I need atleast a couple of days to recuperate when I get back from India.
It's not that I get jet-lagged. India is just 2.5 hours ahead of Kuwait for Heaven's sake. But the Kuwait Airways flight departs from Chatrapati Shivaji Airport at 6:10 am, and the entire night prior is spent trying to stuff forgotten bits and bobs in the suitcases and then at the tedious check-in and immigration at the airport, in a lousy mood throughout.
But besides that, I don't get much sleep in Bombay. Unless I'm on an adrenaline rush, I'm in a constant state of exhaustion.
I stay at my aunt's house wherein every single inhabitant is a raging insomniac. We spend half the night talking, convulsed with laughter, and then sleep by 3 or 4 am. I settle into bed, setting the alarm for 11 am on my iPhone, forgetting in my naivety that I was in India.
My cousin begins his morning karaoke session at about 8 or 9 am, i.e. he cranks up the volume on his speakers and sings along in his room, shattering my sweet slumber. I wake up groggy and tousle-headed to him blasting LMFAO's Shots while playing Guild Wars 2, and close the door to the room I'm sharing with his sister (who continues sleeping peacefully). The door is mysteriously ajar despite my having shut it before turning in. I then settle back to sleep, my eyes wincing in the sunlight peeking through the curtains.
An hour of very disturbed sleep later, the doorbell peals incessantly, penetrating into my dreams. I wake with a start. The house and everyone in it, including my sister beside me, is still, except for my lunatic brother who is now passionately singing Coldplay's The Scientist at the top of his voice, oblivious to what's unfurling outside his lair. Shaking my head in disbelief, I take in a deep breath, trying to muster the energy to walk to the hall and open the front door. It's the milkman asking for his dues. I politely ask him to come back later in the afternoon. I bring in the paper and nariyal pani* left on the doorstep and then struggle to go back to sleep.
Barely thirty minutes later, the doorbell unfailingly rings yet again. Nobody in the house has stirred. No sound of music from my brother's room; I assume he's finally turned in. Disgusted, I open the door with a ferocious scowl. It's a delivery from Flipkart, a few books I'd ordered online have arrived. Only slightly mollified, I make arrangements for the payment, dump the package on my suitcase and head back to bed, falling asleep.
The doorbell rings once more.
I swing open the door with murderous intent. It's the servant. I let her in while singing praises of the Lord, now she could open the door for the next disturber of the peace! I climb back into bed and collapse, dead to the world.
Ten minutes later, my 11 am alarm rings.
*nariyal pani: coconut water
(Bombay, Feb '13)