I am tossing and turning in bed. Eventually I grab my phone to check the time. 1:05 am. Wrong move. Now Facebook has gotten me all awake. Shove the phone below the blanket and try to grab some more winks. It is too early and far too cold to get up.
A few hours ahead, I have seen some disturbing dreams and felt more irritable. There is some major chemical locha happening in my head. I know I can’t sleep now. Wonder what is causing this insomnolence. Is it the undercooked rajma that I had last night? Whatever. I plod to the fridge in the dark and gulp down some water.
Now that I am wide awake, I might as well do something else. I step on to the weighing scales. The pointer swings between fifty and sixty kilos! My eyeballs pop out. I step down and step up again. Same thing! I couldn’t have melted overnight, could I? Until I pick up the scales to check. An errant lipstick has rolled underneath the scales. I wish I could leave it there, for the feel-good feeling.
Instead, I decide to wear some bright sportswear, and walk up to the terrace. Open the door gently so as not to wake the rest of the household. It is pitch dark. I place my hands on the railing and a shiver goes down my spine. It is freezing. I need some warm clothes. I walk back to the old almirah, and try to find a shawl in the dark. The almirah door creaks loudly like an old aunt, and in the process might have woken up everyone else.
Trudge back to the terrace. Walk up and down slowly. The glare of the streetlights is disturbing in the dark. The long shadows of my shapeless shape are even more disturbing. I don’t want to look at the walls anymore. The occasional gush of the morning breeze makes me shiver. I wish dawn would break. At least the birds would sing. But the only sound which reverberates are some obscure Jhankaar beats. The chai-wallah on the main road must now be open. I hear some bikes whirring past. The guys from the nearby engineering college are studying for their exams in the final stage. I feel like I have pieced a jigsaw together.
And then I’m reminded of the real reason for my irritation. Have to complete a candidate’s thesis and the university’s deadines are looming large. Ah! The vagaries of thesis guides! Wish I could turn pages more quickly and toss the manuscript far away.
(Featured painting: Insomnia by Helena Wierzbicki)