Hello! Have you not read Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare? It's a wonderful comedy about how mistaken identities can produce humor in a play. But I am not going to elaborate on it. You may take some time off from your leisure to read this very humorous play. Let me now tell you that in real life also, certain instances produce comedy. I will talk about the COMEDY OF RUMORS.
It so happened that when I was at college in my 12th standard, in the month of June, it was rainy season in Hyderabad, I set out with my umbrella to attend the college. It was raining heavily but I knew I could not miss classes as some important seminars were scheduled during that week. I was halfway when fortunately or unfortunately, I do not know what to call it, I found two of my friends walking away waywards home. "Hey! I shouted. Where are you going? Bunking or what?" "Bunking? The college is closed today dear", Sheeba said. "Closed?" I repeated unbelievingly. I knew that it was impossible. Our college followed schedules so strictly. "But why?" I asked. "Our Principal died this morning. Shmita told us that everybody of them who came was informed of this unhappy incident. Everybody has gone back home. You will have to come back too." "Oh!" I exclaimed. I was sorry. Our principal had been hospitalized for severe asthma the day before. But I did not expect this news. Surely, it was not so severe. Perhaps, it was destined, I thought. We walked home together. I went home and called up my other friends. They all said the same. They were home. So I was convinced though I myself did not go the college to find out. The next day, I was five minutes late. The assembly was set. I walked up to the last row and stood for prayer. The vice principal seemed very angry. She scolded everybody for not attending college the day before. She asked us how the whole lot got absented from college without any declaration from the institution. Everybody looked puzzled. We told her we heard about the unwelcome news of the Principal's death and that the authorities declared a holiday. "What nonsense?" She broke out and "who did this mischief." "The Principal is alive and healthy. She will resume her duty tomorrow." She said. "I will punish you people until you tell me who did it. You will not go to your classes today. Kneel down here. This way you will not repeat it again," She said and so we got punished that day.
As for the one who did it, nobody knew who. I figured out that it was all because of rumors. God, I came to know that day what rumors could do. They could make a living person dead and a dead person alive. They could give a holiday when the college was working and convert a holiday into a working day. The rumors perhaps started out as "Oh poor lady, she is hospitalized. I have heard people with severe asthma do not survive. I am sorry for her."Then again, "Oh what, is she dying?", and then again, "I am so sorry she is dead," and still more, "The college cannot be working today" "Oh is it a holiday?" . It was a comedy of rumors that day.
Whoever might have done it, but such a thing never repeated itself again. But sometimes I still get to see the comedy of rumors when women get together to gossip.