I have a gift. A natural, in-born talent the modern man would pay for. I can sleep on demand.
From a very young age I was in the habit of taking afternoon siestas after school and my penchant for the activity can be reflected by the fact that even in my dreams, I would be snoring off to glory. A bird-eye’s view of myself in bed was often what was comprised of in my dreams. So when someone asks me what my dreams are made out of, “sleep” is somehow the only unironically accurate answer.
But as one grows up, they tend to lose the inclinations and talents they harboured as a child. I took the road not taken, and kept sleeping. Even still with great work load and innumerable college assignments inching closer and closer to the deadline, I love the sounds I hear in my sleep….be it that of the dream me snoring or that of the deadline whoosing past (as Douglas Adams would put it).
The Corona season had just started and holed up in the house without any interaction with nature, I was beginning to feel frustrated. I would meditate and listen to calming music but the craving to be outside was never fully pacified. So sometimes, I’d beg permission to be let to sit on my terrace for a few hours so that at least the sky was my own. On one such day, when I had been out of the house for over 3 hours, the household began panicing.
“Is she still on the terrace? I hope she hasn’t left home in a fit of restlessness,” they all thought.
My mother was sent to look for me and there being no security guard downstairs, no one could be asked about my whereabouts. My phone was on and on me but everytime someone would call, it’d go unanswered. Everyone began fearing.
My mum searched every nook and cranny of the terrace for any possible hints but all to no avail. I had vanished into thin air. Could I have been outdoors in such a dangerous, tumultuous time? Should they have ti take me in even if I came bearing the deadly disease. The anxiety in the air was almost tangible and with an ongoing government imposed lockdown, all the adults of the house felt helpless.
After another hour of worrying and phoning all our relatives and my friends whose houses I might’ve showed up to, everyone gave up. My younger brother, too young to possibly understand the depth of the situation, remained silent but offered to assist mum in looking for me. Exhausted and listless, my parents sent him to the terrace to try his luck at locating his sister. And sure enough, he did.
On our terrace, apart from the plants and seating chairs is also a ladder. A ladder that leads to the tank or ‘tanki’ as well call it in India which is hardly ever used. But my brother and I are parts of the same flesh. So the 10 year old climbed the ladder, half expecting nothing but you throw your arms in all directions when you find yourself amid a tide. There I lay, comfortable nestled behind the water tank, FAST ASLEEP and with not a care in the world.
I make sure to keep the ringer of my phone on now, lest I fall asleep in other places that wouldn’t appreciate such behaviour….like online classes!
Hope you all enjoyed this little fictional piece whose inspirations still lie in fact. ‘Neend to bachpan mein aati thi, ab bass thak kar so jaate hain,’ is by far one of my favourite Hindi shayaris ever. Keep reading, keep engaging!!
Ps- Thank you so, so much for the love and support on my last post. I would like everyone to know I have successfully been able to get some part-time work and intend to contine with it till my college reopens in July, after which I’ll take it one day at a time. Thanks again to all for reaching out and making me feel empowered. Forever indebted.

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Viveka Goswami

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