Sleep and the Sleepless!!

The Internet says all ‘successful’ people wake up in the morning with a strong undying urge that drives them through their day.

Apparently, the internet is never wrong.


MY SIDE OF THE STORY

I wake up every morning with a strong undying urge too – the urge to go back to sleep.

Sleep_woman

I love it, I need it and I crave for it. If I am not doing it I am actively thinking about it.

I have had people tell me how they were awake all night for whatever reason – work, party et al. I don’t remember a time when I got excited about missing on a night’s sleep.

No. I am not really one of those lazy bums who won’t drag their ass out of the bed for anything in the world.

I am not really that lazy woman. I love to do some work – forcefully do my chores (or I won’t find space to sleep!). I also barely maintain some sanity in the house and within myself amidst all the juggling a modern mom has to do.

BUT I do all of it so that my mind feels content enough to sing a sweet lullaby and put me to sleep right away at night. No tossing and turning – no gazing at the sky – no counting till 100.

I believe there are just a handful of things that are really valuable. FOOD and a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP being the top 2 in my list.

SO the aim is to work just about enough to fill my tummy and sleep peacefully at night.

SO I go to bed and zzzzzzzzz………

Hence my success – In being me (Yea! I am a superstar!!)


HUBBY’S SIDE OF THE STORY

I wake up every morning I am eternally awake to fulfil my strong undying urge. The urge to work all the time.

I work for..umm..umm…because I love to work. I think it is a part of me. I love it, I need it and I crave for it. If I am not actively doing work, I am thinking of it all the time.

I have had people tell me they work for money. They get excited about bunking work. I don’t remember a time when I got excited about bunking work. C’mon how old are you guys – 13?? (Even at 13 I used to love to study though)

No. Do not mistake me for a nerd.

I am not. I love to have fun – workout – movies – trips – but all so that I feel rejuvenated to work again.

I believe that there is only one thing that is valuable in life – the ability to always think and execute new ways to work.

I eat and sleep so that I am energized enough to work again – Yeah the work pays to fill the families tummy, pay the bills, insurance and some future investment

SO I go to bed – toss turn – check the time – go to the loo twice – come back to bed – toss turn – check the time – peep over my wife who sleeps like a log and the cycle continues

Phew! Its morning and I can work again!!!

That would lead to some ‘success’ – wouldn’t it?!


At least one person happily pays the price for a whole family going to sleep peacefully and only to listen to the ‘Philosophy and eternal truth of life’ from me!

Fancy aint it and I can’t believe women complain of having workaholic husbands!!

Johny Johny..?!?

The moment you become a parent you become virtuous. Instantaneously. The pressure of setting an example for a much smaller human being starts hitting you. So you try to always be well mannered and righteous. Well, almost always.

There are a few things one loves dearest. I mean ‘things’ not people or even living things just material things.

CUddlyCoo

Now if your off spring grows to love the exact same things – there are 2 possibilities – unbreakable bond (Like Fevical ka jod!) or unending conflict (like milk and curd!)

There are few- very few kids who I have heard of – who hate chocolates. They love fruits and veggies. WOW! How I wish my progeny was one of that kind. Didn’t wish hard enough I guess.

Chocolates – It seems will make us the worst enemies we can ever be to each other – my son and I.

Dhruv is done with his lunch and demands for his daily rather hourly doze of the brown evil. I open the fridge and scream. Whaaa!!! The whole pack of Lindt had disappeared. I just saw it last evening!

I look at my mom in law. Eyes narrow and sharp, so sharp that I could have her heart piercing with my gaze. She is usually the first accused in times of crisis like this – by the virtue of she being the ‘in-law’.

She quickly defends herself ‘Don’t you dare give me that look! It isn’t me. Ask your son, he is the one who so diligently had one chocolate every hour like a doctor’s prescription’. Damn!

The fridge which is usually always stacked with chocolate bars, suddenly seemed devoid of any. The last of lindt was smiling at me.

It was tough fight between the split personalities within me – A true forever giving mom Vs an ardent chocolate lover.

