A futon wallah is a term used in India for a person who provides services related to sprucing up your futon mattress.

In our neighborhood the futon wallah would call out with a singsong voice: "futon wallah!" while slowly pedaling past the area on a bicycle.

If stopped and paid to perform his services, the futon wallah would lay down a protective cloth on a reasonably clean area such as a porch or sidewalk, then retrieve the futon and lay it on the cloth. He would then open it up, ripping seams if necessary, and use a long bow, like the bow of a bow and arrow, with a piece of piano wire on it, plucking the wire with pinched fingers to twang the cotton inside the futon, thereby fluffing it up.

After spending a good amount of time fluffing up all the cotton in the entire futon, he would sew the cover back up, and you would have a refreshed futon.

I only saw this happen once. It was fascinating that he could do that, just with the twang of a wire.

Then it was back onto the bicycle, and away he slowly went, fading like the refrain of a lullaby: "Futon wallah!" ... "Futon wallah!" ... "Futon wallah!"

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