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Sleepless in Love

Yes I know it’s Valentine’s Day.

But lately, I’ve been experiencing sleepless nights. Yes, I’ve become a self-confessed insomniac. Every night, I retire to my bed at a decent hour, hopeful that sleep will come to me and take me under its spell. But sleep is cruel; it evades me night after night. As I toss and turn in my bed in my discomfiture, I can’t help but curse the root cause of my problem- love.

Love is indeed, a four letter word. Several before me have articulated their exasperation with this lethal emotion. The truth is that more often than not, love is a complete pain in the ass. My frustration with love is on a very different level though. IÔÇÖm not a direct victim, but merely collateral damage. IÔÇÖm not suffering due to any dalliance of mine but because my roommate is in love.

IÔÇÖm in agony. Every night after dinner, my roommate waits for her boyfriend to call her up. And he religiously does so at midnight (don’t people have bedtime curfews anymore?).

The phone beeps. She waits for exactly four rings (yes, I’ve counted them) before she picks it up.
Roommate: Hi Honey! IÔÇÖve missed you.
(This, after they met in college, went out for lunch and even caught an evening show at the cinema)
Boyfriend: (Presumably) I missed you too, babe.
R: (Whispers seductively) But no! YouÔÇÖre my boo, and I love you.
(Disgusted, I shudder under the blanket. She is too distracted to notice)
B: Sweetheart, if I could, IÔÇÖd change the alphabets to put I next to U.
(IÔÇÖm sorry Sir! But if the internet is your idea of originality, then you need to get some sun.)

R: Honey, thatÔÇÖs the nicest thing IÔÇÖve ever heard!

(Oh sure! You said the same thing last week when he recycled yet another pick up line on you.)
Sadly, it doesnÔÇÖt end here. They go on swapping more clich├®s and fake promises of love. ItÔÇÖs like witnessing a badminton match, the cheesy lines being continuously tossed from one court to the other like a shuttlecock.

However, by then, IÔÇÖve had enough.I feel like socking her. DonÔÇÖt misunderstand me. I am not a hater of love, nor am I a Shree Ram Sene ┬ápracharak (Wait. ArenÔÇÖt they synonymous?). What I’m not fond of is this particular manifestation of love which is depriving me of sleep on a daily basis. Fine, I can appreciate that these two children love each other and are totally in the grip of stupid Cupid. But is there really a need to reiterate that every night through inanities and (literally) sweet nothings? Must they routinely blow airy kisses and exchange cheesy pledges over the phone?

My problems donÔÇÖt end here because such passionate exchanges represent just one side of the coin; the other being the equally passionate, but extremely heated arguments that erupt every now and then. Love is a rocky road and so is my roommate’s relationship with her boyfriend. So if amatory dialogue makes me want to hurl my little Buddha paperweight ┬áin disgust, the fights make me want to pull my hair out, especially when they are succeeded by lots of yelling, name-calling and hysterical crying well past the midnight hour.

Do you not see how utterly overwhelming all this can be for an observer? It’s almost like watching a Bollywood movie: a movie loaded with action, drama, happiness and sadness. And we all know how traumatizing that can be (Has anyone seen Happy New Year?).This entire sequence, repeated ad nauseam night after night, puts me in an extremely awkward position. I’m a stupid fresher. What do I know about love? As I watch or listen to their t├¬teÔÇô├áÔÇôt├¬te, IÔÇÖm often confused about my own role. Whether I should squeal in rapture every time they exchange sweet assurances of love, or whether I should offer my allegiance every time she has a horrible fight? It’s all so perplexing!

Someday, Im going to muster up my courage and scream for what is rightfully mine: those eight precious hours of sleep that have been mercilessly and cavalierly hacked down to five. But until then, I must silently suffer under the blankets, counting sheep against a background score of careless whispers, waiting and waiting to fall into slumber


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