Floors, wash basins, tub, sink, stove, sofas, tables etc. – clean
Gas, lights, fans, a/c – turned off
Windows and doors – shut
Everything for tomorrow – ready
(Are you a career woman with kids? To apprehend this write-up fully, you need to be one.)
Some people fall asleep as easy as closing a book or turning off the switches. Blessed are those souls! Unfortunately I am not in their pack. There would be a lot many files to close before I shut my system down. If it is forced shut down my system is going to be in trouble.
I must go by the above checklist one by one.
My girls are so generous that they leave a feast in every nook and corner for the little nasty, nocturnal invaders. I cannot think of waking up in to a morning to I find my house overrun – here on the ground floor the risk is pretty high. Once again for the third (or fourth?) time that day I clean up the floors. The toilet floor is a dirt magnet which helped me make up my mind against going for a new slimming machine.
At the end of the day when I recline on the bed, it is the turn of uncertainties to horn in on me.
Did I lock the doors, especially the main one? It takes me one or two tries to convince myself that it is safely locked. Some say that is a psychological disorder. If that is so, I am in utter ‘disorder’ because I do the same about the gas stove too.
The alarm is set? Imagine the bus driver waking me up with his missed call and my hard-earned image of a punctual teacher getting shattered in front of all the teachers and students in the bus! NO! Let me check on that once again. My conscience tells me it is done but I proffer myself a reason for seizing the mobile a second time – the doubt: ‘Am I thinking about setting it today or yesterday?’ Every other day is a replica of the previous one. How to be sure whether ‘today’ is today or yesterday? It’s all in our head or sometimes above our head – in the ‘Matrix’ way.
I have to tell my school girl a hundred times (clichéd – I know, still mothers and teachers have a liking for that exaggeration) to get the books for the next day ready. Always she waits for the umpteenth reminder. She knows I will either carp at her or do the work for her in the fear of receiving a complaint note from the teacher. I can guess what the teacher would think –‘How can her mother, herself a teacher, could be so negligent?’ Well, I decide to wait till morning to ensure that.
As I try to close my eyes, they continue to seep in: morning assembly… preparation of diary… new time table… arts fest… books awaiting correction… assessments… class observation… zzzzzzz…
As I gradually triumph over them…
‘Amma, I’m thirsty…’
I can’t hear you dear… I am far away from you, in the land of Nod!
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