Snore galore


As kids, we siblings visited our maternal grandma’s (‘amma’) house at Nanjangud during both summer and Dasara vacations. The days were fun-filled because of the presence of scores of cousins and second cousins. We could wander everywhere, catch flies with our hands, play hide-n-seek or carom, go to the water channel or on the tonga ride, everything was pure fun during the day. But the nights used to be real torture.

Amma’s was a big family of legendary snorers. Right from amma, to her six sons and four daughters (including my mom), every one snored like there was no tomorrow. Until I could eventually fall asleep, it seemed like I was on the platform of the busiest railway junction in the world. Like the tani-aavartana in a Carnatic music concert where all the instruments compete with each other, my mom, amma, aunts and uncles would compete for the ‘Best lung powered person of the night award'.

Every inhale of theirs was like an ascending thunder ending in a gradual exhale. Like London's Royal Philharmonic Society, the dreamers snored in sync - if one inhaled, the other exhaled. No sooner they hit the sack, this well orchestrated snoring ensemble snored in all octaves.

Add to this hullabaloo, my grandfather's clock ticked away as if mockingly counting each second of the audio torment. Sometimes the racquet induced fright in me, the irritability giving way to scare and the sleep would slip away. The cacophony would eventually stop and before I knew I would be in the warm embrace of sleep.

Despite creating a racket and disturbing others' sleep, the snorer himself would be sound asleep. This was even more irritating and I would feel like pouring a pitcher of cold water on the snoring-beauty. I resented them. But fate had some nasty things up its sleeve and nights took an ugly turn in my life.

Few years back when I had to stay overnight at a friend's place I was in for a rude surprise. When I was about to leave the next day, my friend's mom told me that my snoring at night kept everyone awake. She sure was irritated. I was ashamed, angry and in a shock.

Well, that was not the only time I have been chastised for my ear-splitting night-calls. Many have shied away from sharing my room. Like Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde I transform into a roaring noise-monster in my sleep and hardly speak when awake.

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