TODAY -

Pranks unloaded: From fiction to mundanity

Dr Ksh Imokanta Singh *



Dictionary meaning of prank goes something like, 'a trick that is intended to be funny but not to cause harm or damage'. Prank may be understood as One Act One scene play with a plot to build up a few seconds or minutes story, if we go by the dramatic format, since it is akin to a performed play, both video and audio formats. Pranks may be generally categorised as thoroughly light humoured musical ones and harsh annoying ones.

The surface structure of prank is loaded with various deep structures of human behaviour, social, political and racial underpinnings. Pranks and then reactions to them will reveal the whole generality of people within a particular region or society.These will differ from place to place; the ones done in the US may differ from what are done in India or Pakistan or Latin American countries. This is what triggered this article.

All of us or most of us have played pranks on someone known to us or to strangers. But had they been done before the internet boom they might not have been recorded and shared in the social media for wider viewership.

But today any interested and intending celebrity (like once famous phrase in the recent past in Manipur - intending candidate) is on it and are watched by millions, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram); Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Sundar Pichai (Google, YouTube) etc.

When we were students, we used to play pranks on our friends and even on our teachers, especially on April Fool's day. We would attach certain hanging papers with funny words or picture on them, behind those poor 'victims' who were blissfully oblivious of them being made 'Fools'. The sheer joy of looking at their normal behaviour was beyond our mundane world. And the riotous joy was even more multiplied by the sudden reactions when they found out that they were being tricked and fooled. Then all those chasings and playful fights made our day.

Pranks shown on mass media like Television are a little old. As far as this village bumpkin is concerned, I was introduced to this genre only in the 2000s when I first saw 'Just for Laughs Gags' (or simply 'Just for Laughs'), a Canadian TV Reality show, on a TV set somewhere, certainly not at my home. They were hilarious, to say the least.

Actors enacting as police officers intimidating drivers on parking lots or traffic points, visitors in parks etc. and those pranked reacting seriously to the charges made against them looked really real. The moment of truth exposed by the actors and the reactions from the people being pranked were even more enjoyable.

What is really heart warming is the gentle reactions from those pranked. Not much slanging and physical violence. That, I think, is the reflection of how they behave in Canadian society which is the revelation of the deep structure.

The modus-operandi of such prank videos is the use of hidden cameras and to extract the best out of the strangers. Today if you are really into this genre you will find numerous people and groups uploading their creations for us, mainly on Facebook and YouTube in all languages, including Manipuri.

You will find not just videos but also audios flooding the social media. The audios are mainly phone calls by the pranksters to the unsuspecting people. I came across one such only recently and it served me well when I was in trouble.

My story goes like this. I have been telling bedtime stories to both of my children for the last thirteen years. I, in a way, became one of the most gifted and interesting story tellers of all time (LOL). I began the job with my daughter and when she was done, my son started taking the esteemed position of that demanding audience.

As the year passed by my creativity started waning along with my fame of being the greatest story teller and thus my stories started becoming monotonous my village, village people, fields, western mountains, Loktak lake, princes, princesses, cows, buffaloes, horses, monkeys, squirrels, moon (thamacha), sun and anything in the universe. The same was felt by my children, to my utter embarrassment, that too at the dead of the night.

Then one day, when my story chest was exhausted, incidentally I found someone called RJ Praveen of Red FM 93.5 Kolkata, on YouTube, now pranking in both audio and video formats. I told myself this was it and he came as a saviour for an arid me.

I found him, still is, to be very hilarious, witty and charismatic. What entices me about him is his sheer ability to take various avatars and yet maintain civility old man, vegetable seller, sales man, office executive, labourer, Saif Ali Khan, Amitabh Bachhan, Nana Patekar, Javed Akhtar and many more. To my great relief my children liked and loved him. Today, my place is being taken by him, and sometimes by Kapil Sharma, as bed time story teller till we stop him before we all sleep.

If we still talk about RJs, there is also RJ Naved of Radio Mirchi 98.3 of Delhi. He is out rightly a dangerous and rustic prankster, though not as charming as RJ Praveen. Both the RJs call their 'victims' in the same language. What is interesting here is not what the pranksters put to the receivers but what and how the latter respond to the callers. Comparison between people of Kolkata and Delhi.

