When I see people sleep…
It really does. This is not to say that it doesn’t otherwise. But there is something animalistically innocent about people when they are asleep.
Some look like they are dreaming the most beautiful dreams. Some look as if they have escaped the world full of stress in a passage of sleep. Some look tense and I hope when I see them that they are not too unhappy. The best part about long distance travel is that I can watch people sleep. Not in a kinky way, but just peek into their faces and imagine who they are.
I wonder what is it that they are dreaming of. Are they in a world which is as real to them as this world? Do we really go somewhere when we sleep?
I like to think so.
In Mumbai you can’t help but watch people perform the most intimate domestic things on street. It is amazing how people manage to sleep on the road divider. With small babies and all. I find the whole romanticized and positive-thinking angle to poverty a la Slumdog disgusting, but watching a mother asleep with her baby on a divider as vehicles rush around them twists my tummy in a knot.
Animals asleep is poetry. The gracefully folded legs of a cow, bird sleeping with beak burrowed in fat neck. Once I saw a donkey yawn and sleep with his legs up in the air. Cats have of course done post doctorate in art of sleeping. They sleep as if the whole world is a bedroom, it’s purpose simply being available for the brief period when her highness wakes up.
My puppyjaan is the love of my life. My heart bursts out with love for him several times a day, but when he is asleep, he looks… words can’t describe what he looks like. He sometimes sleeps on his back with his legs up in the air, sometimes his neck buried deep in stomach with legs folded, sometimes on his side, sometimes his beautiful face on his stretched paws. Whenever he can, he pushes his body next to us with all his weight and slides down to sleep with his entire body touching us.
Puppyjaan loves to sleep next to Patijaan the most. They share a large pillow . And no matter how many times it is washed, it has infused a special smell of man drool, dog drool and sweat. It is a smell of family for me.
Patijaan looks totally vulnerable when he is asleep.I like to lie down next to him and watch him at length as he sleeps. It helps that I am an insomniac while he can sleep standing in a BEST bus. But something on the left side of my ribcage contracts with protective love when he sleeps. Dead to the world with his mouth open, face flung out on the pillow in complete abandon, arms spread over the bed in surrender to the calm, his usually stoic face that is called Budhdhist by friends looking more like a small kitten snuggling to his siblings in sweet rest.
I even do not notice his snoring at such times. Which has been the root cause of 85% of our tiffs otherwise.
My mother lives to sleep. She is firm advocate of siesta and I think her choice of profession had more to do with the fact that it allowed her to sleep in the noon. She sleeps on her back with one arm folded over her eyes. Her lips slightly parted, sheets folded about her ankles. She sleeps that deep sleep which makes people look slightly dead and other worldly.She lays there without moving a muscle , like a rock. She is an animated bohemian in real life but sleeps stiff like a soldier. Weird!!
Father sleeps on his side, arms folded in a pillow under his neck, legs folded bent. An insomniac and a superlight sleeper, he gets very irritated when his precious little sleep is disturbed. He likes to read till very late and is fidgety in his sleep. He has to wake up at least four to five times during the night;y ostensibly to drink water, pee, see what that small sound was, sit in the balcony, take dog out for walk. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind where do my weird sleeping habits come from.
My brother sleeps at dawn and wakes up at noon. He has developed an editor’s capacity to sleep anywhere. He is also one person who can wake up, have a nice discussion about the latest Christopher Nolan movie and go back to sleep the next minute. He is the only person who can stay awake for hours after he is fully drunk! We both share a disinterest and a ‘need- to- sleep -since- it -is- necessary – for – the – body’ attitude towards sleeping.
And me? I am a bad sleeper. Period. I don’t think anyone would feel any emotion for me when they see me asleep, since I am awake most of the time!! I sleep with earplugs stuck deep, a thick eyepatch, eyes ready to open at smallest bit of light or sound, a drinking problem of one glass of water per hour. If they came out with a pill so that you don’t have to sleep, I am game!!!
Maybe that is why I like to watch people sleep? Maybe I am a bit kinky after all??