You know the Thought Experiments. This is the back of the envelope.

Friday, March 8, 2013


March. The season of change. Time for spring, time for taxes, time for exams.

I've always loved this month. It's my month. Till a few years ago, I thought it felt mine because my birthday came at the end of it, and I had something to look forward to all month. But it feels the same now, just in a different way. I think birthdays are good, but I've moved past being especially excited about mine. March is still a favourite, though.

I've written about March before. I love this time of year too much to keep from talking about it every chance I get.

I realised it was March last week, when a sliver of sunlight awoke me at the same time that I inhaled morning air with a tinge of woodsmoke in it. I opened my eyes to a lot of green, some sky blue and a little gold at my window...and suddenly, panic gripped me with cold fingers. I know this feeling - bliss mixed hopelessly with panic. This is the feeling I awoke to every March morning between 2004 and 2007. University exams always began in the first week of April. It sounds terrible, maybe, but the sheer extremeness of the feeling is delicious, and if I were given a chance to do it all again, I would in a heartbeat.

March is beautiful, whether in Delhi or here in Calcutta. It is the same - cool mornings that brighten into intense afternoons and blend into relaxed, comfortable evenings. Something about this month spells new beginnings like nothing else can. I can't think of another month that I always wake up in such a good mood in - it is near-impossible not to love a March morning, no matter how early or late you make it.

I've been thinking about returning to my blog for months. Yet, it happened only last week. It wasn't planned that way. It's just March.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Answer

She couldn't sleep.

It was a relatively new occurrence, she noticed. And it wasn't like she was not tired enough, or that she was depressed, or worried. She just couldn't sleep. She would stumble back home after twelve-hour workdays, scrape a meal out of whatever she could find in a refrigerator she was always too exhausted to stock, and collapse in front of the TV, bowl of cereal in one hand and the day's newspaper in the other. If she could muster the willpower and sheer physical energy, she would empty half her laundry hamper into a bucket of soapy water while she ate her dinner. By the time she was ready for bed, therefore, she was always bone-tired and more than ready to tune the world out.

Yet, she couldn't sleep.

She'd toss and turn, thinking thoughts she never allowed near herself all day, mapping the layout of her apartment, the city and the world, and locating herself on it. Sometimes, her thoughts turned to unfinished presentations and unanswered emails...but these worries usually faded out as seamlessly as they blended in. Mostly, her thoughts would take on an existential hue - just serious enough to escape being tagged ridiculous, never substantial enough to be labelled sublime. She'd remind herself that she had another long day coming up, that her body needed the rest. All she'd succeed in doing was forcing sleep farther away.

Somewhere between that point and the insistent, unnecessarily musical tone of her alarm, she would fall into deep, restful sleep. That was the only saving grace - sleep was hard to come by, but it was restful when it came.

She wondered when this had happened. When, exactly, had she gone from being the sort who slept soundly through rock concerts in the vicinity, to a near-insomniac?

She suspected she knew why. She just didn't want to think about it, that was all.

And that was why she couldn't sleep.