Sayed Sharfaraz Navaz from Margao will never forget the prank he played in college with his friends and classmates. “My friends and I were all having fun on the college football ground when the bell rang. We didn’t want to attend that class; however my friends got ready to stop the football match and attend the lecture. I waited behind. It was the last lecture of the day. There weren’t many students or teachers on campus. Suddenly, I thought of pranking my friends and classmates. I ran to the college bell and rang it twice and started screaming in the corridor ‘there is a fire’. Everyone panicked and ran outside the classroom, some even ran to get a hose,” he says. Later they realised it was a prank but nobody knew that Navaz was the culprit.
Navaz’s worst prank however, was locking his younger brother in the closet and forgetting about him. It was only when his mother started to look for him that Navaz remembered about the prank. He says: “Looking back I think I deserved the thrashing I got from my mother for playing such a harmful prank.”
Though Navaz has played pranks on others, he says that no one can prank him. “My cousins and siblings are so afraid of my pranks that they don’t have the courage to challenge me,” he adds.
Vanita Sardessai recalls that rather than playing pranks on others, she has been the victim of numerous pranks. She says: “That makes me nostalgic and you can see my ‘happy’ tears now. The sister is 10 years older than me and as a child I was very naughty, always enthusiastic to be in her company. However she preferred her privacy. My world at the age of six was games, chocolates, biscuits, handpicking someone to listen to my childish talk and so on. One day my sister had planned to go for a movie with her friends. I insisted that I accompany her and was convinced that I would be allowed provided I stayed quiet in a gunny bag for 30 minutes. Nobody knew about it.” She further says that she agreed and remembers being kept there for a long time, close to 3 hours and cried herself to sleep. Sardessai got out of the bag only once the movie ended and her sister returned.
“When I discuss this incident with my sister we both laugh and say ‘Those are the golden moments, we will never get back’,” adds Panaji-based Sardessai.
Lecturer at Government Polytechnic, Panaji, Rahila Khan loves pranks that make one happy. The 50-year-old says: “When we were young we also played pranks. My brother and I had a habit of talking to random strangers on the road. We would approach them, greet them and ask about their well-being. As soon as we saw the puzzled look on their faces, we would start talking about their neighbours, friends and leave them totally confused.”
The duo would later sit and recollect each stranger’s reaction and have a good laugh.
Businessman Manjunath Mangeshkar from Shiroda recalls a prank he and notorious friends pulled during their final year of BCom. They decided to make a blast on the last day of college. Forty-eight-year-old Mangeshkar says: “By ‘blast’ we actually meant blast because we decided to light a sutli bomb in the classroom.”
He further narrates that during lunch break they placed the sutli bomb under the platform with a long thread. After recess one of the boys lit the thread as the professor stepped on the platform. There was a thunderous blast which left a lot of smoke and vibration.
“The professor literally jumped off the platform in shock and all the students ran out of the classroom shouting ‘bomb, bomb’. The next moment all the administrators entered the classroom to find out what had happened. The next day the parents of all the students were called and assignments were given to students to be completed within four days or else they would be suspended. The entire class suffered but it’s a great memory,” says Mangeshkar.
Like the others, forty-one-year-old, Kaushik Prakash from Pernem also played a prank but in his case he got pranked in return. One day in mid-October he was hanging out with friends on the third floor of a building. Suddenly one of his friends asked for his watch which surprised Prakash but he complied. After a while he thought he saw his friend throw his watch out the window. Prakash ran down the stairs and frantically searched for his watch. After half an hour he gave up and went back to the third floor only to find his watch in his friend’s hand. “We couldn’t stop laughing but I haven’t worn a watch since,” says Prakash.