Monday, September 29, 2008

Worshipping Kumbakarna

Sleep should probably be ranked as God's most fascinating creation. It is hard to be sure if computers enjoy being in a power-save mode. Humans enjoy it. A sound sleep defines our existence. It is what we aspire for. It is what we do best. It signifies our oneness with the absolute. It is the only moment where we manifest our true purpose. Consciousness is that mannerless annoying disturbance that wakes us up unnecessarily and forces us to squeeze out a "life" during the empty spaces between naps. In reality, our actions between two naps is only meant to help us pass time until the next nap. Career, education, TV, and books are all tools we have invented to kill time between naps. We stutter, struggle and have intermittent naps for many decades so that we are well prepared for one big permanent snoozeathon.

The beauty of sleep is hard to describe. The complete absence of work or progress towards work is a testament to the said beauty. The pleasure involved in dozing off for several hours is so immense that we feel guilty at the end of it. People bathe to get rid of the guilt. When one sleeps, one is grateful. The experience is so pure. When Lord Krishna requested Arjuna to perform tasks unmindful of the fruits of the said task, He used sleep as the example. Sleep is where we fulfill that purity. We sleep unmindful of the perils of sleeping and expect no benefit at the end of it. It is an end within itself. It is the beginning , the end and the journey. In celebration of sleep - the unsung hero - we take a look at the top 10 list of 'The Best Sleeping moments' in a person's life;

Top 10 Sleeping Moments Of Human Beings

10. Sleeping after sedatives: Sleeping After sedatives is like a fast point-to-point journey. You are aware of getting on the bed and the next thing you know is sunlight hitting the room, the next morning. There is no 'Will I sleep in this pain?' anxiety. Guaranteed sleep is all you want when the body, mind and everything else is unwell.

9. Sleeping in moving vehicles: There are people who fall asleep the moment the engine of a vehicle, any vehicle, is switched ON. That is a remarkable gift. It is hard to believe that such people are often criticized by friends & family. Who cares for conversation or the scenery, when one can see better stuff in your dreams? Pilots, car-drivers, engine-drivers, bus-drivers, unknowingly switch on a very powerful sedative for such people. If you are ever in doubt about this form of sleep just peep into the IT company buses that pick-up half-asleep people at 7:00AM in the morning and drop them off to work at 8:45. Caged animals, with I.D cards hanging out of their necks, sleep in their seats like there is no tomorrow. The young generation of India march towards work with as much enthusiasm of a POW walking towards a firing squad.

8. Sleeping during a movie: This is a special one. It almost feels as if someone is carefully and gingerly carrying you into la-la land. There is a subtlety and class about this mode that is absent in many other sleep situations. A bad movie is like a surprise gift. Allows for a righteous sleep.

7. The 'Slightly relax on the Sofa' Nap: This is not necessarily restricted to a person's house. It can happen anywhere. You are watching TV and you say "just 5 minutes" and you are transported into a different world. You are visiting friends and the conversation veers to stocks and technology, all you need to say is 'I'll slightly relax on the sofa' keyword and fall asleep. People won't notice you until you have extracted as much as you can from a standard-dosage of sofa-sleep. If you have over-eager stock investors debating in the room, you just stuck gold.

6. The Sunday Afternoon Nap: As we enter a rarefied level of sleep situations, it would not be uncommon to find precious stones and gems such as this. I advise the reader to refrain from sending petitions to me on upgrading this or any other sleep levels to the coveted #1 position. The list is final. Sunday afternoon nap is great for one reason - It mocks Monday in the face. It lets out that belligerent scream against the cruel tyrannical Monday. It seems to ask "I am sleeping now. Look at me. What the hell can you do about it". Importantly, Sunday morning food tends to be on the heavier side and so sleeping is not a problem. Sleeping for 3 hours on Sunday is brazen show of aggression against Monday. There is a good chance that Monday will hit back with furious anger. But it is worth it.

5. Sleeping when it is raining outside: P.G.Wodehouse, Archie comics, rain and sleep takes us straight into the romance department. There is nothing more idyllic than sleeping when it is raining outside. The ithihaasas mention that the whole process of water evaporation, cloud formation, and subsequent rain is inextricably linked to fantastic sleep. Scientific research, the nonsense that it is, has been inconclusive on the effect of rain on sleep. However, experience shows that there is a cosmic link between Varuna and Urmya, goddess and protector of sleep. When Varuna visits during the day, Urmya is sure to follow. Who cares about peacock's dancing and rainbows? Wrapping oneself in the warmth of bedsheets/comforter as raindrops make music on the roof toop is an enchanting experience. One sleeps sounder than usual.

