(Prof. Eswaran Narasimhan published a blog on International Women’s Day on A Ra News and shared it here for our readers.)
In Corrugan, a kingdom far away, a small kingdom at that, it was a day of great happiness. The king was blessed with a son. The Queen mother had given birth the bonniest boy one could ever expect.
The king sent heralds to all over the kingdom to announce the arrival of the new prince. The prince was duly named Sconur in a party with over 1000 attending at the royal palace.
The prince grew with a retinue of servants looking after him. Then one day it happened. Sconur became six years old!
As tradition demanded, he was to get his new room with all amenities that a prince could ever think of. His own study table and four tutors. A golden wardrobe and a games room on the side.
And his very own royal bed. A four-poster bed carved with lion head on the four corners. Corrugan became very cold for the three months during November, December and January. While the common folks struggled to get through the three months, the prince would have an easy time.
He had his very own bed warmer. The king has planned to get him one and a new one every day for the three months. He ensure that the quality of the warmer was the best possible. The Royal Housekeeper had personally chosen and earmarked the bed warmers that would be used to warm the bed of the prince. As the prince had dinner, and a violin session after that by the best teacher the king could find, the bed warmer would be busy warming the bed.
When the prince would retire for the day, the bed would be warm and cozy for him to sleep and not feel the cold outside. The Royal Housekeeper made sure that once a warmer was used that it would be never used for the next day. He had to get a new one.
Thus, ninety-two days of winter passed. A new bed warmer every day.
The prince turned eighteen. He was now deemed an adult and could if necessary be the ruler of Corrugan. Twelve winters had passed. Now he was an eligible bachelor. He could marry and get a princess of his choice.
But first he had to take a decision on the 1104 bed warmers he had used in this childhood.
He went to the dungeons where they were stored. A long walk through the stairs underground. In each room were the 92 bed warmers used from the age of six. Twelve rooms. He visited one by one.
As he came out, he signed his first royal decree.
It was International Women’s Day. The custom of beheading the bed warmers used to warm the prince’s bed would be discontinued.