Fresh Inventions (narrated by my father)

This is the true story of my father’s friend when he was in 8thstandard.

Ramu sat beside the window watching the bare playground. It was the time of winter vacations and all his friends were away on trips to various places. His best friend Vinay was spending the vacations with his family in Manali. Satish was at his grandparents house, and so were Rinku and Sanjay. Every one of his friends was away from home. This was very boring. It had been a week since the vacations started and he had spent the last three days walking around the playground alone.

“Why don’t you read some good books? Your father keeps so many in that shelf. It could be a good pass time for you,” Ramu’s mother suggested him when she noticed him looking out of the window hopelessly. It didn’t seem that good a pass time but it was better to do something than stay idle. He went to the bookshelf and started looking through the various books stacked according to topics. There was spirituality, philosophy, biographies of great people, and a small section dedicated to novels. Ramu was amazed. This was the first time that he was exploring this small space that his father maintained with so much interest.

The topics sounded too heavy for a time pass. Nevertheless, he wanted to read some book. Thus, he picked up the book titled “BIOGRAPHIES OF GREAT SCIENTISTS”. The house was very cold, so he decided to go outside and read.

Under the warm rays of the morning sun, Ramu started reading the book from page one. The book spoke of The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein, The Gravitational Force discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, the discovery of light by Sir Thomas Alva Edison. Hours passed and so did chapters.

After a few chapters, Ramu shut the book close. He was annoyed.  As he walked into the house, he muttered – “If only Edison hadn’t invented the bulb, I would have done it… why did the apple have to fall on Newton’s head? If it hadn’t been for him, I would have discovered gravity… these people take away all the possible scopes of discoveries by discovering them…”  He scowled at his room as he entered. There had to be something that he could discover, something that he could invent.

A cold drift came in through the open window, and Ramu shivered slightly. Isn’t there anything that could give some heat in this cold? – thought Ramu. It was then that he got the idea.

He rushed into the kitchen and brought a kitchen heater. Then he dragged the table fan into the room. He wet a piece of clean cloth in tap water and covered the table fan with it. He placed this table fan behind the heater and the cot in front of the heater. Then he switched on both of them. In a few minutes, the room filled with warm air and it felt very comfortable even with so much cold outside. He jumped onto the cot and went into deep sleep.

He must have been asleep for an hour or so when he heard a gasp that woke him up. He looked up. His mother and his sister were gaping at him. His invention had astounded them.

The news spread like wild fire and everyone now knew Ramu as a great inventor.  His father wouldn’t stop praising him. When his friends returned, all of them congratulated him for his invention and marvelled at his intelligence. Journalists came over to his house for interviews. The news had crossed the boundaries of the town.

Everyone wanted a picture of him, everyone wanted to know what inspired him, everyone wanted to be like him. The publicity started scaring Ramu but his father helped him out of this shyness.

In a few days, the President made an appointment to meet this glorious kid from a small town. People flooded from all over the town to witness this incident.

Ramu couldn’t believe his luck. A few days ago he had been an ordinary child spending the winter holidays and reading books, and now he was a hero, an inventor, who was about to shake hands with the President. His smile spread from ear to ear. His father stood there with his head held high with pride, his mother was shedding tears of joy, and his sister was jumping with excitement at her brother’s achievement.

Finally, he put his hand forward to shake the President’s hand. The President smiled and said- “You are a brilliant child. God bless you son.” Saying so, the President took his hand.

A sharp pain rang through Ramu’s body. “What is wrong with the President’s hand?”- He thought. The impulse woke him up and he realised the painful truth, it was all a dream. The excitement of the moment in the dream had been so strong that he had actually extended his hand and touched the heater. His invention had burnt his fingers.

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