4. When Morning Nap runs into extra-time: People were born saying "5 more minutes". These three words have been encoded into our speech system during our zygotic stages. Statistics show that average human sleep time has been increasing by 5 minutes every day for the past several millenia. While sleepers feel that they have slept for close to 100 hours everyday, science has only been able to account for 10 hours of night sleep. Nowadays, technology is unable to keep up with our ability to squeeze out that extra "5 minutes" of morning sleep time. Snooze functionality, scream functionality, automatic iPod alarms, self-starting blast-mode stereos, the 'shout-like-L.R.Easwari' ear buds have all failed to stop humans from getting 1 hour worth of "extra 5 minutes". Boy! are those 5 minutes really superb? Even if you have remained awake for the entire night in insomnia, the arrival of dawn will instantly cure you and put you to sleep.

3. The Week-day Afternoon Nap During Vacation: Sleeping during vacations needs to have it own temple. People get burgled when they sleep. People sleep in buses and lose their suitcase ( 5 lac rupees included). These people don't get up and blame sleep. They blame the burglar. The police search for the burglar, not sleep. Imagine what would happen if these people were given a guilt-free license to sleep on a 4 month-vacation. For several days during my 12th standard vacation, I got up at 11:30 AM in the morning, brushed my teeth, had lunch, and went back to sleep at 12:30PM. I got up again at 4:30PM, took bath, watched TV, ate dinner and went back to sleep at 9:30PM. For an entire month, I did not leave my house. Never crossed my door into the outside world. I tell you - this sleep is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Rarely will you get an extended 3-4 month vacation where you just sleep your way to glory.

2. Sleep Before Exams: You are studying hard. It is the day before exams. A fight against the clock is in progress. 11 chapters to go and you calculate that you only have 10 more hours today an maybe 4 hours the next morning. It is a close call. You may not have enough time to finish all chapters. That is the moment when you make a crucial decision. You sleep. You decide that all your problems will be put into proper perspective after 1 hour's sleep. And you sleep. Ladies & gentlemen - that is the most precious sleep you will ever encounter. Horror, fear and near-death situations await you at the other end of the sleep and yet you sleep peacefully. Everything is paused, danger is ignored and the only victor is sleep.

1. The Afternoon nap after a feast that involves curd rice + vadai-payasam. The most dangerous type of sleep is the one you have immediately after heavy meals. Imagine a super-powered, magnum opus, extra-dimension lunch that simply beats you up again and again and again. A powerful, unmitigated, relentless attack on your taste buds. When it ends - it ends with a curd-rice and a killer of a payasam. A lunch so powerful that your legs fall asleep during the time you were eating. 2 people need to lift you and re-seat you on the couch. A sleep after that, as evil as it is, is the best. The payasam delivers the killer blow that no other sedative can deliver. You sleep like there is no tomorow. You sleep like a man who is about to be sentenced for eternal consciousness and this is the last ever sleep you will get to sleep. Words just fail the author at this moment. Tears flow freely as one imagines this moment of sleep. It rarely happens and when it does - we believe in god.

Worst Sleeping Moments

5. Other People Sleeping when you are not: This is very annoying. You are tense, cramming for exams and working on a homework - and you see people around you sleeping. Grandmother, mother, brother, arbitrary cousin, aunt-from-outer-space, wife and neighbor's cat - they all seem to be sleeping around you. It is very frustrating when sleep is happening and you are not the subject.

4. Sleep during home-lunch visit on an Office Work-day. This is the most unsatisfactory sleep experience for me. Not because of my 'kadami unarvu' (work ethic) - I don't have that. This sleep is so guilt-ridden. Mind constantly worries about various possibilities playing out. This sleep always terminates prematurely.

3. Jet-Lag Sleep. This is when you don't sleep now so that you can sleep well later. It sounds ridiculous. This whole 'not sleeping for the sake of saving sleep' confuses the mind. On one hand it feels like you are doing a noble thing to ensure survival of 'sleep'. On the other hand you feel guilty resisting the allure of instant sleep. Most annoying.

2. Sleeping During Dusk. Maybe its me. If I sleep anytime between 5:30PM and 7:00PM, I feel lousy when I get up. Usually all feelings of guilt, worry and fear disappear when one sleeps. But this sleep does the opposite. One feels depressed and dejected when one gets up. There is of course the fear of not being able to sleep at night.

1. Going to sleep with an upset-stomach/Over Sleeping on Exam Day morning: Sleeping on the morning of an exam and sleeping after taking a laxative is the same thing. You are always on the alert. You are torn apart between two primitive forces. Both are powerful. Here is when you don't want 'sleep' to win the fight. Because if it wins, you are in a mess. There is no pleasure in waking up too. Once you get up, you have to face the ordeal. A loss-loss situation if ever there was one.


