Afternoon couch nappers


It is late afternoon. And in the tropics it means that the sun is blazing away mercilessly. It is that time of the day when the trees hunch their shoulders waiting for a breeze to lift their spirits, when the plants curl their leaves to keep cool and the normally vocal birds drop a few decibels. One can only hear a caw here or a muted chirp there.

I am sitting on the couch trying to catch up on my reading. And slowly the intruder walks up my hands, my shoulders and my neck and gently presses down on my eyes. Oh! The pleasure of catching a few winks.

My body relaxes, as my eyes close involuntarily. The words blur in front of my eyes, dancing into each other. My head starts lolling to one side, my body starts keening to the right.The brain is alerted suddenly, as it knows that I am going to topple over. As if by magic, my body straightens itself, and again the eyes droop and the lolling starts.

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The book starts its journey from my lap to the floor. The characters from the book inhabit my dreams, as I fall deeper into layers of sleep. 

The cuckoo from the cuckoo clock announces the hour. I am startled awake.  I realize that it has only been 10 minutes since I fell asleep. I stretch and smile. 

I feel so refreshed and good. 

“Must be genetic”, I say to myself. My family has many ‘afternoon couch nappers’.

I remember happy and lazy Sunday weekends when aunts, uncles and my dad would nap, while sitting on the couch and reading a book or the newspaper. My cousins and I would giggle as we saw them nod off, or watch their books slide down, or hear gentle snores escaping them.

The moment you shook them awake and asked them to lie down, they would become alert and lose all interest in napping..they could only steal a few winks while seated. I miss those fun days.

At least the ‘afternoon nap’ genes have been passed down.

Of chipmunks and genes…


I am trying to concentrate on the document in front of me, but the children’s voices float towards me, breaking my flow of thought. I try to get back to work, but their decibel levels continue to rise. I decide to give myself a break, and walk over to see what they are doing.

They seem to have learnt about this new application on the iPad that can be used to produce music. Both of them are rapping, the same silly phrases over and over again.

I tell them that this continuous repetition reminds me of a game we used to play as children, which involved the players saying, ” 1,2,3, Luck, Luck, Luck”, each time a player spotted a water body like a pond, a lake or a well. We played this mostly when we travelled.

My children hear me out and ask me to repeat the chant…1,2,3…! Unbeknownst to me, they record my voice on this app.

Very soon, they clutch their stomachs and roll on the floor. The reason? The app can render your voice as a Chipmunk, or as a Monster, or from a faraway place etc.

Their mom as a chipmunk truly tickles them. Tears roll down their cheeks as they picture their mom this way. I laugh because it is contagious, but don’t find the chipmunk-mom voice funny.

My son asks me, “Mom, don’t you find it funny?”

I say, “Not really. I find the way you laugh funny.”

My son then says, “I know for a fact that I have atleast one ‘Self-developed Gene’ that I don’t get from either you or Dad. It’s my ‘sense of humour gene’!”

I laugh now, totally tickled by what my son just said.