Sleepy heads

If a yaksha throws me a poser as it did to Yudhishtra, “who is the luckiest person in the whole world?”, I would unhesitatingly respond, “the one who falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow.” 

A relative of mine, is just that lucky,  to the extent that he can doze without yawning gaps even during daytime and  without a fluffy pillow.

The strict regimentation of his nightly sleep follows certain strict ground rules. First and foremost, it will be on silent mode. He will remain quiet like a top freezing at the pinnacle of its torque speed. And motionless like a Buckingham Palace guard, changing position only once in a while. He will not moan, mumble, gurgle, mutter, hiss or howl like a jackal at the moon. Nor will he salivate, snore or noisily scratch his unshaven jaw. 

For him sleep is sacrosanct, a penance, a holy communion. He can count on sleep, without counting sheep.

Unless he gets a reserved upper berth he will not travel by train. He could enjoy Nature’s sweet restorer to the hilt only there. Once, due to an accidental jolt when the train changed tracks, he was thrown down from his position of eminence, but picked himself up and shinnied the upper berth to continue the rapid eye movement sleep.
 While returning from Madurai one winter month, he slept even after the train reached Madras Egmore. He was woken up by the marshalling yard staff who came to pull down the shutters of the rake.

His wife who knows a bit of Shakespeare is disturbed by the Bard’s pronouncement that sleep is the counterfeit of death. No wonder she imagines the worst when he is on one of his long hibernations. 

She would purposely drop things like a bell metal vessel noisily on the bed room floor or place a cautious  finger under his nostrils to ascertain  whether  breathing is in progress.

Some sleepers are not pacifists. They get wild if woken up from their deep sleep.

 Reportedly, a relative of mine with a short fuse so values his  sleep that any one who dares to extricate him gets a stinging slap on the cheek or even  a round house punch on the jaw. His wife wakes him up by  prodding his heel from a distance with a five foot bamboo stick. And before he springs up like a cheetah to slap, takes to her heels. 

That on certain days she did receive a slap, he bought her chaplets of jasmine, jilebi plus a sari in atonement is  a distinctive dimension in the love-hate  husband-wife relationship.

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