Yesterday was one of those rare days in my life when I could not sleep. I had gone on a tour to Germany and when I returned I had a bad cold and cough because of extreme change of weather conditions. Although this has not been new to me but I do not know why I could not sleep. I have travelled to Germany multiple times and have never missed a whole night sleep. But today was different.
I do not even remember as to when I last spent a sleepless night. Yes in the past on a few occasions, when I have travelled to places where there is a huge time zone difference it does take the human body to adjust and adapt. But four and a half hours time difference is not that difficult to adjust or adapt after a day’s rest. I do not know why nor do I want to know.
But this sleeplessness has helped me to further kindle my writing spirit. In a matter of less than an hour, I wrote four blogs. The thoughts started flowing like water in an open tap, There was no traffic on the road and no noise in the environs. It is dawn now and I can only hear the sound of the Rooster in the background. I realize that it may be sometimes wonderful to sleep in the day and enjoy the night this way.
However, on a serious note of reflection, I realised today how privileged I am. I have never complained of sleeplessness in my life. I have been an honest tax paying citizen and have lived my family and society values to the best of my ability all through my life. But today I realised how important sleep is for the health of a human being. If the body is not able to rest, it may not be energised the next day. It may be like a engine running twenty four hours and three hundred and sixty five days a year without any stop. The engine is likely to break down so will the human being without 8 hours of sleep every day.
I realised that there millions of people around the world who may not be sleeping every day this way. Of course some of the highly creative people like music composers, scientists etc sometimes work day or night when their calling comes. It is not sleep which is their way to relax but the work they do and their calling is not determined by the working hours of ordinary human kind like many of us.
Similarly, there are millions of people around the world who cannot sleep because they do not have a shelter above their head or food in their stomach. How privileged I am in comparison to these people. I did realise today after just one day of sleep deprivation. I may sleep during the day tomorrow as it is a weekend but everyone around the world does not have that privilege.
Another learning for me is to be grateful for what I am and what I have in life rather than what I am not and I do not have. There can never be day in my life where all my dreams will be realised. This does not mean I stop dreaming. But gratitude lays the foundation for humility in life. It also helps us balance need and greed. The day we realise we are grounded.
It is almost 5 am now. It is either time for my morning coffee or a quick nap.
What do you think I will do ?
S Ramesh Shankar
18th Nov 2017