Graveyard Shift


…and those things that go bump in the night. One of the things that go bump in the night is my sis. No, well she’s not as blind as a bat or anything, lemme explain. (I’ll be damned if she catches all these things sprawled on the web 🙂 )

My sis has had the habit of talking in her sleep right since childhood. Seldom has she ever uttered anything intelligible. It all sounds like some weird martian language to me. In addition to this, as a child, she also used to be adept at playing football in the bed (read kicking), of course not knowing that I am not the football or my mouth, not the goal post. What more, she would find herself in exactly 180 degrees of the position that she went to sleep in. Imagine trying to sleep and suddenly being thrust with something on your face.. and lo! behold it used to be the not so pretty foot of my younger sister! (It could have given a chiropodist some great business). At times she also used to be found dangling somehow in the reams of the mosquito net that wasn’t being supported by the bed! Well, over the years these habits started declining in frequency and also weirdness. The only thing pending was the jumble mumble game at times.

One fine night she had just retired to bed (and slept off), whilst I was handling some nightcare regime. Suddenly she asked me in a very polished tone,” What *ARE* you doing?”. Note the stress on the verb. This sentence struck me as REALLY odd. For one, we dont talk in plain proper english at home. We use what everyone is familiar with – hinglish. So a complete sentence with not a single word in hindi, threw me completely off balance. Add to it the fact that she was using this sophisticated tone as if she’d just stepped out of an english convent where Hindi speaking was fined (Believe me, I have studied in one). Last but not the least, I wasn’t doing anything so outta ordinary that she actually had to wake up and ask me that! Somehow I smattered that I was doing.. whatever.. and also appended a question about what the problem was. Suddenly, she was dumbfounded and she uttered yet another sentence which threw me more off balance than the first. She said, “Oh! I thought you were my English teacher!”. (This was in hinglish BTW). Well, whatever in the name of .. err.. blistering barnacles or the like was that?? And of course in the morning, she didn’t remember anything of whatever happened and we just kept giggling at the atrociously weird nature of it all.

This isn’t all. A few days down the line (now this is the incident where she went bump in the night) so lights, camera, action.. oh.. no lights..pitch dark and some howling by dogs, yes! Again, this time we were sleeping peacefully. Or rather everybody was sleeping peacefully while sleep chose to evade me. Suddenly (and this is horrifying), my sister woke up with a start and got up in a rush. I found it weird but gave her the benefit of doubt coz she does that a lot in a rush to relieve herself. But this time it wasn’t to be so. Instead of heading for the toilet, she went in some absurd direction, to another door, which opened in another room! And all this while, she was in that haphazard hurry. Before I could ask her what was wrong, she bumped real BAD against the door, as if she didn’t see that it was partially closed! This was enough to wake up my parents who appeared faster than a genie would have on the scene. (Yeh parents log aise hee hote hain). They asked her what was wrong and led her back to the bed. But my sister, she crosses all heights of being eery and with a stiff silence, came back and slept as if nothing had happened. Of course, not to forget, she didn’t remember any of this the next morning. All these night adventures of hers had the tendency to put us in splits when in a family gathering. But this was getting serious. What if some night she just decided that she was going to turn into a somnambulist? Anyhow, things became ok after a while and there was no trace of any such activity for a long time. With time, she shifted to Pune. I sure hope her room mate isn’t having a horrifying time now! 🙂

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