Sleeping is my favorite occupation…… the most precious thing in the whole world……. yeh aur baat hai that I never get much of it these days. Earlier as a kid I used to sneak in books under the blanket and later had to catch up on the sleep, much to my ma’s wrath. So much that there are times when I thought that my ma was my precious sleep’s worst dushman (enemy sound very subtle).
I was renowned for my sleep so much that I would cancel appointments with friends just to sleep. They would think me rude but I was past caring. My oldest sister called it escapist attitude and she was forever after me to get into something or the other all of which required that I wake up early. All my college life till she got married she saw to it that I left home to catch the 6:30 local. In school ma used to wake me at 5:00 in the morning during school days to practice music and since then I am an expert at sleeping on all surfaces tanpura, harmonium, tabla etc etc….. those were the days. In college I also earned the title of sleeping beauty because my sister’s students always came home and found me sleeping.
Back during school summer holidays all my friends used to trek the hills surrounding and around the vicinity of our home. All my friends went……. Me, I never ever woke up even once so much that they never even bothered after sometime. I have never ever seen the rising sun….. I make up for the loss by watching it setting after all it looks the same rising or setting . I know this for a fact because insomnia caught up with me and these days there are whole nights when i dont sleep.
I could sleep round the clock and anytime at the drop of the hat. I can even sleep through earthquakes and lightnings. Ofcourse there are many who claim to be better than me but my idol is a person who I know who used to started sleeping on friday after work then slept round the clock on saturday and sunday waking only to eat and then monday morning asked around “what day is it ?” mechanically dressed up to go to work……. reached the society gate then said “Man I am so sleepy” and then called in sick and went back to sleep all through Monday as well. This was his routine weekend plans. Now I cant beat that, I do have limitations and honestly I dont have the luxury either.
I cant sleep in trains unlike few people who start sleeping as soon as the train starts. I once had this person sleeping in front of me in the local and when the train jerked to a stop he actually fell down and rolled down under my seat and kept sleeping until people around woke him. There are even people in the local who sleep standing. I know of one person who missed the last train in Kurla when he kept sleeping on the platform bench while waiting for the last train and whole big train came honked and went away and he kept sleeping only to wake and find the lights off and then he had to go home by bus.
In my younger days I had ma at my back all the time screaming “wake up…. wake up” but these days when I go home she lets me sleep through (one advantage of marriage) but then I wake up feeling guilty that she has to wait on me hand and foot….. “ce la vie”. She wasnt that good when I was younger. She used to put me through extreme third degree literally……. she used to throw water on me, irritate me by putting things in my mouth like chillies and threatened other bad things as well. She threw a cockroach on me once during the exam. Actually I sleep more when I am tensed. So during my boards, and then hsc boards, during university exams, and postgraduation exam……. all through if ma hadnt tortured me my exams wouldnt go well….. kind of an omen. You wont believe me but she even beat me with a jhadu during my tenth exam in front of my friend Saroj because I kept sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. I dont remember what was more hurting the beating or the humiliation of getting beaten in front of my friend…… the latter I guess. Same things happened in my hsc exams but this time she only had to threaten me. I was an average student and never had any illusions that I would stand first in class or something but I wouldnt have been where I am today had she not persisted but yeah I learnt to wipe my face after the water attack and go back to sleep. It was amazing to see a full technicolor movie in your sleep and very disturbing to wake up in the middle of the climax so i used to do whatever it takes and go back right there.
There was this time in college when I had boy problems and told everyone at home that I would not step out of the house. I kept to that for a week eating and sleeping and not stepping out of the house…… that was the only time I had dad step in and wake me from sleep and throw me out of the house telling me I would remain uneducated because of some guys. Earlier hubzzz used to work nights and I would be so deep in sleep when he came back that I would sleep walk open the door and go back to sleep irrespective of who entered…… ultimately hubzz started carrying the spare key.
I am also very jealous of people who sleep peacefully. I remember I made my sister eat mustard seeds in her sleep telling her it was nachni (one fact about sleeping people is that they do anything to go back to sleep…. so had I put her through any other thing other than mustard she would have that as well….. the point is: “let me go back to sleep to the dream sequence”). Most of my creative endeavours actually find voice when I see someone sleep peacefully. Like face and body painting and new hair styles. I would love to show you some of my still art work but I think my family will disown me especially my sisterS (yes plural) who have more than once borne the brunt of it not to mention hubzzz who these days takes it for granted that when he will wake up he will look different. Continuing my art I have passed it on to both my nieces who diligently practice it on their fathers and tired-from-the-whole-week-mothers on saturday afternoons and keep pics to show to me. The victims are used to waking looking like a rainbow or in some cases peacock or even parrot. Incase your wondering I only use vegetable colors since that time I had to go to the hardware store to buy turpentine oil.
Coming back to sleep……………. these days it has really come down, after that one depression some months back almost a year. I even wake up early in the morning and cook unlike the times when hubby had to wake me. But seen both sides of grassy patch, I can tell you one thing very confidently….. sleep is really important. To have a peaceful and deep sleep is the best thing because an insomniac is grouchy and hateful and loses interest in life and is very very negative……. been there and I truly believe that the body heals in the sleep both emotionally and physically who cares about a little art work in the process.