From the various audio and video pranks of both the RJs, it came to my humble mind that when piercingly provoked, Kolkata denizens are gentler in their response with not so loud shouting and with lesser number of beeps whereas Delhi receivers, O my God, belt out all those baddest expletives on the earth which need continuous beeps. I am not concluding with a generalization that Kolkata people are gentler than Delhi ones.

Since I am into this zone, I have been watching prank videos of many countries, both silent and talkies, like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, US, UK, Latin American countries etc. They are sometimes ingenious in themes and executions. There have been borrowings of themes and modes of execution from each other though. That Bush man prank and also those Arab man terrorist bomb pranks are utterly scary.

Apart from them many Pakistani pranksters are enjoying wide viewership and becoming a sort of celebrities not just in Pakistan but in Manipur too, me being the evidence. Pakistani prankster 'Humanitarian' is a favourite for me.

What strikes me as a surprise, since I am not well acquainted with their society, is the gentleness in their behaviour and language. Till today I have not come across any swear word or serious physical violence, except for some mild slapping here and there, from those being pranked, no matter how badly they have been pushed against the wall and irritated.

One thing that can be construed from all these pranks is the commonality in the graph of climax and anti-climax, and fiction and fact. The pranksters usually start with good natured approach and slowly build up the tempo with comparatively harsh and uncomfortable words as baits to hook the strangers into their traps and then try to provoke them with extremity so that they finally react in disgust.

The climax comes when the pranked reacts with his/her ultimate act. When this climax comes the pranksters hold back to avoid any further damage to both and reveal the real motive behind those unexpected uncivil behaviours. That is when they point out that they are pulling pranks (audio phone calls) or just shooting prank videos showing the hidden cameras.

This is the moment when the drama ends and fiction crumbles into the mundanity. This is the moment of sudden anti climax when all those negative extremity evaporate turning into the extremity of laughter, hugs, civility and camaraderie. What a sudden fall from tip to toe. What can be construed from this is that those actions are not at all fictions but real incidents for those pranked, before the secret is revealed.

But for the pranksters they are all fictions and drama from the beginning to the end. Those pranked, especially in audios sometimes become star-struck when the prankster introduces himself/herself. That often happens with RJ Praveen. 'Hi, this is RJ Praveen pulling a prank on you, making you Murga of the day.' ...'O, RJ Praveen, my Goaad! Am I dreaming?'

Cliff-hanger stories, climax and sudden anti climax. Happy healthy pranking, lest you end up behind those bars with no bar to boost you up.


* Dr Ksh Imokanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
He can be reached on kvlakshman(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on May 14 2022 .



