Monday, June 09, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "My Nights"

About 10 years ago, a goodly portion of my nights were spent at work – doing the night shift at the Business Line newspaper in Madras, which was Seriously Good Fun. Much to the surprise of my older colleagues and people in general, I genuinely enjoyed being on the night shift. I was much younger in those days, I guess, and much more resilient. Also, it was nice to go to work when most people were coming back home, and the traffic wasn’t so bad. Of course, if my friends had not been pretty much in the same line of work and keeping similar hours, I would have been a lonely gal... but as it is, we were either on the night shift together, or had our work times overlap by a few hours so that we got to see each other every day.

I had to be at work by 7.30pm, and got back home by about 3 or 4a.m (depending on the who-gets-dropped-home-first rota). I’d sleep till noon or so, which left me pretty much the rest of the day to do as I wished... which for quite a while was to go off to the Max Mueller Bhavan and hang around there with my non-work friends and classmates. It helped that the MMB was centrally placed for anything else that we might want to do anywhere else. Sometimes we even had German classes to attend.

I cant remember any particular night as being “the most memorable” – at least, none that I would want to make public. Nowadays, though, I hate the very thought of having to work beyond 5pm. And night shifts? No thanks. Been there, done that, enjoyed it and now pleased to be out of it.

When I was younger, sleep didn’t seem that important – there were more interesting things to do. Now, though, every second of sleep is precious to me. I can never understand people - men or women – who say that they hate to waste time sleeping when they could be... *gasp* ... working. I ask you – is that sane? At least if they said they’d rather party than sleep, I might – might – be able to understand (although personally speaking, partying, in the sense of drinking/pubbing/clubbing, is very nearly as abhorrent an idea as working through the night).

A colleague of mine who’s 62 says that the older you get, the quicker time flies. I have to admit that she might have something there… the days and weeks seem to be absolutely whizzing by of late. I wish they wouldn’t – but I’m still not willing to give up my precious sleeping hours.

There’s something incredibly luxurious about being in a cool, dark room (with a bedside reading lamp, natch), reading for a while while snuggled up in a big soft bed, then sinking back into goosedown pillows under a goosedown eiderdown and deliberately, blissfully, voluptuously giving yourself up to welcome sleep... damn, I’m hypnotising myself here. But admit it - doesnt that sound wonderful?

8 comments:

brinda said...

damn, you hypnotised ME there!! sleep in not the best thing to think of in office -- though it IS the most natural... :-)
(ok, i HAD to point this out -- that night shift was at express, i suspect. BL never did anything as smart, remember? we had that strange 3-9.30 shift -- except on Budget days!)

shyam said...

Brin: Definitely did the night shift at IE... but didnt we do later shifts at BL as well? Not just the 3-9.30 one, and not just on Budget days?

Anonymous said...

U had me wondering abt the BL night shifts too - I don;t think we had that many there, 'cept on Budget days...as for teh IE night shifts, the way the older men used to fight to be dropped home first before us - sick!!!! Makes me still feel sick, that is!!! Gee

brinda said...

hey, at BL 9.30 was considered "very late". later than that was only Budget and one of the credit policy days, i think. or was it economic survey. whatever. two days in a year :-)

shyam said...

Ok ok... the "real" night shifts were at IE. I remember now - Chits and Shivaji yukking it up in dark corners while the subs and page-makers waited around endlessly for Shivaji to sign off the edition!

??! said...

that the older you get, the quicker time flies
Or - we just get slower on the uptake. Memory loss and all that.

shyam said...

??! - Hmph. Thanks for that, I dont think! :)

keithsimages said...

I've just read your last paragraph and decided to go to bed! I just can't resist it now!