Of late, I’ve been devoting more time to discovering what’s the best schedule for me to follow when I study and I’ve concluded that since I can’t get up early in the morning it’s best for me to start late during the day and study deep into the night, sometimes until day-break. Believe me, the kind of peace and quiet at that time is just the kind of atmosphere one needs for maximum concentration. So I’ve been doing that for quite some time now.
Not considering my constant need to take a break from studying (I guess I should start calling studying ‘taking a break from breaks’, LOL) the quiet, dark environment is the best time to study, especially if you live on the ground floor.
Oh! The way children yell while playing cricket (as if they’re playing for the World Cup!), the constant honking of vehicles passing by – I don’t understand the need for people to speed inside a residential complex and then honk the hell out of that horn which is not supposed to be played with unnecessarily! Why can’t people drive slowly when they know there are going to be children running around rather than speeding and then honking on the pretext of not hurting them?
…Or the children calling out to each other to come down to play. One girl comes near my building somewhere around 4:30 or 5 PM and calls out to Vishakha and keeps yelling her name without a pause of more than five seconds. I’m guessing Vishakha is either deaf or is ensuring that the people living on the ground floor are disturbed to the maximum extent possible as if the cars and the cricket team of the colony weren’t already ganging up to do that!
…Or the auto-rickshaws coming by every few minutes to drop someone off, are all reasons that encourage people like me (who get distracted and irritated at the slightest provocation) to study in the night. Thankfully, everyone around here sleeps at that time, so have the night all to myself.
Last night though (or rather early today morning) around 3:45 AM, I heard some noises, which sounded as if crackers were bursting somewhere far off. Now, for me, this is not the kind of sound that I would dismiss by saying, ‘Oh! Someone’s celebrating Diwali early this year!’
Bursting crackers so early in the morning without any reason didn’t seem right. A few minutes later I heard the noises again. I was busy reading a question on Transfer Pricing and trying to figure out what the next steps were when I was disturbed by the sound a third time, and this time a little louder.
I went to the window of my study room and looked out. All the little windows of other buildings were dark.; everyone was asleep.
The next thought that came to my mind was somewhat horrifying. Now let me brief you on that.
When I was in school, there was this program that aired on TV called ‘India’s Most Wanted’ which as the name of the show suggests, was about the most wanted criminals in the country. It showed scary, terrifying and horrendous stories of people being murdered, stolen from, or kidnapped by these criminals. Most of these crimes seem to happen in northern India.
One year (don’t remember which one exactly; I must’ve been in the sixth or seventh standard) we went to Punjab for Diwali and all the while I was reminded of those real-life horror stories that I had seen on TV. Since it was Diwali, people burst crackers all the time, even late into the night. So every night when the lights were turned off and everyone went off to sleep, I couldn’t because I could hear firecrackers bursting and I thought that I was hearing gunshots!
And it scared the hell out of me.
I stayed up for hours listening to every sound that I could possibly hear, whether it was the cat in the backyard, or a rocket bursting some five lanes away, or my grandparents turning in their sleep, or the constant bursting of crackers which were the cause of my worry. I wanted to be alert, lest anyone enter the house
Our house in Punjab was an independent house. It was one among the five or six lined up on one side of the lane facing a few on the other side. We had a small gate at the foot of the lane that led up to a small garden in the front beyond which there was a huge wall inside which the house was guarded. There was a bigger gate in this wall that led to a veranda and through that, there was an entrance to the house. Now, even a child could jump up the small gate and with a little effort, even the bigger one and be on the veranda of the house. And then breaking in was no big thing!
Of course, they weren’t gunshots, just some kids enjoying the festive season. But try explaining that to a twelve (or thirteen) year old who had seen bloody pictures of murdered people and believed that right at that moment some goonda would enter their house and that’d be the end of them all. I went through the same thoughts last night when I heard those noises. But then as the noises became louder and clearer, I realized that it was thundering!
In March? Isn’t the rainy season supposed to begin in June?
Well, this year winter lasted for just ten days (effectively) so I wouldn’t be surprised if the rains began in March. But when I looked out the window, I didn’t see anything. No lightning, no winds blowing, and certainly no drops of water. I went back to my chair and started to read the problem once again and began solving it.
The thundering continued in the background, becoming louder and lasting longer each time. Around 4:40 AM I heard the first drops of rain. It may as well have been someone on the upper levels watering their plants early in the morning thereby cleaning the rooftops of the house below theirs. I’m telling you, it’s crazy living amongst most of these people! They surprise me with their weird antics more often than not!
But it was raining and it was not just a drizzle, full-blown baarish!
Suddenly the hot, dry ground had spots of water making polka dots on it and then trickling down the slope. The smell of the earth (one of the most beautiful things about the first rainfall of the season… though this one is off-season) was all around. I stood at the window for a few minutes to see the rain become heavier after which I decided that as of now completing Transfer Pricing was more important.
I sat down and continued solving the problem and it was barely two minutes after I had started solving the next one (the time now being 4:55 AM) and the lights went off! I sat there staring at the dark everywhere around me. There was no use even looking out the window since it was completely dark. The lights outside each one of the building entrances had gone off, the street lights along the small streets within the complex had gone off too and all that remained was the sound of the rain beating against the ground.
As I was listening to these noises I was reminded of my cousin posting on Facebook earlier during that day, that she ‘is feeling a strange calm and is wondering if this is the one before a storm!’ and that scared me a little bit. But man can she predict the weather hours before something actually happens and that too staying all the way in Chennai.
There wasn’t a storm here but the untimely rain has got to be the result of a storm (or the likes) in some other part of the country, right?
I didn’t know how long it would be before the electricity would be back on and since it was nearing my sleep time anyway, I decided to lie down for a while and wait for it to come back. If it did in a few minutes, I would get back to studying; and if it didn’t, well, I love sleeping 😉
Well, it didn’t come back soon! When I went into the bedroom I realized that my sister, who was in deep sleep after studying up till 3.30 AM herself, had not even noticed that the fan wasn’t moving. I went and opened the curtain to let some cool air inside the room which would have otherwise become stuffy in some time and lay down on my bed, with the rain still lashing at the awning over my window!
The next thing I remember is my mom walking into the room with a candle in her hand (must be around 6.30 AM by then and there was still no electricity) and I told her that it was thundering and it rained at night and fell back asleep (‘coz by then I was in deep sleep myself!)
In the morning, the ground had dried up like it hadn’t even seen water! I don’t know how long it rained but I’m sure it wasn’t long enough or there would have been some evidence when I woke up in the morning (that is if you call 12.00 PM morning!)
Apparently, no one noticed that it rained. And when I asked a friend, he said that it must have rained in Navi Mumbai only ‘coz it didn’t rain in Mumbai. Said he didn’t even hear the thundering and was apparently fast asleep when all of this happened!! (Ya! I believe you Vishal!)
Anyway, nothing great about the experience, but it just feels good to write and so I did!
C ya later!!!