Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

Ravings of an insomniac!

I tried every rule in the book. Counted from 1 to 10324 until I ostensibly forgot counting. Solved three sudokus. Read the *most* boring essay in ‘The Argumentative Indian‘. Flipped through 125 television channels in thirty minutes; even tried studying the hardest chapter in my Computer Organization text!

Sleep still mysteriously evaded me!

Image Courtesy: http://www.melinea.blogdrive.com/

That made me press the panic button (oops, the ‘Power’ button of my CPU). Yeah, it turns out that my LG 15″ CRT monitor is the ultimate sleeping-pill with its eye-popping radiation levels. Try staring 10 minutes into it, and you’ll find your eyes water up, despite a branded ‘anti-glare’ screen with UV absorbers! Happily realizing the pros of having the PC in my room, I switched it on and went online. For a while I had Syam (my once-junior-at-school and great friend) for company in Yahoo; but after a short while he too left, with a rather cryptic status message: “Fooding!” Ye, he was dining at 12:25 AM!!

I almost felt like Edward Norton from Fight Club, who shed tears with Testicular cancer patients in all his desperation to catch a wink! But the sad fact was that I didn’t have any cancer patient in a stone’s throw; well… I couldn’t be sure and there was absolutely no way to find out in the dead of the night! And that’s precisely why I’m typing away now. Yeah, I need sleep and hopefully I’ll be in Morpheus’s arms (that’s a sort-of an idiom, dumbos!) by the time I finish this post. 😀

Temporary-insomnia isn’t new to me. Nothing serious, really, but I suffer minor sleep-disorders least five to six days in a month. Usually, one of the above methods work. Switching on the PC always meant worst case scenario. It’s pretty-risky too, considering the fact that my parents’ bedroom is exactly opposite to mine and the light sauntering in from my room (even with closed doors) is enough to wake up my extra-sensitive parents! Till date, I’ve been caught at least ten times in front of the PC at night. And that has given me the ‘PC-addict’ tag. 😐 There would be a volley of choicest abuses hurled at me, once caught,boiling down even to slaps on the face if dad’s mood was particularly sordid! Dad’s first assumption would be that I was watching porn. Being a computer-geek, dad would try every trick in his belt, including searching for *.jpg, *.mpg and *avi files in an attempt to find hidden porn, always in vain! 😉 Anyways, every stranger inquiring my parents about their son would get a quick summary of his addictive behavior with subtle details of how he never parts with the computer, even in the middle of the night… Duh!

Another way of my finding sleep was through phone calls. This was a sure-shot method with an extremely high success-rate. Until almost a year ago, I used to have daily telephone conversations with a cousin of mine. We would open up to each other on phone almost everyday for an hour or so. She was armed with a postpaid connection with low call rates and her parents imposed barely no restrictions on her phone bills! 😀 *Sigh* those were the days, ‘insomnia’ used to be an alien term! 🙂 After every such conversation, I’d immediately hit the sack and sleep like a baby for over seven hours. But eventually my cousin got busy with studies and we rarely got time to talk to each other. Talk-habits suspended abruptly, I found my insomnia heighten; even bringing in a stage of mini-depression. (If I’m not wrong, my cousin too has the same problem!) But with time, the depression and the insomnia diminished to a great extent. I’d relish fits of sound sleep, at least 25-26 days a month. Yet occasional fits of insomnia would recur, like today.

Well… I have yet another innovative sleep technique that pertains to phone calls. 😀 If the going gets worse and if I’m truly enraged by lack-of-sleep; I’d fish out my landline and call someone up! Mostly (read “Always”) the person I’d be calling would be a girl. It goes like this; half an hour into my sleepless night, I instinctively get the sudden urge to listen to a female voice. Not it’s nothing romantic, I don’t go horny or anything, but the feeling is intense, and I kinda go nuts if I’m not able to fulfill it! My female friends (not everyone, just two or three close ones; my ‘regular’ callers) are aware of this problem (hormonal trouble, as one puts it) and they’ve learned to put up with it. Our conversations would border on the most inane and mundane of things. I’d ask and prod THEM to talk to me. And I’d intently listen to all what they say with some religious zeal. 10 to 15 minutes of “How-she-bitched-at-me-today” to “I-really-think-that-girl-needs-a-kick-in-the-ass” later, I’d find my eyes droop. I’d thank them for talking to me and hit the sack. Extremely desperate situations when all my friends are too tired to engage in nightly-conversations find me dialing AirTel customer care, and I’ll be praying to get a female-executive on line!! Take my word, some executives may get real friendly; and once I kinda befriended a voice agent. 😉 Today, well, all my close female friends are either asleep or refusing to take my call. Besides, my mobile handset is dead, so I can’t call airtel customer care either. 🙁