The argument that ensued was thus:

True Mom says: Oh C’mon. It’s just a chocolate, let him have it.

Chocolate lover says: Just a chocolate?? Whoaa!! He emptied the whole box for God’s sake!

True Mom says: He’s just a child. Let him be. He’s finished his lunch. SO just give it away.

Chocolate lover says: Precisely. He is just a child. So much chocolate can harm him. So just give him jaggery and let him be. What sort of a mother are you? A box of chocolate? Imagine the calories and cavities…

True Mom now is thinking hard. Jaggery it is.

The chocolate lover does an ecstatic jumpy dance. She then quickly picks the chocolate and puts it in her pocket.

‘Maa…Where is Dhruv’s chocolate??? Dhruv finished his lunch. Seeeee. Tummy full.’ Innocent smile. But not even to shake the chocolate lover in his mommy.

‘Dhruv – there is no chocolate in the fridge. See? We will ask Acha to buy some more. Now you will just have to settle for some jaggery. Sorry baby..’ followed by a hug and a kiss.

He settles for jiggery. My understanding little one!

The moment he is out of sight I quickly open the wrapper and hurriedly dump that chocolate into my mouth.

Bliss! I relish it with my eyes closed. Suddenly I feel someone pulling me from down. Arghhh. Do not disturb!

But the pull gets tighter. I open my eyes and find my little detective.

‘What are you eating?’

‘Hmm??’ slowly moving the chocolate from the right cheek to center so it would be less noticeable.

‘What are you eating?’

‘Hmm?’ trying to look around..

‘Ammmaaaa WHAT ARE YOU EATING?’

‘Hmm?’

‘Oh God! Can’t you hear?’

By now the chocolate has molten into a liquid state and I swallowed it slowly.

‘Jaggery??’

‘Yea!’

‘But why does jaggery come in the Lindt wrapper??’

Damn!!!! I can see the True Mom giving the narrow eyed stare to the chocolate lover. You dare teach my baby to lie!!

HELP!!!

My Genie!

Try this.

Go to Google.co.in.

CuddlYCoo

Type: ‘How to’ in your search window.

Trust me what you find will make you laugh, gasp and think.

Your most recent search will be followed by – ‘How to Kiss’ or ‘How to get pregnant’.

WHOA!! All I wanted to search was ‘How to make a no-bake cheese cake’ and it prompts me to this???

Is it Google or is it me? Is it trying to imply something – anything???

I am intrigued. I would have expected it to prompt me with ‘How to safeguard yourself from terror attacks’. Alas no.

‘Who’ and ‘What’ had less embarrassing answers though.

I am curious.

I go to Google.co.uk I do the same exercise.

It says: “how to make pancake” and “how to make money”.

Obviously as important as a kiss or getting pregnant!

I do the same exercise for a lot of other countries. It is thoroughly entertaining.

Then I get back to my google.co.in. And gaze at the screen after typing in ‘HOW TO..’ Deep breath.

I can hear all my non Indian friends smirking and thinking ‘you desperate people!’. I am trying hard to come up with a comeback line – which could be:

  1. I think it is a huge conspiracy. The world which includes Google is plotting against us as a Nation.
  2. We love research. We research everything.
  3. Remember Kamasutra? We own it and want to know if Google can compete.
  4. We are a nation of 1.25 billion but we still need to be sure if we have been doing it the right way.

Cannot come up with anything else.

Do I need to be embarrassed with the result flashing on my screen?

Does it say that this is all that we search for?

Do I need to be ashamed about the words staring at me from the screen?

A lot of things brush through my tiny brains – some defensive, some offensive and some questionable.

I know if I click on one of it, a range of youtube videos will take me through the whole process.

No Thank you. Not that I think it is gross, but just that I’d like to think a few things are naturally bestowed upon us and long existed before the age of Google.

So we must have done something right then – we can’t be that uninformed.

Welcome to the age of technology where we can do a google search for ‘How to pee’ which will give you a very logical and descriptive way of emptying your bowels!

Thank you my search engine for being by my side through good times and bad – for being the genie who has answers to everything – even things which needn’t have answers!

Hum along!!

