Thursday, 17 July 2014

The New Spring Cot!

A new spring cot arrived! Back then, when I was still struggling to reach the ‘3 years of having lived in the world’ mark that would have earned me a place in a school, and some peace of mind for my mother, a new cot drew huge attention!

I was excited! I waited impatiently (just this one day), for the mighty sun to set as quickly as he could! Till then I had only prayed that he would linger on for as long as he could!

When finally night fell upon the shiny plastic sheets of the cot, my excitement fell on it, breaking the bondage that daytime had created.

“Wait! The plastic sheets have to be removed first,” I did not turn around as my father’s voice was stern. As quietly as I possibly could, I backed away. Obediently I stood next to my father, holding his little finger as I watched my mother remove the plastic cover and clean the bed!

Occasionally, I looked up to assess my father’s mood. 

Would he be annoyed if I jumped just once, I thought to myself.

I finally decided that there was no harm in trying. I still would have jumped and if it was not okay, I could say sorry, and wait till my father’s mood became better.

After all, how else could you put a spring cot to better use?

Once my mother gave the green signal, I left my father’s little finger like hot potato and made a dash towards the bed.

I jumped only once and the rest of the night I only rebounded! With two springs, one in the cot, and the other in my feet, how else would you explain it, though, the spring in my feet outdid the spring in the new cot!

For many days after that I was surprised because my father did not scold me, nor did he ask me to stop!

After about a week, I fell ill. The cot became my new home for the next week or so. My parents were used to sleeping on the floor and did not seem to mind it.Though I offered them a lot of place in my new cot, they seemed to prefer the hardness of the floor. 

Elders are sometimes funny, I thought to myself.

Once I was well enough to jump on the cot, I got back to my routine. The cot and I were fast becoming good friends.

A month must have passed, wait.., perhaps two or even three, well, I was a kid and really did not know how much time went by before one of the springs came out of the cot, in protest against me.

Silly spring! I went to my father and lodged a complaint against the spring. He promised to pass on the complaint to the shop keeper. The shop keeper arrived after a couple of days. He fixed the spring, but before leaving he said something that was utterly stupid.

“Just ensure that the child does not jump on the cot,” he said. After he left I looked at my father. He read my thoughts, perhaps through the look in my eyes. Well, that is why we call him father!

“Don’t jump too much. Just a little each day will strengthen your legs,” he told me.

Now, that was reassuring!

But strangely, perhaps because springs don’t have fathers to tell them what to do to make themselves strong, all the springs fell out one by one!

The shop keeper arrived! He offered to take the cot in exchange for a better, ‘non-spring’ cot!

“Sometimes shop keepers did not know the worth of what they sold! How could a ‘non-spring’ cot be better than a spring cot?” I asked myself.

But just then something more unexplainable happened. The shop keeper asked my father for more money, for a cot that did not have springs!

Luckily, my father did not have the required money. Good sense prevailed over him and he sold the broken spring cot!

Author's Note:

40 years later, I bought a spring cot for my parents, knowing well, that my father can no longer jump on it! 

The new spring cot!