Monday, July 18, 2005

There's nothing 'just' about insomnia

So this is what it feels like. This numbness of insomnia. My eyes feel dried up and parched. They burn. I don't blink, thinking that maybe sleep will come into my empty, open eyes and get lodged in there like a little pebble. My head feels a little heavy but there's no nausea. I thought there would be. But my stomach feels settled and strong and I do get hungry.

But it's the thinking that has been the casualty. It's fraying like lime in water. I need to read a page several times before I understand what it means. These are pages I myself have written. These are pages I have skimmed over several times in a span of 15 minutes and understood. Words - these are words. I could understand words and sentences and language. They were
the bylanes I could travel at night with only my blinking mobile for light. Now, trying to understand something is like trying to hit a moving target. It is difficult.


I also feel slow. A drugged panther. Virile without vigor.

And then there is the restlessness that tenses up behind my neck, that courses through my veins, that gets all knotted up at the base of my throat, that makes me clench and unclench my jaws. There is that - that unholy, loud, silent shout.

I keep thinking aimlessly of so many things. It's a lot of fun and it's exhilarating, but it also keeps me awake. There's no thought that passes noiselessly. It bops around here and there like a marble that's flung aside. Like, I read this somewhere: in wedding photography, a bride's white dress is one of the most difficult things to photograph well. Now, I read Endymion
but I keep thinking of some photographer at a wedding fiddling around with a camera trying to get a perfect picture.


Memory dissipates. I forget what channel I want tuned when the cable-guy comes to collect money. I forget to tell the rickshaw fellow where to stop. I remember my fifth birthday when I first saw a cork bob about in a bathtub, when I should be looking left and right while crossing the road. I cause great inconvenience and am calmly unapologetic about it.

In my community we believe that when a person dies with an unfulfilled wish, the soul doesn't get redemption unless that wish is fulfilled. I feel like that now. I don't even know what that wish is. But something is broken and something is dead. And whatever it is, it didn't get a decent burial. My tense, sleepless self wanders about in search of that; in an empty, barren
graveyard with a satin rose that should be put on my consciousness' tombstone.


So there it is - that peace and wisdom and calm and quietude that I thought was my soul, my self, my nostalgia, my religion, my faith - it was simply my sleep.

18 comments:

Rabin said...

Welcome to my world. been two weeks since I had any sleep of note. I didn't dare drive today to work coz mornings are a haze. Only during the course of the day did i get some kind of conciousness (i even wished someone a happy weekend too)

I had this entire conversation that I wanted to blog about yesterday, but for the life of me I can't remember a single sentence.

Mukta said...

Hullo fellow insomniac,

I'm planning to take a break. I think it should work. Something inside of me quivers happily at the prospect. Will let you know how that goes. Take care friend. I understand the plight...oh, too well!

jaygee said...

Oh dear hope the break helps and you discover the beautiful velvety softness of sleep soon.

Mukta said...

Hey jay!

amen to that!

:-D

anumita said...

I gave you some options. Use them. Sleep will come.

Mukta said...

Yes, ma'am

d-Snob said...

Better still, why don't you read 'Chandamama'? Or ask someone to read it out to you, with your head on that person's lap...heeeehaaaahooooo...or why don't you 'try' to watch the saas bahu serials that Ekta Kapoor churns out for our junta? I am sure that you will get some sleep watching those serials and HOPEFULLY, we won't have to read your insomanic post anymore...heeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhooooo

Mukta said...

Hey, d-snob: I think I'll just take a compilations of your comments. That should do the trick.

d-Snob said...

Oh that would be great! Please don't hesitate to do that, should that help. I wouldn't mind adding more comments to your blog -- you know, I just want to be sure that you get a good sleep. So, finally, my comments would help someone to get rid of a problem. Oh god! I now feel so blessed!

I think I should be writing a few comments on r dot's blog too...what do you say r dot ;-)?

Mukta said...

Better still! Put them all up on your blog. Much more convenient, wouldn't you say?

n.g. said...

i used to be an insomniac. it reached a stage where it didnt even bother me anymore that i didnt sleep at all last night. it was part of routine, like brushing teeth or watching Mitali Mukerjee on CNBC at 9am. Tried everything, nothing worked. Quit smoking even. zilch.

moral of the story. its all in the mind. maybe its just a phase.

you can always watch vh1. they play some good videos late night.

Hemant said...

I last heard of the same kindof thing from a friend who was on a ecstacy pill(self-realization pill to be specific) but only difference was that he was cry'g also alot in the nights, so looks your on some different flavour :-)

Gangadhar said...

Well..hmmm.. I hope you find some gud night sleep soon...All the best..

Nagesh Pai said...

WatzzzZZzz Insomnia??? ZZzzZZzz Snore...

I am infected by Somnia ( get lot of sleep)

Hope you dont fall to this xtreme!!

Cheers!
Nagesh

Nagesh Pai said...

hope the sad humour of my last post doesnt keep you awake!

Cheers!
NAgesh

Chandrika said...

Have you seen the film Insomnia? Al Pacino looks the way you feel. It raises goosepimples for anyone who has been sleepless to watch him. You can see the incomprehension on his face, the slowness in his eyes, his obsessive eating, the controlled irritation, the persistence of an idea against all odds and the burden on an unresolved issue. I have been there...it is hell. But all very subdued, like the mind is being covered with a thick fog so you can focus on what is bothering you. Sometimes you do....sometimes, the fog takes care of it.

d-Snob said...

Hey, I wanna ask you what's the reason behind this insomnia? No, seriously, is there something that's bothering you? or is it that you had an ambition that you just fell short of? or is it that you don't like the job you are doing? or is it that your love(if you have one)is cheating on you? or is it that you just broke up with your love(again, if you had one), or is it that you don't have the $$$ to buy food for the night, and it's the empty stomach which doesn't give you the sleep, which appears rather unlikely, or is it that your blog isn't visited by a lot of people ;-), jes kiddin'. So, WHAT THE HELL IS IT? Please, atleast give we guys - the commenters a glimpse of what exactly is your problem? I am sure that someone will give you somek inda solution to your problem. So, tell us what's the problem, if it ain't very personal.

PS: Things aren't so bad as we humans make them out to be. There are people in this world with bigger problems and sad life and I am sure your life is a zillion times better than those poor destitudes.

CHEER UP!!!

Mukta said...

Hey all,

Thanks for...oh! you know what I mean!

:-D