It appears having a toddler at home can have more dire consequences than you’d think and the situation will leave you googling about ‘focus’ ‘attention’ et al.

Let me clarify – If you have a toddler at home, you get used to repetition – same game over and over again, same story a million times and the worst is the same set of nursery rhymes day in and day out.

So you wake up in the morning listening to ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ Do your house chores listening to the same, listen to the same one in your car and drift off to sleep at night with ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’ playing in the background.

Click on to listen : 5 little monkeys Be warned though. it will haunt you for the next one week!

CuddlyCoo

You listen to it so many times a day that even if it doesn’t play in the stereo; it is always playing in your head. You wake up and you want to say the morning prayer but you can only recollect ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..’; that friend of yours ask you about that song from that movie and you blabber ‘5 little monkeys..’

Worse still; rhymes have rhythm…so you are working at your work station and the rhymes go off in your head. You nod your head sideways and up and down; you go to collect a print and the nod continues with maybe a side to side sway and you find yourself calling for all your colleagues’ attention for the wrong reasons.

But the worst is yet to come.

There I am in between my appraisal meeting, trying really hard to prove my point and that I really need that promotion but all I have in my head is ‘5 little monkeys…’ which sort of shows on my face and when am expected to advocate, am only smiling to myself and nodding my head!

So I know am not getting any worthy appraisal thanks to the monkeys. And I am frustrated but the monkey song would not let me be, it forces me to smile and nod!

It is like a bug. It isn’t even appealing like that hip number stuck in your head from a famous album. Because you need to be extremely careful not to let it slip out of your mouth because then you give off way too much about yourself than you intend to.

So you stop by at the petrol bunk to refuel; you are still nodding and swaying; then the rhyme slips out in a hum and there the world knows that you are no longer just a woman – who may or may not be married – who may or may not have kids. You are a mom and you listen to the rhymes more than you have listened to everything else cumulated over the years!

Thank You Come Again!!

So when you meet those umpteen number of family and friends in some wedding; you meet, greet and when it is time to say good bye you casually say : ‘ You must come down to Bangalore sometime. Visit us when you do. It will be fun.’

CuddlyCoo

It is evident that you don’t really mean it.

But some of them think you do.

Friday evening, the phone rings.

MIL answers and all I can hear is “Ehh?? Haan. Okay. Tomorrow?? What time?? Who all??’

Then a detailed conversation about kids, family, extended family ensue.

After about 10 minutes into the conversation she is about to hang up when she pauses and asks again ‘Who did you say you were??’

Whaa!!! What was she thinking all this while???

Now I was almost sure that she may just say ‘Oh sorry. It is a wrong number’.

She hung up. I was staring at her, eyes narrow and sarcasm brimming out of them. I say ‘So you talk to someone for all this time – everything from my son’s potty habits to his grandfather’s property – and at the end of it you don’t know who you were talking to?? Well done!!’

She rolls her eyes and says ‘How am I to know if they say – ‘Hello Ganga….I am Hari from your hometown, we are coming to Bangalore. We will visit you tomorrow. How is Sabarish and Geethu??’

In her favor, she advocates

  • He called her by her name – Ganga.
  • Asked about Sabarish and me by our names.
  • Spoke about all of my father in law’s relatives. More bad than good.

So obviously he knows us, especially after point 3.

‘But who is this Hari??’

‘In my defense, in a clan of some 50 – 60 cousins, their kids and grand kids, how would you differentiate a Hari from a Ravi??’

True. Hari Ravi Sashi are all just the same. Can’t say one from the other when you have only seen them in wedding and funerals.

So we know someone from Father in law’s family is coming to visit us tomorrow, with family. They say it is a casual visit.

And so we hope.

We also hope that it wasn’t an appointment taken by some spooky crook who got to know of us from some social media site and thinks he can rob us of the million dollars (because million rupees doesn’t sound that cool) we have locked up in our Godrej locker and flee away to his happily ever after land.

Next afternoon, Sabarish gets a call asking for directions to come home. He tells them promptly.

In about half an hour, at about 3.00 pm the doorbell rings. We open hesitantly.

