Archive for January 1st, 2008

January 1, 2008

How I became a Creature of the Night


It must be about four o’clock, thought Moist. Four o’clock! I hate it when there are two four o’clocks in the same day.*


I’m not sure if it’s just me (and PTerry, apparently), but 4 am has always been a sort of borderline time for me. I suspect my grandfather had something to do with it – when I was young he would wake up at 4 for his morning walk to the temple. And so it had entered my consciousness as a time when people (not myself, of course, but reasonably normal people nonetheless) could wake up. Plus it was close to 5, which wasn’t that unearthly an hour to rise, and 5 was close to 6, which was practically sensible. On the other hand, though, I was surrounded by people who usually slept late. They had been known to finally get to bed at 4, though none of them did it regularly.

As I grew up, I did sometimes go to bed at 4. If I was reading an interesting book, for example, or had been at a party. It was still rare. There was something rather sinful about staying up till 4, for some reason.

But during the exams early in 2007 my lifestyle changed drastically. I would, as a matter of routine, sleep or laze the day away, panic after midnight, and frantically flip through notes till about 3. I would then require something to soothe my brain before sleep was possible.

So I began to watch Postman Pat. On Pogo, dubbed into Hindi, at 3:30 am every weekday. It was, really, the only watchable thing on TV.

Which was all very well. Exams (and Postman Pat dubbed into Hindi) are extenuating circumstances, I suppose. Unfortunately, once they were done with I found it impossible to re-acquire civilized sleeping habits. I became officially nocturnal. Relieved of all responsibility, I entered a life of decadent disregard for my native timezone. I would sleep till noon and read till dawn. At the end of May, Supriya was a horrified observer of my sleeping habits. In November, the PL would shamelessly exploit them by asking me if I’d mind staying up till 5:30 and waking him up so he’d have time to go to the gym. It was a downward spiral. I still cannot break free. I’ve even considered moving to a country in a more conveniently situated timezone. It seemed the only solution. England, now, England would work. 5 ½ hours behind us, yes?

But I am not moving to England just yet. I am, however, moving to Calcutta this saturday afternoon. I suspect I will miss Delhi.

Anyway. A very happy new year to everyone who reads this, though I’m pretty sure the Gregorian calendar is Against Our Culture.

*From my shiny new autographed copy (thanks, Shreyas!) of Terry Pratchett’s Making Money