He pressed the unlock button of is iPhone; 3:28 AM. He sat up on his bed, twisted and turned his neck for some relief. He tried to sleep again but could not. He got down from his bed and went to the washroom. As he splashed water his face, he could see the ever growing dark patch surrounding his eyes. He had also become leaner. This has become his daily routine for the 10th day straight. His cozy bed, his new AC, his warm bathwater- nothing, nothing could give him any rest or comfort. He started taking sleeping pills, increased from one to two after the 1st week but sleep was far away from his languid eyes. All he could think about was numbers, profits, excels, meetings, reviews, phony faces – well perks of a well paying job. He was restless to go to home on the eve of Durga Puja, he was able to manage a leave of a week, but was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to get any rest in the hustles and bustles of the Puja, the outing with the friends, the meeting with the relatives. All his mind and body needed was rest.
He stepped out of the airport, breathed in deeply that old feeling and air. He felt a bit refreshed. He took a cab and reached his house. He was so happy seeing his parent and the feeling was mutual. A tear or two left his mother’s eyes seeing the health of her son but she did not want to dampen the happy mood. After a sumptuous lunch prepared by his mother, he threw himself to his neat and clean bed in his old room. Yet the same thing happened, he could not sleep for a minute. His friends had already made plans for booze for that night and though his constant persuasion of not going fell to deaf ears. After hopping a few pandals with utter aversion, they went to party at one of his friend’s house. He hardly drank a peg or two as he was so tired and disinterested and also the fact that he had to go home after party. He reached home by 2AM.
His parents waited for him and asked if he would eat. He smiled and mentioned that he was too full. He washed his face and went to his room straightaway. He changed and languishingly went to bed knowing that it would be of no use. Also, he had forgotten to bring or buy his sleeping pills. There was a knock on the door, her mother.
She sat on the bed and asked, “How are you Babu?”
“I am fine mother, I am really fine.”
“Is there too much trouble or pressure at office?” the mother’s voice showered immense concern and worry.
“Nothing as such maa (mother). Yes there is a bit of pressure but that’s the part and parcel of the job. Not sure why, I have not been able to sleep for the last 10 days at all. All I need is a bit of rest.”
His mother carried his head and placed it on her lap. He felt shy now that he had grown up but could not say no. She caressed his forehead.
That next morning, he woke up all refreshed and recharged. He finally got what he was craving for so long.