We are greeted by 1…2…3…16 smiley faces – not 4 or 6 but 16!!!

16 – 8 small ones, 8 adults – 4 families!

I scan across every face – my eyes going up and down like a Bharatnatyam dancer as I do so.

Nothing familiar. I reach the last 3 and recognize finally! 2 smiley kids and 1 smiley woman I know.

The smiley woman says ‘Geethu was so sweet when she called us over at the wedding last June, we just had to come. We are all family. You know all of them don’t you?’ She points out to the crowd.

I could see MIL and Sabarish stare hard at me from the corner of their eye. Damn! I was just being nice to your relatives for God’s sake!

This world is not meant for soulful and compassionate beings such as I…I wish I could vanish.

She introduces everyone to everyone. A lot of gibberish happens..

I can only vaguely remember what ensued. Maid hurrying off to the grocery store to buy milk, juice, goodies to feed 16 tummies.

Hyper active kids climbing everywhere and everything. Strangers walking in and out of all the rooms..I could see they felt very much ‘at home’ – quite effortlessly.

It was dinner time and they were still very much at home. So food had to be ordered in.

By now we were almost certain the crowd is here to stay and that we would be stuck entertaining total strangers for the rest of our lives!

By 11.00 pm, we somehow stuffed all 16 into the minivan they came in and packed them home!

They yelled out and said – We had a nice time. Will visit again!!!!!!

Hell no.

After they went, we scanned the house just to make sure they haven’t left any little one around.

The house looked like a zoo. We sat down for an afterthought. MIL and Sabarish on one side and me on the other. I feel like a criminal being questioned.

Fine!!! It was a genuine attempt gone grossly wrong! All I said was ‘visit us sometime’ which got interpreted as ‘pay us a surprise visit along with all your acquaintances in Bangalore. We love entertaining unknown people.’

Yes. I shall use my words more judiciously henceforth..

Those watchful eyes!

So generally you affectionately pick up your toddler son, swirl him and kiss him and he would in turn probably hug you tight, laugh and giggle and tell ‘Maa I lovee you..’

I wish!

CuddlyCoo

I pick my toddler and do the same. He does laugh and giggle and then says ‘Maa you have this black hair sticking out of your chin.’

Shocked.

He then tries to pluck it with his tiny fingers and finds it thoroughly amusing. Repeats it over and over again pinching my chin in the process.

Embarrassed.

I look around to assure myself that we are alone and MIL, the maid or Sabarish are nowhere in the audible range..

I put him down and run to the closest mirror, switch on all the lights and inspect.

There. One black pointy hair on my wheatish chin.

Yes, I had noticed it last morning and I chose to ignore. It is technically just one hair and not a beard yet. I could have just plucked it.

But no. I chose procrastination!

See! This is why they have those umpteen articles to how procrastination should be overcome…

Too late, by now Dhruv was running around the house calling out for his dad, grandma and the maid ‘Achaaaaa Achammaaaaaaa Pap…come see..Amma has a black hair on her chin.’

Everyone comes out of their harbor in a split second.

Really?! Are you kidding me?

I bloody yell out to everyone in the house just 15 minutes ago saying: ‘Tea is ready..’ but not one person comes before a line brown layer of butter forms on top of the tea and then I get ‘Oh! It’s cold!’

And people jump out for a tiny hair on my chin??

There are 2 sets people who ensure I am self-conscious at all points in my life:

Set 1:

My mom: Groom, dress, stop looking so poor! Don’t embarrass me in front of my friends… (She is as good as 10 people hence she forms Set 1)

Over time I have learned to face this one liner. Nope I don’t defy. Not an option. I make sure I am groomed when she is in a 1 mile vicinity.

Set 2:

A few really good friends who are miraculously groomed at all times – Even if a catastrophe struck, they would still excuse themselves to get their pedicures and manicures because what if Yamraj (God of death) thought it is too cruel to kill these damsels and chose to go back empty handed.

They have given up on me and call me plain lazy.

But now I realize I have a new traitor in this battle of life, a 2 year old whose needs me to groom him, but is now smart enough to spot a black hair on my chin, realize it is inappropriate and yell out to the world to mock me!

