Morning Factory5 mins 133 5 mins 133
I love the deep sleep I get during the early morning hours and many times I get dreams that include the real sounds of the morning - the morning hawkers, chirping birds, neighbors talking, vehicles speeding by and of course the sounds from the radio or tv. I have never been an early bird. I always preferred burning the midnight oil and studied till late night but could never forgo my early morning sleep!
Right from my childhood, I had to wake up at least by 5.30 or 6 because of the morning rush at home. My mother had to prepare breakfast and lunch for six of us and my father and we four children had to leave home by 7.30. Those days, houses used to have only a single bathroom and hence all of us had to wake up early and get ready in time. Besides, I being the eldest, had to assist my mother. I had to attend my music class, typewriting class, purchase vegetables and help my mother in the kitchen with cutting/grinding. These were routine. Besides these activities, I would accompany my mother to the temple and to the ration shop in the mornings. All this before I left for my college. Thus my mornings used to be very productive and jam-packed.
Then I got into a job while continuing my studies in the evening college and my life became more hectic. I used to leave home at 8.30 in the morning and return home only at 10.30 in the night after college. Then I had to prepare for my exams until late at night. I used to have morning classes on Sundays from 7.30. Though I used to feel very tired and almost cry to wake up early even on Sundays, once I reached college, after a lovely 45-minute walk, I would love the freshness of mornings, especially in Malleshwaram, where my college was situated. Malleshwaram had a lot of greenery in those days and it was a very peaceful locality. There was hardly any commercial establishment around my college. Motor traffic was very limited. Thus, all we could hear apart from the lectures in the class was the birds chirping, neighborhood aunties waking up their children or talking to the milkmen or maids or vegetable vendors, the ‘choin’ sound of somebody pouring dosa batter on the hot thava, soft bhajans from some radio playing in one of the houses and some child practicing violin. We could also get inviting smells from the kitchens around - sambar, chapatis, dosas, sandwiches - we could say what each smell indicated!
Once I got married, my mornings became busier because I was now not in my parental home. A family of thirteen members with just a single bathroom! Imagine the mornings! And I also was now a responsible daughter-in-law, trying to please my impossible mother-in-law, who was a stickler and a perfectionist! I would get nervous right from 4.30 in the morning and could never sleep peacefully. I would wake up at 5.45 and the factory would start working. My mother-in-law too would be up and we both run hither and thither as noiselessly as possible, so as not to disturb the others sleeping, while we took care of the kitchen work.
Then came my children and I had to take independent charge of the home. My life as a mother and a career woman was the busiest phase of my life. Things only got worse for my lazy inner self! Forget early morning sleep, I could not sleep properly even during the nights, as I had to attend to my children during their infancy and their sickness! I used to wonder how my mother managed with four children, the responsibility of two children was taking a toll on my patience and capacity! Of course, I had the additional responsibility of my career. But my husband and mother supported me a lot during this phase. I could work peacefully only because my children were well taken care of by my mother.
My children grew up and were in high school when my parents-in-law became dependent. I too reached middle age and I could no longer take the stress of managing a home with so many challenges and also working in as a responsible bank job. I was tired of the early morning madness and the monotony of life, where I had no personal space and no time to rest peacefully. I decided to quit the Bank, which was the only responsibility I could give up! I wanted to read, write, spend time with my children, travel and do so many other things, which that life did not let me do.
“You are quitting? You are just 43. What will you do when your children leave home after school or college? You have such an active life now. You will get bored and depressed”. Many of my friends advised me. But I was firm. I wanted to lead a life where I can decide what I should do in a day rather than doing things mechanically. “I want to nap in the afternoon. I want to wake up late in the morning. I want to read, write, socialize and just laze around”.
Quitting a lucrative job, where I had a very good name and status just to sleep and laze around? People were surprised and I too was a bit scared that I may later repent. But today, after 20 years of that day, I can confidently say, “I am very happy because I am living my life on my terms most of the time. I am able to enjoy my early morning sleep, my naps at least two or three days a week, socialize as much as I want, travel more often and waste entire days lazing around and doing hardly anything productive, once in a way!
That morning madness is very rare now. When I see young mothers rushing to their offices, I get goosebumps and feel sorry for them! They might be enjoying their lives but to think of that busy phase now, sitting lazily at home, I feel they are doing something impossible. I wonder how I passed that phase and how I managed so many things?
A busy person has time for everything but a lazy one has no time for anything. I have struck a balance. I find time to do what I like and also laze around! Am I wrong?