Metro Diaries : Five minutes

Sharada stood at the balcony staring at the pitch dark sky aimlessly. Tonight there was no moon and due to clouds even the stars weren’t visible clearly. Not something she would have wanted, but then she had no choice. With fatigue clearly writ on her face the starless sky seemed to reflect her agony so well. 

Darkness is what she felt deep inside her heart, as if some strange power was pulling her into an abyss from where there was no coming back. She felt utterly helpless not knowing what to do. Was life such a burden for all, she wondered. As the cool gust of wind touched her body before passing ahead, her mind traveled back in time when such nights were synonymous with exams.

Sharadaaaa…..its 7:15!” her mother would scream.

Amma… just 5 minutes more…” she would grumble from beneath the blanket.

Since the time eternal Sharada always loved her sleep, for her it was the most precious thing on earth. But it seemed as if everyone was against her thriving love affair with sleep. In kindergarten it was the early morning school and then as the age progressed so did the burden of studies making the sleeping hours lesser and lesser with every passing year. Once she had reached her high school her mother would sit next to her to ensure she was awake studying till late in the night and would always cajole her with hot cup of coffee, “Just finish these exams then in the vacations you can sleep as much as you want. Promise, no waking you up at all!” She would smile.

The gullible Sharada would get excited and start dreaming about sleepy holidays. But the moment vacations arrived her sleeps seemed to vanish like the stars tonight. Reading books till late, watching movies… everything other than sleeping was done in those nights. She grew up, began working and yet those five minutes of precious sleep that she always fought for seemed to be evading her forever.

Time flew by once she got married and had kids; sleep became even more rare and precious. Today she was a fifty year old lady with her kids settled in the lives and a husband who was too busy to notice anything. She smiled as his snores reached her ears, “He cannot even notice my absence on the bed next to him due to my inability to sleep! Oh God! All I want is to have just five minutes of his peaceful sleep… just five. I haven’t slept properly in ages. After all these years I at least deserve that much.” she was almost pleading.

Then she opened her fist, there lay five minutes of sleep nicely coloured and wrapped; waiting for her to make a move.

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