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • COVID-19 Status 28 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Trekking to Shirui Peak, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Job @ AITC Computer Centre, Dewlahland
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Poppy Economy: Belling a 1000-pound Gorilla
  • Soibam Bindeshori: Book of Records
  • Odisha shows the way in waste management
  • Commendable to rekindle interest in cycling
  • Piling pressure on the NSCN (IM)
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #2
  • COVID-19 Status 26 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Contractual Jobs at NIELIT Assam
  • I the Earth :: Poem
  • Training on mushroom at Nagamapal
  • PM-Kisan in Manipur
  • Iih - The lone foot traveller from Nepal
  • Education proposal merits consideration
  • Emergence of key board villains
  • Phuba Thapham, Senapati #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 May : Govt of Manipur
  • War on Drugs and Alcohol (Ju)
  • CubeTen: Awarded at British Parliament
  • Advancements in TB science in spotlight
  • Why should people join politics ?
  • Fisheries development in NE Region #2
  • Poor roadways denting prospect of tourism
  • From district level to State level
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2022: Program Detail
  • The fruition of mass communication
  • Grow drumstick for good health
  • Political Stand of Naga People's Front
  • Medicinal Plants for Rural Livelihood in NE
  • Thangjing pact: Test ahead for signatories
  • From 2013 to charge hearing in 2022
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar border) #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • NDPP's biggest challenge & opportunity
  • Languages soul of India & Hindi up to Ten
  • How Market Innovations made America great
  • Kahulong Primary School renovated
  • Conservation of wildlife need of the hour
  • Disturbing street brawl: Reflecting society
  • Licypriya speech at East Timor :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya delivers Speech at East Timor
  • Tobacco epidemic continues...
  • Dry Manipur still Wet and 'High'
  • Insects as feed for aquaculture
  • Inflation worries real but a passing phase
  • Dealing with suspected forest encroachers
  • Morphine to heroin to WY
  • English phonetic sounds :: Book download
  • COVID-19 Status 21 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Rs 2,80,000 assistance to 6 Journalists
  • Manipur Roads: A rainy season Nightmare
  • Workshop on "Research Ethics" at MU
  • Tacitly tacit
  • Gleanings from Buddhism
  • Thaopai Shithaine @ Phuba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 May : Govt of Manipur
  • North-East Research (NER) Conclave
  • Fisheries development in NE Region #1
  • North East LSN Partners Meet 2022
  • Cold facial during Summer
  • Check gate closure: Boon or bane for driver
  • Covid free after 26 months: A brief look back
  • Wakhom Leikai Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Shija celebrates 26 years of surgery
  • International Webinar: Computing Trend in AI
  • New MAHUD for a new Imphal City
  • R&D initiatives of Ministry of Info Tech
  • PMFBY - Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Banking on Modi to eradicate plastic malaise
  • One step down from Greater Lim ?
  • Flood Watch: Nambul Turel [18 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambassadors for Christ
  • "... where women are not respected"
  • Nursing as a career choice
  • Conquest of the last frontier
  • Dry Manipur among top 5 liquor states!
  • Scoring high on liquor consumption
  • Flood Watch: Imphal Turel [17 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 May : Govt of Manipur
  • World hypertension day : 17th May 2022
  • Taking advantage of dying sedition law
  • Market innovations & vertical integration
  • Soram Oscar: Mr India Intl Tourism 2022
  • Cyber Security Lecture at Tamenglong
  • Involve village chief in Save Singda Movement
  • Reaching out to SC Jamir
  • Jalakeli Offering @ Govindajiu :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 May : Govt of Manipur
  • On 200th Anniversary of MK Binodini Devi
  • East Timor : Licypriya Kangujam invited
  • Carbon Sequestration in Dailong Site #2
  • Semiotic interpretations of traffic policing
  • Citrus Marcoptera: Rare Citrus species in NE
  • Same old healthcare issues for new minister
  • Rain : Bringing out the dirt of Imphalites
  • Art Exhibition @Imphal Art #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #2: Gallery
  • Soil rejuvenation through plants
  • Harrowing memories of a blast victim
  • Pristine Death :: Poem
  • Odisha File
  • Anti-poppy vows: Govt shouldnt be taken...
  • After more than 2 decades of talks
  • River & River Based Communities
  • COVID-19 Status 14 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Second National Lok Adalat
  • Manipur Cabinet: Blurry representation
  • Tips for summer party make up
  • Harvesting Fest of Tarao #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 May : Govt of Manipur
  • The USP of Churachandpur
  • Pranks unloaded: From fiction to mundanity
  • Radio comes to our rescue in pandemic
  • 3rd North-East Foodtech begins
  • Irreparable damage done to environment
  • Promotion of nurseries for plantation crop #2
