Bed sheets have played an important role in my life. So much, if there were to be a flood in Chennai – and I am not saying this because there is no chance of a flood in this city – and we had to evacuate, the first thing I will grab will be my bed sheet.
Have you ever dreamt of visiting the loo for taking a leak…and midway through got up and found that you were still in bed and your trousers were wet? I have had many such dreams…I remember I used to keep a count by marking the inside of my cupboard`s door using charcoal. When the door became dark…and powdery substance started affecting my school shirts, I had to abandon the practice.
If you haven`t had such dreams, chances are you have never felt the chill in the middle of the night and thus have never felt the need for a bed sheet.
It is in such instances that a cot made of rope (the ones supplied by the Indian Army) scores over a cot made of steel or wood. As soon as the urea-laden water escaped my system, it would trickle down the army supplied blanket and collect in a Dead sea sort of water body just below the cot. I say Dead sea because that`s the sea with the highest salt density.
Initially, I would sleep through the whole watering exercise. With time, I realized that was the best way to get scolded by my father, laughed at by my mother and ridiculed by my younger sisters! As a result, I started getting up as soon as the watering exercise was over. Once up, I would remove the wet trousers and place them deep inside the laundry bag, wear another trouser and be ready for operation salvation.
Next, I had to steal my way into the kitchen and get the used-up sack my mother would stand on while cooking. This sack was used to soak up the Dead sea under my cot. Who said only Moses can part seas? Operation salvation was considered complete as soon as the wet sack was replaced inside the kitchen.
Now, all I had to do was spread my bed sheet wide (in single layer) and pray that it dried before 6.30 a.m. – the time my father returned from his morning exercise. On most occasions, the bed sheet stood by me and dried before 6.30 a.m.. With time, I realized that dreaming about going to the loo, early in the night helped because it gave me enough time for the cover-up operation.
After getting caught a few times by my mother and father…I started outwitting them. Now, I wasn`t getting caught anymore. I continued my dream experience for a year or two…and after that it was all over. It just stopped one day.
Cut to the present:
The other day, I was telling my mother that she should always use a bed sheet in the night because she was not getting any younger. She immediately said: “I know of a guy who used a lot of bed sheets. He would dream of going to the loo and water the bed…so often that the bed sheets had to be washed daily.”
I looked around. Rekha wasn`t there. I could safely take the discussion forward.
“So, who is this guy?” I asked.
“Perhaps, you don`t know that a nature`s call in the middle of the room, in the middle of the night, left to dry by itself…can raise a stink powerful enough to evacuate a colony.” My mother had a bit of I-know-it-all tone.
“So, you guys knew it all the way?” I had to wrap it up before Rekha entered the scene.
“Yes dear. Your papa and I decided to turn the blind eye…so that we don`t break you confidence. It helped you get over the habit.”
Update: How much I hope Rekha turns a blind eye when I look at other girls. Will help me get over the habit.