Sriram said...

Am I the only one who has done all this?

anu said...

i so totally agree with the exam day morning sleep. i think in best sleep, you left out sleeping after an exam, after lunch!

Lone Crusader said...

such a comprehensive list..i am amazed..I am guilty of doing everything in this list :-D

Anonymous said...

I don't sleep beyond 7.30-8 am in the morning even if i go to sleep at 1 or 2. I just don't get it why I don't enjoy sleep as much as everyone around me does.

In Chennai, it is absolutely impossible with the sub beating down at 7 am and you start to sweat.

Usually, my longest sleep would be the last day of the semester. I go to sleep at 11 and get up at around 9 or 10.

Anonymous said...


rads said...

lol, nice list! Looks like you've covered them all! :)

I recently experienced #10 - and it is quite peaceful, except the fact that when you wake up it feels like an out of the body experience :)

#9 is me too. It's so boring just to sit there and twiddle thumbs :|

amanchap said...

>>Sleeping in Moving vehicles.
drivers no exception...some people fall asleep after hitting the cruise button. :)

Anonymous said...

actually, being an insomniac, reading this post was such a painful experience. It is like explaining to a person who has gone bald the advantages of the latest hair conditioner.

one to add to the good list:-
sleeping during lecture or classes. are you outdated enough to have completely forgotten that feeling??

one that is in a league of its own:
sleeping after a day long of playing sports or doing physical work. it is just heaven i tell u.

also, post exam sleeps are pretty bad. you wake like you are in a hangover or something.

Balaji said...

need to love sleep to enjoy this post. I do. my favorite would be "sleeping after being woken up and realizing that its only 5 am and that I can get a couple of more hours of sleep". Happens a lot when one has kids :)

Anonymous said...

Nice Collection.. How about an semi-sleep during long training sessions in office, especially after lunch, especially after a thayir sadham lunch..??
The #2 in the Best list... I did that a lot and yes it works out well...

Vee Cee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vee Cee said...

you left out these two:

In Best category:
Sleeping after gujaals.

In Worst category:
Sleeping the night before an early morning flight.

R-ambam said...

Hi , First time here to write u have published a Nice post. wat abt the class room sleep in schools and colleges? One other kind where the eyes are wide open , and the mind wanders elsewhere ?

sometime ago, I blog hopped and got here only to swear u for the S.Janaki post .Sorry abt that ...! I felt reeely bad reading that post.

coolkarni said...

Brilliant! Masterpiece :-)

maxdavinci said...

sleeping during classes, meetings and post lunch training sessions!

I think i've seen a pic of infy kids doze in a lecture hall during training. Noto ne but the trainer was awake! lemme c if i can fishit out for you...

Anonymous said...

Nice one. Just wait till you have kids, and you can erase most of the items from your "best" list.

Sangeetha said...

This is a good one...
Sometimes when you are sound asleep you suddenly feel as if you are falling from the bed- you wake up startled and nod off to sleep when you realize you are fine - Have you experienced that?

Morning sleep is the best but the sleep after an oil bath, after that feast you were talking about on a sunday is great too! And then waking up to a suda suda davara filter coffee from amma - OOH!

jingili said...

sleepin during presentation...
sleeping aftr pongal or sambar sadam..
sleepin like a baby..exactly translates to,sleepin even when jolu is valunjufyin,but u dn care

Arunk said...

ah! Excellently written.

I found pre-exam sleep (completely on the opposite end of spectrum from trying to sleep the day AFTER all exams) - on a hot, searing trichy afternoon to be one of the best.

Nowadays, I sometimes do an "appetizer" version of sleep on the couch late night (with tv on sometimes) for about 30 minutes before heading to the bedroom. Just the "i should really be retiring for the day in the bedroom but i will sleep a little bit here" feeling makes this one delicious.


bhooma said...

so wonderfully written about the wonderful blessing called sleep for those who could fall asleep so easily..I totally agree with the night before exam sleep and sleeping on the sofa..although I always felt that when i sleep during the 5-7pm timing i would wake up and go back to sleep again into my cozy comforter..

sundar said...

sleep is one of the best aspects of life where you absolutely have no dependence. The pleasure is derived from the self and delivered back to itself.;)

Anonymous said...

When I read the first paragraph I almost thought that you had forggoten about the fact that you had already writtten this post "Life & Entertainment"


Anonymous said...

How about the "Sleep to acquire a hang-over" ? This is the one where you are fighting to not fall asleep with alcohol bursting through your veins - so that you can throw into the bathroom sink what would otherwise get thrown onto the pillow.

Anonymous said...

