Morning Alarm


‘Beep, beep; beep beep’ hollered the alarm piercing the peaceful dawn, disturbing my beauty sleep. I nudged my sister, “Get up lazy bones and shut down this blaring monster.”

“Not mine,” she retorted as she buried her head under the pillow.

Second alternative, a rude vigorous shake to the younger one who nonchalantly silenced it and dozed off. Within five minutes, it beeped again. Groggy eyed, I shook my sister mad. We sisters shared our room and had different sleeping patterns. While I subscribed the old dictum ‘early to bed and early to rise’ as a student (the formative habit has stuck with me, my eyes droop around 10.00 pm and come what may, I cannot stay in bed after 6.00 am), my siblings had an intriguing modus operandi.

My sister would set her morning alarm as per her departure schedule and hide the little clock under her pillow. She would go to sleep after covering up her target study assignment without referring to the time. We dare not mention when she slept! The younger one had a rhythmic albeit erratic pattern. Study for some time, nap a little, wake up and repeat the same. Her alarm went off and on throughout the day. This was in early nineties when we had to set alarms manually. Each one of us had our own dainty little pieces.

Early morning sleep is inversely proportional to the wakeup alarm. Tight schedule notwithstanding, one is tempted to hit the snooze, curl on and sleep a little more. A tiny wink and the clock leaps on, then the mad rush for the morning routine. My friend who has to commute for an hour has devised a novel mechanism to avoid this temptation and the following chaos. She sets the wake up alarm and leaves it in the kitchen. The compulsion to switch it off necessitates leaving the bed! Another friend of mine has never had to set alarms. She has God’s benign blessings. She automatically gets up at the schedule time. Her husband’s train, her son’s examination –she has woken them up without fail.

The good old alarms have been relegated into oblivion; nowadays the ubiquitous mobile performs the duty with aplomb. If my tech savvy kids have to wake up at a certain hour, they follow a three-pronged mechanism. Step one: a soft symphony would ring for some time, a soothing melodious tune, hear/ignore kind. Step two: a mild tone, preparatory kinds, gently nudging you out of slumber and finally a loud alarm, to hit your senses and jolt you out of your complacency kind.

The boast of technophile takes a backseat during examination. The surest alarm is ‘mummy’ dearest. A Whatsapp message ‘wake me up at __’ and ‘yours dutiful’ cajoles them with oodles of sweet endearments. To double check, I invariably call again. Yet no alarm in the universe has a quick nerve jacking eye-opening ‘all senses awakening’ response as a Dad’s rare wakeup call!

Suruuchi Kalra Choudhary

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