Ah… my eyes are drooping. The radiation-effect has started. This is the ideal time!! If I don’t sleep now, I’ll sit here all night. Righto’!

And btw, Happy Friendship day, everybody!! I’d like to dedicate this post to EVERY female friend of mine who’s patted me to sleep. Thanks a bunch, gals. You’ll always be in my heart! Love you all! 🙂

[For those who’ve noticed the discrepancy regarding the delayed publishing of this post, well, I ostensibly forgot to click the publish button yesterday night! That’s why this post is being published at 5:20 PM, Aug 4, instead of 1:26 AM!! :P]

21 Comments

  1. Viajero

    Being an insomniac is truly a characteristic of an engineer 😀 for the past 3 weeks I am sleeping with my laptop…..its the same routine for me….after getting bored with channel scanning, my laptop provides the much needed company after bugging my frnds with loads of smses (the power of freedom) ;)…..sleep always elusive…

  2. Ps

    Did you know 63% of bloggers are insomniacs?I had done a similar post on it some time back.
    And hey–lifting from HINDI Movies, of all things, for heavens sake is the PITS.I don’t watch Hindi movies–so i wouldn’t know–If it appeared that way, it must have been sheer coincidence.
    And after so much of experience, one just knows–one does not have to lift!
    And yeah–I have seen fight club.
    Cheers
    preeti

  3. Sriram

    Being a computer-geek, dad would try every trick in his belt, including searching for *.jpg, *.mpg and *avi files in an attempt to find hidden porn, always in vain! ;- Why always in vain? Encryption? hehe.. kidding bro 🙂

    Take my word, some executives may get real friendly; and once I kinda befriended a voice agent.lol..

    nice pic in the post too..

  4. Hari

    @ viajero:
    Sleeping with your lappie? 😮 OMG, dude, you might’ve died of radiation! 😀

    There must be some cure, eh? I’ll start googling for it. 😛

    ps:
    Ew. Never knew that. 🙂

    Lifting from hindi movies:
    Sorry… well, there’s a similar situation in Lage Raho Munnabhai, where Munna gives this tip on how to realize whether a guy is good or bad by analyzing how he reacts to people with low social standing like waitors. I didn’t mean to belittle you or anything… I KNOW that your words come straight from years of experience! Just mentioned a similarity that I’d noticed. 😀 Fight club is one good movie

    Btw, could you share a link to that post of yours? I’d like to read that. 😀

    @ Sriram:
    Not encryption, buddy. Dad doesn't know my Linux username & password! 😛
    Btw, I don't keep porn in my PC. It’s like; use and throw to avert risks. 😀

    Thanks

  5. ~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~

    I’d like to dedicate this post to EVERY female friend of mine who’s patted me to sleep. Thanks a bunch, gals. You’ll always be in my heart! Love you all! 🙂

    Nice way to thank your girlfriends! Liked it!

    Dad’s first assumption would be that I was watching porn. Being a computer-geek, dad would try every trick in his belt, including searching for *.jpg, *.mpg and *avi files in an attempt to find hidden porn, always in vain! 😉

    Sad that you don’t! Not befitting a man who studied in a boys school and then in an engineering college!

  6. Hari

    @ Abhi:
    “girl” friends, as in “Female” friends. 🙂 There’s a world of a difference between both terms, bro! 😛

    And, I just said I don’t keep porn permanently in my PC! 😀 I see and delete. Of course I burn the best ones for ‘future’ viewing

    Spoiler Warning:
    A HOT post coming up! Beware!!

