Sunday, January 30, 2011


‘They’ say we spend a third of our lives asleep. Which third? I’ve taken enormous pains here to clock the life cycle of human sleep.

At this stage, they stay awake the whole night, and fall blissfully asleep at 6 in the morning. Any attempts to wake them will be at your own peril, as new moms discover soon.
Kids: Kids never want to sleep. They treat your entreaty to sleep with major suspicion.
Me: Niks, time to sleep.
Niks: I doesn’t want to. Please I will be a good boy. Please I want to play. Please I doesn’t want to sleep.

Teens: Study/ play computer games/ chat mindlessly online or on phone through half the night, then sleep till afternoon, and demand breakfast at dinner time.

Adults: (I am presupposing here that you consider me one). Adults are all sleep-deprived. New parents walk around like robots, pouring coffee at regular intervals into their mouth, and walking into walls. When their children grow into teens, adults will stay awake all night waiting to hear their kid’s bike engine throb into the driveway after a late night party, after which they will scramble hurriedly into bed, and stay awake wondering whether the kid’s come in alone or not.

This is pure honesty, is my sleep pattern:

11 p.m. Finally Niks crashes out, and I put my weary head onto the pillow.
11.05 p.m. Remember that I left the food out and it will be cockroach-fest, so run downstairs to put it into the fridge.
11.20. Head hits pillow when Marco begins to bark his head off at phantom imaginary cat.
11. 35. Pillow over head, close eyes. Someone begins to sing. Oh, only the TV. Someone has left it on. Walk down to switch it off. It is not my TV. It is the house opposite. Also note strange things happening through the curtains of their window. Takes up 5 minutes more of amused watching. More entertaining than the TV.
11.55. Yippeee! Made it to sleep before midnight.
Midnight: Cell phone shrills. Someone wishes Anjal a Happy Birthday. Assure them I am not Anjal, and it is not my Birthday, and tell them to sue Facebook.
1 a.m. Have spent last 20 minutes staring at Niks asleep and wondering how, at age 3, he can snore so loudly. It is inherited for sure.
1.45 a.m. Finally. Good Night.
2 a.m. Alarm begins to screech. S has a football match to watch in the middle of the night.
Give up and spend till 5 am. Reading in the lamplight.

At 5 am, fall asleep. Do you see what’s happening here? The sleep cycle is a CYCLE indeed. I have regressed, in adulthood to baby sleep patterns.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Present Tense!

So I had to buy a present for a 10-year old boy. Now, I don’t have a 10-year-old boy, and I was never a 10-year-old boy myself, so you can imagine how clueless I felt. And how stressed out. I mean, what does a 10-year-old boy even like?
This is what I ended up buying the boy.

I picked up a Hardy Boys book, then at home, realized that was probably the Dark Ages to him. So, the next morning, I got a top (also Dark Ages) – now it’s called a Bay Blade. Then I thought that looked too small as a gift. So, I bought him a toy rifle. Promoting violence! Oh no! In desperation, on the way to the party, I bought him a TShirt, which later looked too small and a glow in the dark bedsheet, which may or may not glow in the dark later that night. So, bearing 5 wrapped gifts, I drove my kids to the party- and finally slipped the Mother a larger-than-she deserved currency note, telling her to please buy her 10-year-old boy something he liked. She gave me a look that said, ‘You couldn’t even take a minute to buy it yourself?’

It’s a genetic flaw. I cannot buy a present right.

I once gave an old cheerful aunt who is full of the love of life – a pair of Nike sports shoes – to meet her and find out she’s bedridden with arthritis. I gave someone a house-warming gift of wine glasses to be told they are rabid tea-totallers, who frown seriously on alcoholic people.

I wish I could be like S, who gives everyone books. He doesn’t seem to care too much whether they read the book, or they’ve already read it, or they never will. He just enjoys spending hours in a book store, and buying a book he likes himself.
Perhaps, I should have bought the 10-year-old boy something I liked? Like a pair of pearl earrings?