Friday, March 27, 2009

THAT MYSTERIOUS SPACE UNDER THE BED…

has all but disappreared in this age of box-beds, where all the beds in my space-cramped flat have inbuilt boxes under them to store blankets and bed-sheets and other prosaic stuff.

Not so when we were young. Under the bed was a magical space accessible only to us children, out of bounds to most adults at most times. It would provide a cosy hiding place, especially if the bedcover was pulled down over the side. We would hide expectantly during lukochuri (hide-and-seek), emerging at the right moment all flushed and with the tops of our heads covered with cobwebs, to cry, Dhappa” (Caught you!). My parents’ bed, with its low cramped space where you had to bend double or lie flat on your tummy to wriggle in or out, was a good hidey-hole.

My grandparents’ old-fashioned bed, which was raised high by placing a couple of bricks under each foot, offered another kind of sanctum. It was high enough for us to crouch comfortably, and many a secret meeting of us cousins was held on long summer-vacation afternoons with dadu (granddad) snoring blissfully above us. These meetings, chaired (rather, crouched over) by me and including my Bhai (brother) and Antu (my aunt’s son), would usually centre around some idea for tricks to be played on the aforesaid unsuspecting granddad. But, to keep him unsuspecting, we had to conduct the entire meeting in phish-phish (whispers), which added immensely to the mysterious attraction of the place.

Sometimes, we had to share the space under the bed with dozens of coconuts or betelnuts or mangoes plucked from the trees in the garden and laid out on the cool green cemented floor under the bed before they were either eaten or distributed among relations and neighours.

And in moments of deep distress, the best place to cry my heart out (an activity which I did frequently and fervently) was under the bed. I would lie on my tummy, put my head on my arms and bawl and sniffle away to glory, emerging red-eyed but refreshed (and completely de-stressed).

WHAT DID YOU DO UNDER THE BED WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

10 comments:

SGD said...

What a sweet sweet post steeped in nostalgia! It's almost I can visualise your Dadu snoring on the bed while you kids had your under-the-bed rendezvous!!

Kavi said...

WHAT DID YOU DO UNDER THE BED WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

I mean...where do i begin !?! Where !?!?

from eating ice creams to hiding away maths papers to a whole lot of things ! That was fun !

Action under the bed seems to stay in the mind...!! And you brought it out very well !!

Lazyani said...

Auh!! You create a world long lost but never forgotten in your post.

The present generation would never know of this private space inside a room. A pity!!!

Indyeah said...

Beautiful post!So full of nostalgia:)
made me remember some awesome times...of innocence and fun:)
thank you:)

I did evrything under the bed..it was a world of wonder...it could be everything and anything I wanted it to be...
two brothers and me...paradise:)

Pradip Biswas said...

My parents and others started weeping when desperate search for me began starting from the wells to all the ponds in the Village. We were in our village home during Durgapuja and suddenly I was missing. My worried parents should thank the mosquitoes who traced me under the big Palnquin of my Grandfather at the top floor. I went to top floor and tried to go underneath the huge palanquin. This was the safe place to eat all the sweets that I stole from the store. I ate and slept there and continued to do so for the next morning but not for the mosquito gangs whose bites woke me up. Beaten up badly by everybody for hiding and for stealing the sweets before the scheduled puja.

seanag said...

Oddly, I don't have much memory of us using the under the bed sort of get away, though I'm sure we hid there on occasion. Maybe the equivalent would be the under the dining room table, where the table cloth made a sort of tent. I don't know that under American beds there was usually much room to crouch.

my space said...

Lol!!my rakhi brother got us a stray pup (he claimed it was a labrador!!) as a gift and the we actually hid him under the bed for two whole days!!! in winters we would put him in a shoe box under our bed n feed him biscuits and peanuts!
And of course it was r fav place t hide during icespice!!(Hide n seek)

lopamudra said...

The post brought back memories when under the bed was the most sought after place for playing hide & seek, eating the forbidden 'achar',makeshift summer camps.A wonderful post!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks for sharing the innocent memories under the bed. Maybe we shall deal with the naughtier on-the-bed memories in a later post?

Mampi said...

WOw, can you believe Su, that i had been thinking precisely of this for these past few days? Reason, I was planning to use one bed without boxes in future.
And we did the same stuff under the bed that every child does. Enjoy, And i must add that I STILL have not forgotten that smell of the fresh and cool floor under the bed.