A round the clock tiny ‘Time Bomb’ keeps ticking by my side as I wait
anxiously to see her explode.
She is just a few days old; her impossibly small velvety hands,
infirm slender legs with knees lacking in detail, tiny feet as if some
artist’s chimera. And then her face; how could one’s face be so small
and yet so captivating.
She wears just one expression most of the time; that of someone lost
in an uninhabited zone waiting rather hopelessly to be found some day.
It’s only when she is sleeping that she is at absolute peace with
herself; as if on the familiar turf, as if in a world she is fully
aware of, as if in communion with God.
And it’s when she is sleeping that, quite ironically, she becomes a
prospective ‘Time Bomb’ that must explode at her fancy.
In the middle of the night I make a desperate plunge into the bed
hoping to catch some sleep.
O! Sleep, you were my foremost nightly obsession and then one fine
day (or was it the night)
‘Time Bomb’ gatecrashed into my life.
I yearn for your tranquil wisdom, dear Sleep, through the turbulence
of my fitful nights. I still do my utter best to create space for you
in my newly occupied nightly chores. But alas, I can be in your
pristine accompaniment only in bits and tatters now. I can no longer
be committed to you just the way I had been my entire life.
Oh yes, there are weak moments through the course of the night when I
do get seduced by you, you being such an enchantress, but even then a
part of me would adhere to its newly adopted celibacy vow.
That part of me is my ‘Subconscious’.
My ‘Subconscious’ has made an unconditional bond with the ‘Time Bomb’,
of its own volition though, and would preserve its alertness all the
while, keeping an uncanny check at the ‘Time Bomb’.
And then she explodes; the Time Bomb’, triggering her all weather
attendant i.e. my ‘Subconscious’ to pull me out of the clutches of the
My eyes are puffed up. I can feel some burning sensation in them. My
mind is reeling with shock of a sapling that has been so abruptly
uprooted. And yet there is a sense of purpose in my exhausted body, my
latent unaccountable energy coming to my rescue. I am being aptly
supported in my endeavors by my better half, or is it the other way
The only aim of the lives of the two of us poor souls as of now is to
somehow diffuse the ‘Time Bomb’ for this while.
At momentary peace she would get once she is transferred to the lap
of her sleep deprived zombie looking mommy whose yawns are as wide as
the dark circles below her eyes. While the ‘Time Bomb’ revels in her
feeding I would try to invent a snooze.
Now fed, the ‘Time Bomb’ is wide awake, looking around the room,
mystified. We wonder what possibly could be going through her mind.
And trust me, its ominous.
The next moment comes the vindication as she gets into her ‘mewling’
avatar. It’s amazing to see such tiny chords generating such
threatening noise. The uproar in the house is an indication for her
daddy to pack the ‘Time Bomb’ and take her out for a ‘leisurely walk’.
‘Leisurely walk’ in the middle of the night?
I mean even diehard romantics will think twice before doing that.
The new daddy in town picks his pea sized daughter in his arms-made
cradle and goes out on a walk, all the unwillingness of his jaded legs
may go to hell. And even then won’t come to an end the daddy’s plight.
For, he must also sing to the young lady for the sake of his life.
He has a hunch (with fatherhood you probably get a haunting ‘sixth
sense’ as well) that when he sings his daughter finds it soothing.
Imagine the state of a person dying to hit the bed when forced to
crack a song. Your will power can make you do wonders.
As I sing the girl from the cradle twinkles; cryptic smile that could
mean anything on earth.
Did she mean to appreciate my toil, or was it a sardonic smile meant
to remind me of my comeuppance?
As if to tell: hey dude, what’s wrong with you, huh? Where has all
your ‘coolness’ evaporated now?
Whatever happened to that self-aggrandizing man on some illusionary
world conquering mission who has lived by now with the notoriety of
being nonchalant and indifferent to, well, everything?
I am all of seven pounds and see how I trained you to dance to my
The very next moment her expression goes back to the customary befuddlement.
Fatigue has now overcome whatever little remained of my body. Even my
cheeks now find it painful to yawn. It feels I might fall off with one
more step. The candle of my optimism is burning at both the ends and
depleting fast. A faint hope still fails to succumb that ‘good times’
And then the tiny creature gives a glimpse of those ‘good times’ when
she finally closes her eyes gently.
Her eyes are now half closed and she is watching through the cracks as
if keeping a vigil on me if I am tending her properly or not. The
cracks get closed a little later.
All of a sudden there is a spring in my feet. With renewed vigor I now
take giant strides and sing with borrowed flair. If I made that extra
effort I might induce her for an ‘uninterrupted stretch’ of sleep (the
sixth sense comes to its calling). The very thought of an
‘uninterrupted stretch’ gives me goose bumps of pleasure.
Convinced that the moment has finally arrived I return to the room.
Her zombie mommy wonders if she is needed to feed her again. ‘She is
sleeping’, I tell her in gestures. I cannot take the risk of making
any noise. The zombie mommy takes a sigh of relief that hardly looks
like a sigh of relief. She knows, and knows it real hard, that it
won’t last for long.
I establish the little thing back to her bedding. Looking at her
angelic face I kiss her forehead and tap her gently. ‘Goodnight
honey’, I whisper to her, and then take yet another plunge to my side
of the bed.
Dear Sleep, come now; take me over, I entreat with enthusiasm. Slowly
the Sleep arrives to take me onboard. I would be gone for a while,
though not entirely. For, a part of me would stay back, all alert,
waiting for the ‘Time Bomb’ to strike back.
My ‘Subconscious’ that is.