Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quiet Please!!!


I must've said that more number of times at home than I have said that in class. Weird, I know! It’s ironic that as a teacher I haven’t said “Quiet Please” enough in class. But why would there be a need to say that at home?? Let me explain!

Our family is loud; and by loud I mean larger-than-life Punjabi loud (though neither of us is 100% Punjabi!) We tend to get super excited or super depressed thereby losing control over the decibel levels of our voices! Okay I exaggerated a little there! Anyway, on ordinary days, it’s totally fine. But aren’t rules supposed to be bent in exceptional circumstances – the exception now being my need to study for my exams in November. Then why am I wasting time blogging at 5 AM you ask? I needed to vent and who better than my dear e-dairy that listens (rather reads,) understands and empathizes in its own way that only I can understand!

So as I have mentioned earlier, I have discovered that the only time that I have peace around the house is either when there’s no one at home (which has become quite a rare situation) or when the rest of the world (running on IST) is asleep and there are minimum distractions like kids playing outside, cars honking, TV or music on in the house or just our own voices (which by far have led to maximum distractions.) So when I went “Eureka” and decided to study deep into the night did I know that even that peace and quiet be would be interrupted? (Rhetoric)

TV goes on till about 11.30 PM on regular days (and till 2 AM on weekends ‘coz that’s when Amma gets to watch movies on HBO or Star Movies; so can’t blame her) which is followed by Amma and Nattu chatting away; and in a house that’s about 1200 sq ft huge, I fail to understand how they happen to be just outside my door when they’re talking (loudly) or laughing (hysterically) way after midnight??? I end up opening the door every few minutes to ask them to either lower the TV’s volume (which once lowered stays put, thanks to subtitles on HBO, Star Movies, etc.) or their own!

So she and Amma watching TV together after dinner was not a good idea at all because they ended up discussing every little thing on screen. I get more scared if they’re watching comedy (you would too if you’ve heard either of them LOL; literally… or should I say figuratively???)

Nattu and I are loud (I more than her) but we have a genetic reason to back that up, we have Punjabi genes which translates into happy, lively and loud (even if they constitute only 25%) But for someone who is a 100% Tamilian, I’d say she’s blended into the family really well in the last 24 years! ;-) The ironic thing here is that my father (who has more reason to be loud than any of us) is rather quiet and seasoned when it comes to display of emotions. Go figure!

I thought by asking Nattu to sleep in Amma’s room until my exams, I’d have the room to myself but then her “routine” before she sleeps goes on for so long that she has to go in and out of the bedroom at least five times (and in and out of the bathroom at least three times when she’s in the bedroom) banging either door pretty loudly by accident (that’s her excuse,) before she finally says good night and its already 1 AM by then.

So if I go to bed by 6 AM and I take at least one half hour break in between (which is always a few minutes here or there,) I end up effectively studying only four hours each night! I’m sure you would want to ask if I don’t study during the day at all! That’s an interesting question to which I have an even more interesting answer.

I try to go to bed by 6 but it takes a little time to wind up, put my books back in order and plan a little bit for the next day. And even after that I don’t fall asleep as soon as I lie down. Even though my eyes are closed and I think I’ve fallen asleep, I’m not sure if I actually have, because there’s something or the other going on in my mind; whether it is planning for the next day or worrying about how much portion of the syllabus I’ve completed already and how much is still left, or thinking about something that I saw, heard or read!

So it’s around 7 (or later) by the time I’m actually asleep. My dear sister who chooses to be awake until 1 (sometimes even beyond) for no apparent constructive reason wakes up somewhere around 9 or 10ish and Amma is either on her way to office or already gone by then and that’s why Natasha has to be after the maid to see that the work is being done properly (that is if even she – the maid, takes the liberty of coming late when she knows either of us is going to be at home.)

So around 10.30 when the maid is gone, Nattu has the time to shower and freshen up as she doesn’t have to do any supervision. But then the garbage guy comes as per his convenience and someone has to answer the door. Natasha wakes me up every day to tell me that she’s going to be showering and I have to answer the door, get the garbage out and answer the phone if it rings while she’s still in there (and that covers a time span of about 45 minutes.) and doesn’t give up till she’s sure that I’ve heard every word she has said. Icing on the cake!

Of course, when the doorbell or the phone actually rings I have no clue since I have been asleep for only a few hours and I’m in the deepest phase of my sleep. But then my sleep has been interrupted and gets interrupted yet again every single day when she comes out to dress, switches the light on, leaves the bedroom door open once she’s done and talks on the phone (loudly!) So for someone who would’ve woken up by 1 in the afternoon after six hours of peaceful sleep, it is actually 3 in the afternoon by the time I have the energy to open my eyes and drag myself out of bed.

Breakfast at three is out of question and I have lunch directly and we watch at least one episode of the OC (44 minutes long) every afternoon while we’re eating. They say you shouldn’t shower immediately after you eat so I do that about an hour or so later; the time now being somewhere around 5 by the time I’m fresh enough to start studying (this is on the days I am not lecturing in the evening in which case I’m out of the house by 5.30;) which is also when the kids in the colony come down to play and choose to play right outside the window of my study room! Cherry on the icing!

The evening passes by and then Amma’s home and we catch up on the day’s events and I try a little bit of studying which is when Nattu decides she wants to use the computer (which is right next to my study table!)


Yes, that small television like thing is my comptuer monitor right at the centre of two study tables that are adjacent. That one with a looooot of stationery is mine! :)

Everything said and done, you cannot concentrate with someone sitting right next to you browsing the internet, chatting or playing games (and I can’t blame her for wanting to enjoy a little! It’s not as if she has to appear; sorry, reappear for an exam!) And before I realize its dinner time and the entire cycle is repeated.

Now that you guys know what I am talking about, can you blame me? Huh! I’m feeling lot better now that I’ve let it all out. I spoke to Jyothi in the evening which made me feel better but then writing for me has a totally different feel!

Anyway, I’ve written all that I wanted to, almost and have another 40 pages to read before I can complete MAT provisions (Minimum Alternate Tax) and have to do a little bit of Valuation of Goodwill before I can say good night which means it’ll be close to midday by then! I’m trying a different strategy now. Will write about it later if it works! :-p

- Azaad!

PS: We’re all pretty civilized when we make public appearances (which do not include family gatherings and hang outs with close friends!) :-p

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