I have not been writing much of late, or doing anything productive other than doing inane facebook quizzes. Maybe writing early in the morning will help. Or even waking up earlier than I do. But god help me, I don’t think I will ever master the art of waking up early enough to smell the grass and step on the dew and actually see the sun rise. Not saying that this has not been done, but mornings have always been a terrible ordeal for me.
Being a night person has its advantages if one chooses to use it wisely. Maybe as students it was better to stay up late and cram for an exam at the last minute. But what good can possibly come from staying up late to watch TV? Some argue that sleep/wake pattern is one of habit, I beg to differ. There seems to be an inner clock inside us that keeps its own time, and perhaps it is like this – the clock itself allows for a plus or minus difference of ‘n’ number of hours to allow the body to synchronize itself to the sleep/wake pattern of the days. Some people might have a lower margin and some might be blessed with a wide berth. I think I am one of those with no margin at all. I have struggled to wake up at unearthly hours when I was a student to go for tuition classes. By unearthly I mean 6 o’ clock, which is regular wake up time for many. I have done this time and again and forced myself to make it a habit, but to no avail. If I woke up early, rest assured I’d feel groggy and sick the entire day, and it had nothing to do with the fact that I stayed up late, because in an attempt to rise and sleep like normal people I even started going to bed very early, but I still had to struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
This association with the night also leads me to do silly (endearing, gah!) things like choosing pseudonyms which have some sort of link to night and all things nocturnal. It suits me in more ways than one, my real name itself means ‘The Night’.
Though staying up late has its own charms, one might tend to get bored of that, like I am at the moment. Waking up early in the morning can be a very pleasurable experience I imagine. I can wake up early provided I get to sleep after sunrise for at least a couple of hours. For me, deep sleep is always around 5-8 o’ clock and if that is disturbed I have to compensate for it somehow. I have woken up at 5 o’ clock at odd occasions and the sights I have seen whenever I could bring myself to do so have been quite rewarding.
When I was a little girl, we used to go to Madurai during the summer vacations to stay with my uncle and aunt in Kilpauk Garden Colony, a tiny little residential area with blocks of flats and dry red earth which emitted clouds of red dust as cars and motorcycles plied the roads. Waking up early in the morning in Madurai is one of my most cherished memories still.
Early morning brings with it smells and sounds and even sights that are normally not seen. While the same can be said about night too, the sights in the morning are somehow more comforting to the spirit while those in the night could tend more towards agitating or exciting.
There were a lot of Tamil Brahmins in the colony and invariably, all of them woke up early in the morning. As the strains of Suprabhatam made its way through the still, heavy morning air, it would also be permeated by the smell of kerosene stoves lighting up and that of fresh Bru coffee.
The lady who lived in the ground floor had the luxury of a tiny piece of courtyard and she used that small patch of land exceedingly well. Every morning, she would wash the courtyard with water, sprinkle water over it and sweep it away with a broom, then proceed to draw the most amazing and intricate kolams that I have ever seen. Her hair dripping wet and covered with a towel, a cotton sari with thin golden border, the anklets that chimed as she moved.
Alas, such sights are privy only to the early risers of the world. The rest of us pay the price.