A Bed-time Story




My sleep pattern has gone for a toss. It has been so for a while now. My eyes remain peeled long into midnight - till 1.00, 2.00, 3.00…and the mind works overtime.


There is no dearth of things to dwell upon, you see. Life has made sure that we spend more energies on planning things that will ultimately go awry if they have to, on stretching beyond our physical thresholds and on striving for things we ourselves can’t determine.


Thanks to these sundry human inanities, sleep has not been a great aide to me of late. ‘Not a good sign’ - I get warned every time I speak about it to someone. Hitting the bed at 2.30 and 3.00 AM can confuse your internal processes, I am told. In the long run, it could disorient you.

Perhaps.


With time, it could result in inner chaos of a different sort. Night and day may fuse, and my body will work anticlockwise. I don’t contest that theory. It could wind me down and render me inactive, but when the sadness of humanity overwhelms and fears of the most indefinite kind rob the spark from life, when old pains return to haunt the senses, what do I do?

When sleep is unrelenting, and it stands outside my door like a wayward child, what do I do?


I let the quietness of night inspire me and tap my deepest instincts awake. I step out to stand in the balcony and gaze at the remains of the moon so deeply hued that I will be forgiven for lamely comparing it to a peeled half-orange.


When did the moon change its colour and acquire such an endearing amber tone, I wonder.

Is it a pair of tired eyes playing tricks on me or is it the illusion of a meandering spirit? Is it the magic of the night sky or the changing views of my inner landscape? Is it the moon indeed or the sun out on a secret summer date?


Which one is real, and which one is a disguise? The sun or the moon? The day or the night? Me or my shadow?


The moon has no time to answer me.


As the chrome specter gradually slides into the sea, I creep into the bed. I have no memory of the moments that followed. Within seconds, I must have conked out. I vaguely remember having a dream – of a deep yellow moon cruising in the immaculate night. My sleep must have happened somewhere on its murky periphery.

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