  7. Sriram

    haha.. even my folks dont know my linux username and password *wink* *wink* – never bothered 🙂
    But they also don’t know that they can’t access my linux partition from windows, muhahaha!

  8. Hari

    @ Sriram:
    Same here! Dad recently asked me about ‘Ubuntu’ after seeing the long list of ‘stickers’ (the one you get with the ordered discs) in my room. 😀 It was then that he realized that it was a version of Linux! 😛

  9. Jasim A Basheer

    Hi Hari, your blog has been a wonderful read. I’m awed by your frank words. Also read your entire post titled ‘Crushed’. It does mirror the thousands of untold stories of like-fated guys. 🙂

    There is a rather nice post that indirectly hints at the importance of university education for CSE at
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/GuerrillaInterviewing3.html

    And, if your folks are too much in doubt regarding your late-night surfing, why dont they do the extremely practical, tried and tested ‘peep in all of a sudden’ method? It would be much better than trying to out-geek a young geek.

    Hoping to read more of you. Keep on writing. Cheers.

  10. Hari

    @ jasim:]
    Wow, so ‘Crushed’ is still in demand! Good to hear that.

    Umm, your link is a tad too long… So I could only skim through it. The guy has a point, yes. 🙂 All I’ve tried to portray are the issues regarding universities in Kerala which adopt a learn-by-rote technique rather than practical knowledge. That sucks.

    Hey, you’re giving them tips! And yea, they always peep in like that! 😛 But I always keep my room bolted when I’m using my pc. 😀

    Thanks for dropping by. Thanks for the detailed comment too! 🙂

  11. Ms Cris

    Ah I am aware of this problem. But for me there is solid reason. Person sleeping a complete 7 hours when the sun is up might find it a little difficult to sleep a couple of hours after waking up.

    Anyway, about the sleeplessnes, its ok to sleep a little late for, you say 5-6 days a month? Yeah you could use the time to lie down and imagine lots and lots and lotsssss more. Its real fun. Sometimes you may get too excited and sit up on bed to enact the imagined conversations.

  12. Hari

    @ ms cris:
    “Sometimes you may get too excited and sit up on bed to enact the imagined conversations.”
    LOL, I must try this!

    Mom says I sleep-talk a lot. Can’t be sure.

    Thanks for dropping by. Comments by celebrity-bloggers like you won’t hurt. 🙂

  13. Leela

    Though that seems fairly convincing enough, I’d like to say that even oversleeping can be an equally bad depressant. Take my word on it. I will definitely put up a post the next time I feel that way.

    PS: Reached here from the one-who-keeps-thinking-of-a-pen-name.

  14. Hari

    @ leela:
    I’ve been visiting your blog for over sometime now. 🙂

    And you’re right! do let me know when you post, k?

    @ neethu:
    Nice pen-name! 😛

    @ guy in the middle:
    🙂 I’ve done this before, but still… :d

  15. Hari Vishnu

    hehe.. insomnia is a part of a regular college students diet.. cant help it.. my avg sleepin time was 4 am in the final sem.. it just gets so.. and i carried these habits over to my home and now to singapore too ! .. sheesh, must get over it..

    yea i kno calling a female friend helps.. maybe not in the exact way u put it:-).. but its somewat comforting to listen to a girls voice at the other end, for sure..

  16. Hari Vishnu

    wow and same pinch again : i chat to a cousin of mine nowadays before sleep (to catch sleep u cud say),very comforting.. and lol at ur porn adventures :-).. dangerous thing to b puttin up on ur blog dont u think?..

  17. Hari

    @ Hari:
    A feisty research guy like you MUST change your sleep patterns for the better! It’s not cool to put all-nighters every single day, mind you.

    And yeah, same pinch to us!! LOL man we have a LOT in common. Hope I’ll also get admission to an awesome foreign university like you!

    I’ve never written I WATCH porn at night. All I wrote was that my dad checks for porn, and that he’s never found it! 😛 How’s it goanna be dangerous, btw? 😀

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