In the course of time, people’s lives generally improve. Some improvements are evidenced by house improvements while some are marked in not so subtle means like the education of the children in the family. My family belonged in the latter category and as such one will see that though most of our neighbours houses now have tiles for their floors, ours still remains the red one that you apply floor wax in. Not that I am complaining. The floor, to me, is part of the charm of the house; the charm of the home I have known during my early childhood years though everything else around the quaint house has changed. It is also precisely because of this red floor that I got some exercise today and with it another outflow of words cramming to be given place in published space.
So while I was busy scrubbing the floor with a coconut husk, I reminisced about my elementary days when students were still mandated to stay after classes are over to clean the classroom. I do not know if that is still true today but during my time, some 10-12 years ago, we needed to stay put once class is done and clean the room – not just sweep the floor, arrange the chairs and clean the chalk board (black board as it was called) but also to make sure the floor was shiny to the point that it reflects our faces. So we often find ourselves applying floor wax and scrubbing the floor. Tiles were really not a fad way back then. I recall a time when my mom, tired of the long wait I had to subject her too, went inside the room and applied floor wax all over the small classroom in a matter of minutes and to the utter delight of my other classmates.
I also recall a time when after our task is done, and we still had time to spare in our hands, we would play dodge the coconut husk – a kind of dodge ball. The game is really simple. One team stands in the middle of the floor and the other team surrounds them on two sides. Then coconut husks are slid from one end of the floor to the other. The objective is to hit the members of the other team standing in the middle of the floor. Once you’re hit on the foot by the coconut husk, then you’re out. It was a fun game with the equal purpose of cleaning the floor further. We had such fun playing that game which I’m afraid is outdated now due to the evolution of flooring materials. Just like so many other games innovated by children which had faded out as times changed, so had this game which we really never gave an official name – far as I remember it.
Scrubbing the floor, I also realized, had the advantage of being a much needed exercise. There really is nothing comparable to the feeling of sweat – the type that comes from physical exertion and not weather humidity – drenching your body. Also, exercise does indeed produce happy hormones or epinephrine in our bodies. These hormones are necessary in our body to help wade away the stress from our system. No wonder that whenever I felt aggrieved or depressed, I would yearn for a round or two around the Acad Oval. By that I mean I would be jogging around the Acad Oval. Indeed, after having finished scrubbing the floor today, not only did I have a shiny floor before me but I also had a lighter feeling – a much happier one compared to the earlier grumpiness I felt. Not to mention that I felt a certain improvement in my overall physical fitness.
Tomorrow I’ll try gardening and see what joys it brings me.😀