“Pakhi shob kore rob, rati pohailo, kanone kushumkoli shokoli phutilo”
It roughly translates to, at sunrise the birds begin chirping and with the chirping the buds of the flowers in the garden begin to bloom. Mornings have for the most of it been my thing. As I grow older, I find myself waking up earlier than before. This, might be because, of the tree that stands tall right outside my window, full of birds, chirping away at the first sign of dawn. The last time, I remember, having to habitually wake up at 6 am was, about a decade ago, when I was in school. Living in suburban Calcutta, we’d have to leave home much earlier than my friends, who lived just minutes away from school. We were up at 6, showered and ready by 7, so that we could get to school by 7:45 am after dropping off my brother and cousin to school. I don’t think I was ever a morning person; also, the concept of sleeping in didn’t exist at our home. So much so, even during our summer holidays, we would wake up by 7 and go about doing our thing for the day. As a matter of fact, apart from my brother no one at home has the propensity to sleep past 7 am.
Having had experience with the early morning routine, I made the mistake of taking morning classes in college. My rationale being, I have done it for fifteen years, I can definitely still do this. How wrong I was. The single most difficult physical task to do during your college years is to pick morning classes that meet thrice a week! To imagine, I had an elective eight am class on Faith and Atheism, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As an added bonus, all homework assignments and “pop” quizzes were scheduled for Friday! Shocker! By the time I became a junior, I got smarter, unless it was a professor who handed out A’s like candy on Halloween, I would never take another morning class. Unfortunately, the junior housing dorms were a nightmare. If you wanted clean bathrooms, you had to be up early and go shower right after the cleaning lady left. Which, happened to be at 6:30 am. All year round.
Given my mild form of OCD, I found myself altering the very vow that I had taken at the end of sophomore year. I ended up taking three morning classes back to back, because I was waking up early to shower anyway. The things one has to do for satisfy their neurotic behavior. This change in regime, made me who I am today. Eventually, I discovered that I am a morning person. And, that I actually, enjoy waking up early to indulge in some quality me time. When, I moved in with my best friend from college, she’d stay up entertaining our houseguests, while I would pass out as soon as we got home. But, I did make breakfast for everyone with all the quiet time I had in the morning. I justified my inability to stay up post 11 pm.
Over the years, my mornings have become an essential part of me. It started as a need to find a little reading time before heading out to work, soon became an allegory for my zen cave. It is this imaginary space bubble of mine, where all is good. I am surrounded by art, books, caffeine and a lot of thought bubbles.
Chirping birds in the background gives me a sense of calm. The pregnant pauses between the cacophonies of chirping, provides my lone time with its very own original soundtrack. Mornings can be truly magical, if one can learn to appreciate the stillness and grow comfortable with solitude.