Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The insomnia creeps up

It's kinda boring to be an insomniac. One spends the nighs wide awake like an owl, and the days feeling all tired and sleepy, except when one decides to hit the bed, one doesn't sleep for more than a couple of hours, after which one wakes up like one's been jolted with a micro ampere of electricity. (Seriously, even a single ampere will kill one.)

Insomnia makes one type long sentences with a lot of commas in them. One also looks up random and useless trivia.

When one spends close to twenty hours a day being awake, wide or bleary eyed, one is exposed to a lot of things that normal people aren't. (The assumption being that anybody who doesn't spend twenty hours a day awake is normal.) And this is fun. This is vital information that one can use to taunt the normal folk.

For example, if anybody says that Chennai is a concrete jungle and one can no longer hear the birds chirp early in the morning, they are lying. Well, they aren't, because more often than not, they aren't awake during these early hours. One is, and that makes one privy to the information that birds do chirp, rather happily if one might add, at around 5 am in one's neighbourhood.

One leaves work at around 1250 these days. One watches the first half of the midnight football match and leaves immediately to get back home before the second half starts. It's just five kms away anyway. The fact that one has to make it before the second half starts is enough motivation to torture one's bike to get one home fast enough, not that one needs the motivation, one usually rides like a maniac who's rushing to a hospital for a kidney transplant. When one rides that fast, there aren't really many things one can notice en route. But there are some startling things that stand out.

Like this junction in T Nagar for example. The usually crowded junction, which is literally packed with traffic that measures its moves, like somebody's going to nuke them if they move too many metres at once, is absolutely devoid of any human life. A stray dog is happily sleeping. A couple of dogs are probably engaged in coitus, it's hard to say when one's going that fast. There is a lone ice cream vendor who's cycling to wherever he's cycling. One stopped him once and asked him for something to eat and he said that only the ice creams above 15 bucks are available and since one doesn't earn and one is still shamelessly mooching off his parents, one refused to buy the ice cream. One put up a long face and rode back home in solitude.

Since one's house plays neighbours to a liquor store, one finds many drunk and passed out men strewn along the route to one's home. Usually, the drunk men have enough sense to pass out on the platform. Some do spill out to the road. Then there are those who are right in the middle of the road. When the head light in one's bike doesn't work, this can turn out to be quite a sticky situation. One is often required to swerve at the last moment, thereby either coming too close to the platform, or waking up a sleeping dog. The dog which was sleeping till one decided to wake it up then chooses to chase one down till it is satisfied that the noise of the bike's engine drowns its barks.

It is quite a different world out there when the normal folk sleep and insomniacs roam around clueless. It's a world that one must not miss.

"With the birds I share this lonely view"

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