Monday, August 8, 2016

Of stories and sleep and really calling it a night.

Last night was terrible, sleep wise. One of those nights where you toss and turn and eventually just give up and start watching random TED videos. Last night, while I was going through one of those videos, I started dozing off and somewhere between TED and another random video, I fell asleep. I reflected back to how I got into the habit of ritualistically watching videos before I slept, to the point where the only way I could fall asleep was while reading or watching something. I can tell you, it doesn't matter what kind of day I've had, I read, I watch. Interestingly, I don't really listen to music. Music tends to wake me up.

Last night, I kept thinking, how did I become a person who depends on 'means' to fall asleep and almost like an instant reply, my brain popped the answer. I've always been that person. This isn't new at all. I was a baby, (my mother spoke to me even in the womb, I think) when I started listening to stories, each night had been about stories, by my entire family, mother then my grandmother; stories about animals, people, birds and God knows what else; I think there was even  a story about a Mango tree who wants to walk. 

I started sleeping away from my parents very quickly, at 4. May be. I loved sleeping with my grandmother, mostly because she used to wake up at 5am and I could too (I know, what a weirdo I was. Adult self, I am sorry). Few more years of cuddling up with Ajji, I moved to my big girl bed. I slept by myself, at about 7, I slept with a small doll by my side, grandma was my roomie at that point, so after one round from my mother's stories she'd take over, making sure I fell asleep and then she'd slide into her bed.

Years passed, I got my *own* room. A board that claimed 'My room, my mess is my  business' proudly hung on the door. I had a massive bookshelf (okay, that was supposed to be my wardrobe, that I turned into a bookshelf), a computer sat by the bed and I was usually perched in front of it. Each night, I watched some or the other show, mostly FRIENDS and after my mum asked me to lower the volume (mom speak for 'shut down the computer'), I would pull out a book and start reading, there have been enough times where my mother has shut down the 'PC' and neatly set the book on the bedside table because I had somewhere between reading and watching, fallen asleep.

I moved cities and the habit of reading into the night continued with a small change, the Tube lights in the room  would disturb my roomies, so I switched to watching shows into the wee hours of the morning, with the assurance that some of my roomies would ensure that I don't strangle myself on the headphone chord (an exaggerated claim, I say).

Marriage and after that, I thought, something would change, but no. I still need a little bit of storytelling to fall asleep. The little girl in me will never be okay going to sleep without a story. Nope. Stories keep me going. They put my imagination in overdrive and me asleep.


  1. I prefer reading books on the Kindle, and it makes me drowsy enough to go to sleep. But if it's a book that has too much mystery and adventure, the whole purpose of reading gets defeated!
    When I was younger (than I am now), I used to often feel wide awake at bedtime. A trick my mom used to make me sleep? Read a textbook or write math formulae :D

  2. Awwww... that was a nice read. Enjoyed reading it! I relate to certain parts like the reading stories bit before sleep. I was an absolute bookworm! :)


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