Cool list. I love #7. You just sit on the Sofa and watch TV and out of nowhere comes this soothing feeling and you just being to lie down and stretch a little. The next minute you will be sleeping and not wake up until daughter jumps on you.

Arun Sundar said...

Hysterical!! Many subtle sentences had me in splits! your typical style of humour!! And I identified so much with #2 in the best sleeping habits :)

MLC said...

kumbakarnan-ikku ivvalo devotees-a? hope the pondaati does'nt hv to go thru the torture of tryn to wake u up, like the big K needed:-)!

neha vish said...

This is your best post ever. :)


Zeppelin said...

Dude! semma post! the before-the-exam curative sleep is just totally amazing! very lucidly described!

and I am one of those bus/auto/pillion rider/ sleepers... almost instantaneous. especially on the initial days after a haircut, with the wind whizzing through the gap between the ears and the head, sort of creating a cooling effect because of relative temperatures....ok... i will stop there. :D

fantastic post!

Hawkeye said...


I am guessing - the people who have done the laxative and sedative must have done it all.

anu, chokkathangam, Raj, r-ambam,

In the world of sleeping after lunches, you have to agree that sleeping after Sunday Afternoon Heavy Lunch, on the bed, is the King. In the form of sleep-in-class-after-lunch is fraught with danger. You can't sleep in peace, the desk is not so comfortable and the classrooms are always sweaty.

lone crusader,

welcome to the club :-)


window screen, fan, table fan are tools that shield us from the madras heat.


some sedatives knock you out so bad that you feel tired after getting up and you want to sleep as a result of it.


let me know which state you are in. i'll be more careful :-)


:-) on the kids comment. For people without kids this happens rarely and when it does its because the mental alarm goes off earlier than necessary.

vee cee,

sleeping night b4 early morning flite is painful. I totally agree.

sleeping after gujaals - i thought that was banned. Banned immediately after humans developed the speech ability and discovered "conversations".

coolkarni, thanks


send it over dude,


I now wish I had "sleeping in office" in the best list :-)


yes. yes. i experience that in the first 30 mins or so after going to sleep.


sleeping like a baby also means sleeping for 16 hrs a day. sigh.. i would love to do that for months together.


the appetizer version is tempting. but scary too. what if you dont go to sleep after u get up from the appetizer.


you would sleep at 7PM itself?


well said.


its all positive re-enforcement :-)


i dont drink. so can't relate to yor comment. but is this in "best" list of "worshtu" list?


:-). I hope you have trained the daughter to not jump on for at least 1 hour.

arun sundar,

item # 2 is awesome isn't it. I miss it now.


unfortunately, i am the first one to get up in my household and i get up at 6 :-(


thanks :-)


good observation on the haircut.

The Talkative Man said...

Missed out is the post-lunch Thiruttu-sleep in office, head supported perfectly in front of the monitor - possible if you are lucky enough to get a corner desk.

The lack of mention of snores points to the male-centered nature of this blog's readership.

siva said...

Great list. But you missed out the alcohol induced sleep which is a great feeling. I guess you are a teetotaller.

Deepak said...

Hey this is Deepak Bhaskaran, came across your Blog during some random googling (don't worry not porn)
Nyways, couldn't help going through a good list of posts..
also noticed that u did ur engg @ Crescent ...
Well... "same pinch"
Currently i am doing my MBA @ SP Jain (it's in Mumbai, India) and exactly at the moment with Microsoft India (for a 2 month internship) and i blog @

Well.. just commented to say it was cool to meet a fellow Crescentian and of course.. if in case u have time do mail me @
Was wondering which company u are working.. since i saw ITPL(Bangalore) and also mention of seattle.

Girish said...

For IT guys like me friday night sleep is awesome one and much heavenly if it rains outside :) ...totally agree with ur sleep list...

vicky said...

The 'Jet Lag' sleep is the best ever. It is amazing how deep the sleep feels if one dozes off for few minutes. I dont understand why people avoid it.

Hawkeye - looks like you did not sleep during classes or during meetings OR when your wife is talking to you (my husband claims he is thinking about what I am saying)

Hawkeye said...


are you saying women snore more?

I have been tempted to sleep @ work or class but its always been so inconvenient.


yes. totall teetotaller


my husband claims he is thinking about what I am saying

God bless him and people like him. Such people are smart people and should be allowed to say anything they want.

regarding jetlag - if you nod-off even for 5 minutes the eye hurts so much when you get up. its terrible.

Anonymous said...

amazing!! Just kept wondering how true every sentence is as I read.


Srinivasan Kannabiran said...

Hey Guys
Y sleep at school r college class rooms are not condirered.
I like ths sleep when someone lectures me.

Anonymous said...