‘Gosh ! When will you stop being a night owl?’ Ritika curses herself and jumps out of the bed in a way which can give even Anju Bobby George a serious complex. She had set the alarm for 7:30 am, but looks like snoozed it again in her sleep. 9:30 am. Tuesday. The work week has just begun and Ritika is late….again.
No. Ritika is not late for work. She does not work. Ritika is a housewife, at least this is how her family and relatives all know her. And who does not know that housewives never do any work?
Ritika ambles towards the kitchen. She despises this part of the house but spends her most energetic morning hours here.
‘Can I get a cup of tea, Ritu?’ Samar startles Ritika as he enters the bathroom.
‘Sure,’ Ritika replies wishing if she could make the same request to anyone.
The clock strikes 9:40 am. Ritika has to move her both pairs of hands and legs fast. Luckily, Samar’s shift timing starts from 12:00pm which grants his wife some grace period to stuff breakfast in his gut and pack his lunch box. Moreover, Ritika’s late rising nature has gifted her an excellent multi-tasking ability after marriage to manage the chores in kitchen within crunch time.
‘There is not much chores to do in the house. You get an entire day to rest. Why can’t you wake up early in the morning,Ritu ?’ Ritika’s mother often fails to hide her surprise.
Nobody will trust her, but Ritika is an ardent believer of early to bed and early to rise theory.
I will go to bed by 10 pm tonight….no…wait… 10 pm is a bit too early. 11pm.
She promises herself every morning. But as the night arrives, Ritika’s plans start going for a toss in the bedroom.
It’s only 10 pm, I can sleep an hour later. Ritika opens the You Tube.
Is there anything new on Netflix? Netflix receives attention next.
This web series is not so interesting. But it’s only 10:45pm, I will never catch sleep so soon. What to do? And finally online games declare their ultimate victory.
By the time, Ritika reaches 99th level in the game, the clock strikes 12:45 am. Night owl takes her into it’s grip again. She opens the alarm clock in her mobile and does some calculations in her mind.
It’s 12:45am. If I set the alarm for 7:30am, I can still manage more than six hours of sleep. Fair enough.
She sets the alarm and goes to bed reluctantly. Samar is in deep sleep. But sleep does not visit Ritika. Rather the thoughts she deliberately shoos off the entire day crowds her head.
Will I ever get a job? What if something happens to Samar or he loses his job?
When will I be able to conceive? What if I never manage to bear a child?
What if Samar gets tired of my infertility and decides to divorce me?
What if nobody comes to support me after that? Where will I go?
To avoid these ‘what ifs’,Ritika engages herself in dusting, cooking, cleaning, shopping and exercising throughout the day. But what about the night? Once she goes to bed, these thoughts start killing her. She finds an escape route in bogus TV serials, web series, You Tube and online games. They help to divert her mind from the ‘what ifs’ to something totally useless yet absolutely relaxing.
Finally, when the night owl drifts asleep, the morning light slowly starts peeking the bedroom behind the curtains.
And then history repeats itself one more time in the night owl’s life.