Damn! What am I breeding at home?!

Lure my mind not!

CuddlyCoo

I am driving my way to work and I am fiddling with the various buttons/switches on the car still trying to figure out what many of them do anyway.

All I can hear the radio scream is:

‘Wake up to the chirping birds. Step out into a garden full of lovely flowers; Buy a property at ABC villa properties and this dream could be yours..’ – says the realty commercial on one FM station this morning.

I roll my eyes and punch the next button to hear silence. I increase the volume. No use. Utter silence.

Damn! My stereo is broken, another unexpected money drain, I think.

Just then the radio blares: ‘Is this the silence you wish greets you every morning?! We assure you a silent, most peaceful haven – far from the hustle bustle of the city…’

Whoa! 10 secs of air time wasted on … silence???!

I hit the next button again and I hear:

‘Can’t find like-minded people? Buy a home at —— and be sure to find neighbors you can go jogging with, who you’d love to call home for tea….’

OMG!!!

3 radio stations – 10 minutes of drive – that is 30 minutes (?!) of airtime for realty commercials??

So apparently the ingredients for my Dream House is as follows:

Main ingredients:

  • Chirping birds.
  • Flower/vegetable garden to step out into.
  • Silence – even if it feels ghostly – is a key factor.
  • Jogging park.
  • Like minded neighbors.

For Garnish :  a club house, sports amenities and so on.

Now at the next signal, I do a mental analysis of My Home versus the Dream home.

  • Bird Chirping..well..crows count as birds don’t they?? – check.
  • Flower/vegetable garden – I can potentially convert my limited space on terrace into the Hanging garden of Babylon and then step onto it first thing in the morning OR I can continue to step out into cow dung/dog shit et al that welcomes me on the road my gate opens into. Well, either way it is nature and there is nothing more Holy than cow dung – Go Mata Ki Jai!
  • Pin Drop Silence – Hmm. Hmm. Don’t know how that feels. The closest I can remember is my 1st grade teacher holding a cane in her hand and saying PIN DROP SILENCE, and all of us felt small and helpless. NOPE. No silence thank you.
  • Jogging Park – Well, the treadmill has successfully been transformed into a clothes line. So now I imagine a clothesline as long as the park – the New Dhobi Ghat!! Wha!!! Maybe I can do the same with the park some 5 minuted from my home?
  • Like minded neighbors – I believe I am unique. I do not want any other like minded person around me because that would mean people who can read my mind around me. My world would then come to an end. Moreover, I am happy with the absolutely diverse crowd around me by all means – social economical cultural and religious diversity is what we stand for remember??
  • I can however do with a clubhouse and sports facility; not because I will use it but because I can brag about it – I need something to brag about don’t I?! I obviously can’t brag about the dung or the crows..

Voila! The conclusion thus formed is: my home is my dream home. Well done!

I must admit that this reflection struck in only after I saw a hoarding which stated – Register now for Your Dream Home – starts at Rs 88 lakhs only!

That is quite an expensive dream and then when I thought of all the maintenance required to keep the dream house dreamy – damn I’d rather not have it!

I rang up Hubby to tell him about my realization. He is Euphoric about my transformation from a thankless wife to a content one. I almost saw him jumping hooting and doing a Naa Nana Naana to the commercial people.

Noone can mess with my mind now, he thought. I am past all the material love – a halo appears above my head.

And then the next 2 minutes of my drive enlightened me about how ‘Diamonds are forever’ and if Raymond is for a complete man then diamond is for a complete woman..umm..yes..I somehow am willing to be called a ‘woman’; a huge step from the ‘girl’ or the ‘lady’; for a diamond.

And then I ring Hubby dear again, His voice was still buoyant from the previous call. I then tell him: ‘So my darling husband, I do not need that dream home. Not now.However I could do with a diamond set for now, because the commercial says and frankly I can’t come up with an argument otherwise and if you wish to differ hubby dear, then tell me why am I not ‘Worth a Diamond!”

And he sighs! Not quite there yet! Some day..