Tag Archives: alarm

Catching some shut eye

Sleep means different things to different people. There is a lot more to the science of sleep than the oft-discussed night owl vs. morning bird.

When there is an infant in the house, the baby typically cries each time you put him or her down, so you learn to  maintain a rhythm that keeps baby happy, and that also enables you to sleep walk. And the next day, at work, you unconsciouly tap out that rhythm on the carpet.

But before the kids came along there existed a time when you could stay out late, watch movies, and still have a never-ending chat with your friends, and continue to feel rejuvenated; a time when you went straight to work the next day, looking fresh and ready to take on the day, without having slept a wink.

Even before this phase was the time in college, when the concept of sleep was alien. When you studied hard, and had lots of fun.

So, coming back to the kids. Your infant suddenly grew into a busy toddler, whom you chased under tables, and up and down staircases, whom you pushed on swings and caught at the bottom of slides. And then, when your toddler was all tucked into bed, and you looked forward to catching a few winks, the said toddler came crying with pain in his calf muscles or some such.

Then, suddenly, your teenagers and tweenagers had become independent creatures, and disappeared into their coccoons. And you said,  “I can finally catch some shut eye.”

                       Picture courtesy – Clipart Panda
But now, sleep plays truant. You sleep well some days and stay awake on some days. You ponder about life and wonder about what lies ahead. You look at the stars and marvel at the universe, and then worry that the alarm will ring in a few hours.

 And then again, there are those afternoons when you get two hours to yourself (the luxury…), and you make plans to read a book or watch a movie, and as you recline on the couch to enjoy the book or the movie, your eyes close involuntarily. 

Sleep….

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The Inexorable Passage of Time

Call it what you may, but I have this compulsive urge to know the time at all hours of the day.  Our home has wall clocks and time pieces in every room, sometimes even two or three in a room.  These, of course, are in addition to the clocks on all the tablets, the smart phones and the set top boxes.

In addition to all these gently ‘tick-tocking’ clocks, our trip to Europe saw us bring back the famed ‘cuckoo-clock’.   As the initial excitement of watching the cuckoo peeping out of the little door to announce the time wore off, the cuckoo’s sounds became very important to me, to know what time it was, especially at night.

I have a special relationship with each clock in my house.  The one in the living room above the TV console has been set to run ten minutes ahead of actual time.  That’s the clock all of us follow for school, so we are ready by 8.00 a.m and then derive silly satisfaction from the fact that it is actually only 7.50 a.m. now. Somehow we’ve managed to cheat time and snatch back 10 whole minutes of our lives.

There is an old-fashioned clock in our kitchen that needs to be wound every morning; the clock’s comforting tick-tock in the kitchen accompanying me as I bustle about.

The most recent addition to our clock collection is a pyramid-shaped talking clock, which announces the time once every hour. This clock is positioned next to my bed, just for me, to know the time at night. I wonder sometimes if my sub-conscious mind ‘times’ even my dreams.

Tick tock…go these clocks, the silent witnesses to our lives.  They hold the keys to our everyday milestones – breakfast time, school-going time, yoga time, me-time, lunch time, family time…..and many more.

Then there are the races we run against the clock.  Running late, forgetting things, looking at the watch and the clock and the phone, and secretly hoping that the one that shows the slowest time is the accurate one.

And the times when ‘time‘ makes its presence strongly felt – as alarms!  Alarms for exams, for classes, for baking, and for reminders about events that need to be scheduled for later.

And every single time, it is about ‘time’, that companion who lives with us, watching us with silent eyes, as we rush about our lives, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes excited and sometimes crazy.

All is known to ‘time’.