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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Alarmed life

There was a time long-long ago, when I used to wake up without alarm clocks. At home, mornings have always been a noisy and vibrant affair. My mom would wake up around 6AM and dad around 7AM. Their morning conversations, noise from housework, milkman, newspaper man, maid servants, all made commotion sleeping through which past 9AM was practically impossible. And waking up at 9AM was very late, indeed. You could have guests in the house by then, bathrooms would’ve been used and cleaned, breakfast would’ve been finished, and lunch would’ve been prepared.

Then there there was mom to wake me up. Like a infinitely snooze-able intelligent alarm clock, her wake up calls will vary in intensity, loudness, sweetness of content, and tone of voice, from soft and sweet to loud and sharp. So will her touch, from lighthearted pat, to gentle shake, to violent shove, to pulling off my pillow or bed sheet. A mutually understandable perfect alarm of world which took cue from tone of my refusal to wake up and time of the day, and adjusted call to cajole or to threaten.

Not so privileged after I left for hostel life since last 10 years. I’ve been my own, living alone in hostel or with bachelor roommates, none of who even bait an eyelid on my waking up at 12PM. That sweet melody of morning clutter, humdrum of conversations, sounds of traffic outside is sorely missed. And that has shackled me to alarm clock. Be it computer alarm, mobile alarm, or clock alarm, I cannot remember last time I slept, in day or in night, without setting alarm. And no, it’s not that I always lacked time to sleep, but without alarm, I would just be sleeping forever, so it seemed. Of course, there were countably few occasions when I didn’t use alarm, such as sleeping after last exam of semester, and longest I’ve slept uninterrupted in such case is about 20 hours.

I think I forgot how to wake up naturally. It is unnerving at times to always rely on external source, every single time in last 10 years, to tell you when to wake up, and to wake up in such sudden jolt of alarm. Thankfully I do wake up by alarm sound. There are many I’ve seen who are so lost in slumber that whole hostel except them wakes up. Such people rely on their neighbors to help them and are late at classes. Thought of such lack on control on yourself dreads me.