A lot has been said and written (by me of course) about my 'catch-me-if-you-can' game with SLEEP. And I've rarely won. I just never catch hold of him (I'd like to call it a male, coz most things annoying and never turn up on time are best suited in the M category). This isn't a recent thing. I've been trying to win this game for as long as I can recall. Of course there are these stories that my mom keeps saying about how I'd fall asleep at a theatre (when I was as young as 3-4) or how I'd decide to say g'nite when we were out for dinner (and the chairs would be grouped together to give me that cushy cushy bed where I lay peacefully while other enjoyed their soups and desserts) or how I would always insist that I was not sleepy (my mom claims my eyes were almost shut with sleep when I said this) and just lie down on the couch in the living room and soon enough float to dreamland. Amma would try me coaxing me out of my dream, but I'd just mutter and mumble and sleep away. Finally dad would either carry me up or they'd just sleep-walk me to my room upstairs.
I don't remember those days. From when my memory turned active, I've been craving to fall asleep. I was never a afternoon nap person, I always found more exciting ways to spend my post-lunch times. Once nights set in, it was time for TV and chatting with friends, dinner and some gup-shup with parents and soon everyone would get ready to hit bed. I would then turn to my study table, do my little everyday reads and then be ready to sleep. There I would be lying down, my bedtime prayers said...waiting and waiting. But those days the wait was fun, coz that was the time I would run through my day's event, smile at the funny incidents, wonder where that cute guy I met at the nearby shop was staying, would I meet him again, do a quick mental check of any news, gossips to be shared with friends the next morning....and somewhere in between this I would fall asleep, with a smile.
Years passed by, but my hide-n-seek with sleep stayed on. The wait wasn't always as exciting or entertaining. There were the love aches, the lil friendly tiffs, the bitter arguments wt mom-dad (it was my age of rebellion). Then came the time of late-night chats" with friends, with friends' girlfriends (trying to settle love disputes), with my man of the moment and sometimes the prank calls. The fun was back...but again sleep wasn't.
From a student I turned a working woman and for once I was glad that sleep didn't visit me on time. Media was my industry and a regional TV channel was my place of work. Welcome to the world of shift-system, where one week I was to be at office by 1 in the afternoon and could wrap up by 9-10 p.m. And the next week my day would start bang at midnight (12 a.m.) and would end shortly after sun-rise, by 8.30-9 a.m. Just then Mr.Sleep decided to get friendly with me. As soon as I was in office, and ready to start work he'd come knocking and a few hours into work I'd be yawning big enough to fracture my cheekbones, and struggling to keep my eyes open. Son enough I'd be down on the desk sleeping. Thankfully there would be 2 of us and we'd take turns to nap. The worst, though, was the bus-ride back home from office after the morn shift. There I'd be returning from work, and would be in a bus packed with people hurrying to work. I'd be squeezed amongst the many ladies and I'd be clinging onto the railing on top, swaying back and forth everytime the bus braked. Think the driver got a secret pleasure at jamming the brakes all of a sudden and have all the people surge ahead with a collective 'Aaaaa' or 'Ayyooo'. If I was lucky to find a seat, then it was worse. There I'd be waiting to get home but would soon find myself drooping down in sleep as the wind hit my face. What a struggle it was to stay awake and not miss my stop! I told you the 'male' lot almost always do the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Even today, from working woman to a wife to now a mother, I still continue the love-hate relationship with sleep. Nowadays he hardly turns up and I am left tossing and turning in bed, each time taking extra care not to wake up my little one who's by my side (and who seems to have inherited my insomniac genes). And then there's my husband who can sleep before you say the word aloud.
A friend just wrote today that Mr. Sleep has turned sour with her too and refuses to join her in bed these days. Well, then come over to my bedroom, Mr. Sleep...am waiting.