Friday, October 06, 2006


Ding Dong Clock

Many summers ago, when I was but an innocent lad, there was an unwritten concept of bedtime. It started with 9 as far as I can remember, and later graduated to 10. It was during those days of carefree innocence that seeing your cute red plastic digital wristwatch (occasionally adorned with a Mickey a la Robert Langdon) show midnight was a great feat. These rare occasions were almost always marriage ceremonies of near and dear relatives when the bachcha bandwagon would be rolling about on the chairs waiting for vidai, and always succumbing to the guiles of that everlasting nemesis – sleep. It used to be quite a boast to inform your schoolfellows that you’d seen what 1 a.m. looked like. The pipsqueak who declared he’d been up till 2 once, though far from being a Vito Corleone, was definitely a Man of Respect.

As the 10 o’clock phase came to an end, the concept of bedtime was almost dodo. Yet the body showed vigorous signs of protest when the question of functioning after midnight arose. It was in the prime years of adolescence that the body clock would give an unexpected ding and cease to exist (Call centre officials take note). Forget travelling halfway across the world to get jetlagged, it was as easy as 1-2-3 now. The peak was reached 2 years ago in my class XII summer holidays when my parents, delighted on seeing how my face looked at 7 in the morn, got a rude shock when told that I had not slept yet.

The process leading to this attainment of non-body clock Nirvana was extremely arduous. It started with hours spent on the bed with the lights off waiting for that elusive sleep. In those moments the mind became the perfect celluloid to play all kinds of movies having Lefty as the leading character. I scored goals for my school team, performed extremely well in difficult examinations, became exceedingly rich, beat up the toughest guys around and went out with the best-looking girl in the school (when will Karan Johar realize that all these can be plots of different movies?). What was most mind-boggling was the verisimilitude of these movies. It took a lot of self restraint to stop myself emulate my reel-life character.

Once the first step was over, the rest was easy. Hours on the bed became hours spent pursuing some soporific hobby to lure sleep before conceding defeat and recognizing the existence of those unearthly hours in my life. Once again I find myself in a similar situation - blogging till sleep overcomes me. Great way to spend the hols! The body clock went ding ages ago. For a minute now, I thought I was overcome by drowsiness, but it was just wishful thinking. I guess I’ll be up till 7 again, and my parents will have the opportunity to appreciate the contrast of my visage with the verdant surroundings (literally) before the deja vu. Good night, folks! I hope.

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