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Up with the lark

After many years of self-reflection, my mind has come to terms with a truth about myself. I am a lark. Yes, I like to wake up early and send the rooster scuttling over the roof to announce the arrival of a brand new day. Many of my friends are owls and they say owls are cool but larks are neighbours’ envy.

As rightly assumed, my popularity quotient among friends and family is debatable. Who would want a room mate who ambles about at 5 in the morning? And that I cosy myself to sleep by sharp 9.30 every night does not help either. Flood, earthquake, exams, nothing deterred my will to hit the bed early. In fact, when our hostel served piping hot masala chai to the studious ones during exams, I would keep awake until just then, drink my chai and go to sleep much enervated, to the chagrin of the cook who made this energising cuppa.

The popular gangs in my college stayed up late and swore by those hours when creativity juices flowed. I did try it a few times, only my brain turned foggy after certain hours and I struggled to recognise my arm, and so harvesting ideas at that hour were out of the question. I remained a lark.

Times changed. Family happened and the arrival of children tested my commitment. I was shaken but did not give up. I persevered. My family adjusted around my eccentricity. Late-night shows were frowned upon, and any family outings were all fun and frolic until it gonged 10. Then out came the sleepy grumpy devil in me. Friends, who are few and far between thanks to my habit, never called me after the prime-time news on television is over.

Many assume that I get constructive work done because I get up early. They even say that they wished they could wake up like me and get going. I don’t bother to correct them. I usually take undue credit without shame. Why should I tell them that a sloth that wakes up early is still a sloth? Not all early risers are hitting the gym or working their way up to become multimillionaires. Some of us are content staring at our mobile, posting good morning messages just to annoy friends into thinking we are up to something that early. It trips their guilt. They pretend they do not care. But they do. They could not control themselves without making it obvious to me. "What were you doing on a Sunday that early in the morning?" They would ask. They want to sound sarcastic, but their voice betrays them. It sounds jealous even curious.

Let me enlighten you why I get up early. It is always nice to have a jump ahead of the crowd. This sentence can be interpreted in many ways, as big a philosophy as getting a head start in life or breaking it down to basics such as taking a bath before the other hostellers drain out the hot water. Even by the end of the day, if you don’t succeed in getting ahead, you are too sleepy to care and sleep well anyway.

Next two advantages, I discovered, are something specific to the smartphone era. You can spy on your friends, relatives, and exes in perfect peace without worrying about the Net announcing to the world that you are online. Nobody is awake to care. The final advantage is for people like me who have the ‘foot in the mouth’ syndrome. It gives you ample time to rethink your word and delete or edit it before it is seen by someone. So if your comment on a friend posts reads, "It’s either filters or plastic surgery," you have time to mull over the relationship and edit your comment and graciously lie like other human beings and say "Awesome!!!".

To my friends, who all feel that I should get a life, did I say how awesome you look in your DP?

sarveswarisaikrishna@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 5:27:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/up-with-the-lark/article34004601.ece

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