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.