  • Issues staring at the face of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 May : Govt of Manipur
  • International Nurses Day 2022
  • Carbon Sequestration in Dailong Site #1
  • Various voices on reduced areas of AFSPA
  • IBSD, Imphal signed MoU with CSIR
  • Stay on sedition case smack on political elite
  • Identifying a district with one group ?
  • Kakwa Lairembi Haraoba #1 :: Gallery
  • Understanding Environmental Problem
  • Pre Recruitment Training at Keithelmanbi
  • Three rain catchers feted
  • How India is empowering women...
  • War-era bridges amid development rhetoric
  • Aerial route over heart of Imphal ?
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #1
  • COVID-19 Status 10 May : Govt of Manipur
  • NPF Kohima consultative meeting
  • Market creating innovation & business model
  • The element of surprise
  • 3rd North-East Foodtech at Guwahati
  • Growing support to 'war on drugs' mission
  • Backing the War on Drugs call
  • Mao-Imphal Market @ Kabo Leikai :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 May : Govt of Manipur
  • We live in the best of times to preach
  • Mixed Marriages & our Heritage !
  • Review Meeting on National Lok Adalat
  • Road blocking for everything
  • Promotion of nurseries for fruits & crop
  • Cong vigil essential to expose Govt
  • Thangjing Hill : Mischievous restrictions
  • Student appearing HSLC Exam #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Workshop with Vice-Chancellors of NE
  • BJP's major challenge in Nagaland - Church
  • Motherhood : A symbol of Love
  • Song of spring :: Poem
  • Mother's Day at Tamenglong
  • Stringent only means to deter poppy grower
  • Congress : Uncharacteristically quiet
  • 4th Documentor Imphal [7 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Being a scapegoat for ages in this disaster
  • Entrepreneurs invest 8 lakhs to documentary
  • 12th Mahousa Ima Ningsing Tha
  • Float Festival of Tamil Nadu Temples
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 May : Govt of Manipur
  • On custodial death of Arambam Nanao
  • Placating Sharmila : The Iron Lady
  • Service Engineer @Info Trade, Imphal
  • Integrated farming- 2x farmers' income #3
  • Tree Plantation Programme at Kangla
  • Greed blinding rogue police elements
  • War on Drugs : Give it more teeth
  • Artisan Lourembam Bino Devi :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 May : Govt of Manipur
  • The Truth Alone Must Triumph
  • ICU bed facility launched in Tamenglong
  • World Hand Hygiene Day 2022
  • Workshop on Climate Change at Lilong
  • Water education for food security
  • Torpid tourism sector
  • Separate flag & constitution
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta Golapati :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Lavish event management gone wrong
  • World Veterinary Day 2022
  • Condemnation on the killing of Nanao
  • Summer skin care tips for a natural glow
  • Centre's push for NSU commendable
  • Powerless power
  • Ole Wangkheimayum : Making a difference
  • COVID-19 Status 03 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Last surviving Naga regionalist- Shurhozelie
  • DoNER Minister visited NSU, Khuman Lampak
  • Market creating innovations & economic
  • Kuzholuzo takes charges as NPF Leader
  • Swachhata Pakhwada at IBSD Imphal
  • Jiribam Keithel #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Cheilaoba : A short story
  • A tribute to Asok Potsangbam
  • Id-ul-fitr :: From a book
  • Building India to be the world's master
  • Rapists don't deserve mercy
  • Taking the case to a higher Court
  • Cheirao-chingkaba #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 May : Govt of Manipur
  • May Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Nirupa Sanjenbam, Woman Achiever NE Fest
  • Student Centre for Excellence at Bishnupur
  • MPSC : Re-recruitment of MCS/MPS officers
  • Integrated farming- 2x farmers' income #2
  • Alangtakhou waterfall @Tml #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Blood Donation camp @Keisampat : Gallery
  • Appeal in High Court against Zou acquittal
  • Jubilee Celebration of Manipuri Cinema
  • Labour Day (May Day) -Chennai Connection
  • 24th - 30th April is World Immunization Week
  • Yaoshang Thabal @Mongshangei #4 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Foundation Day celebrated at IBSD Imphal
  • Alone but not lonely :: Poem
  • Gender balanced workforce
  • Govt North East plan: Repealing AFSPA
  • AFSPA repeal vow galore as NE enjoys peace
  • Promise of AFSPA free NE
  • The hike to the summit of Koubru
  • Lunghar in Ukhrul district #2 :: Gallery
  • Student appearing HSLC Exam #2 :: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #3 :: Gallery
  • Tributes on Khongjom Day :: Gallery
  • Tongjei Maril (Old Cachar Road) :: Gallery
  • Painting Competition on 'Tribal' #2 :: Gallery
  • Floral tributes @ Cheiraoching #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Bamon Leikai :: Gallery
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Apr 14] :: Gallery
  • Shajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang @Bengaluru #2 :: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Shopping :: Gallery
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download
  • Learn English pronunciation: Book Download
  • Learning calculating skills : Download Book