The Alarming Alarm Clock


I belong to that generation where the alarm clock looked like this.

Wikipedia describes it as “traditional wind-up (keywound), mechanical, spring-driven alarm clock’. Most of my generation would describe it as a little , steel monster of un-speakable barbarity.

I also belong to that generation where the Dads would  solemnly intone these  cruel Sanskrit lines, which are supposed to be the  desirable traits in a good ( bloody damn) student. These days,the Dads who were the erstwhile kids of my generation, are way cooler. And perhaps,they still flinch when they remember:

“काक चेष्टा,

बको ध्यानं, स्वान निद्रा

तथैव च स्वल्पहारी, गृहत्यागी

विद्यार्थी पंच लक्षणं।’
 Translation:Efforts should be similar to a crow, (repetitive, if not successful, Jeez!) Concentration that of a crane,( Double Jeez!) Nap (sleep) similar to that of a dog (  i.e always alert which means always stressed,non?) A student should have these characteristics besides s/he should eat less  ( Gestapo inclinations,mind you ) and should be away from the sweet home (stay in a hostel…ummm..not bad)!
These five traits of course were ruled by the master trait of ‘getting up at the crack of dawn’, aided by the steel monster of an alarm clock.
While my big sister never ever had( regrettably, still doesn’t have) any issues whatsoever with getting up  cheerfully at 5am, your poor accidental sufi, who was/is, in the words of Martin Amis, ”comprehensively alarmed” at the prospect of morning itself, pummeled the snooze button viciously to kill the enemy. The alarm clock was always repaired within no time by our rather efficient  ( euphemism for sadist) Man-Friday and Dad’s trusted Lieutenant, Ratho. When my pummeling capabilities got enhanced and the board examinations also loomed simultaneously, my Dad fixed an electric buzzer under my bed, which he would press  long and hard  every morning at 5 am, from the comfort of his own bedroom. Thank you for your sympathies, friends, which I am sure you feel for me…they are reciprocated , in case, your Dads resemble/d mine, in case they pompously proclaimed ”  You will find the key to success under the alarm clock” (Benjamin Franklin ) 😀
It is with great sadness that I tell you all ,that my Dad’s cruel genes have passed on strongly and perfectly to his elder daughter. The New Year, 2015, began with her making ‘lifestyle’ changes in the former idyllic life of mine, where the alarm clock was non-existent and ‘getting-up-early-in-the-morning’ was for losers.
The big sister loves Milan Kundera. So I rushed to quote him :” people don’t respect the morning. An alarm clock violently wakes them up, shatters their sleep like the blow of an axe, and they immediately surrender themselves to deadly haste. Can you tell me what kind of day can follow a beginning of such violence? What happens to people whose alarm clock daily gives them a small electric shock? Each day they become more used to violence and less used to pleasure.” ( Farewell Waltz).
She was un-moved. And  said that I should wake up to soothing sounds to get me in the right mood for that other lifestyle booster ..’meditation’ ( F***). For me soothing sounds are Robert Plant screaming ‘ aaan aah annh’ ( She gave a very “her & mine Dad” look.And chose something called ”faerie fountain music” on my mobile.Those of you , who have a Samsung Galaxy Note II,would realize what I am about.Its this very, very annoying, wishy- washy,totally moronic, possibly Justin Bieber’s  inspiration kinda tune…complete with silly birds on bad acid chirping and ,pardon the language, gushing of a p**** waterfall.Not only does this faerie fountain music stress me out completely, but I am never able to find my mobile in the house! My cook morphs into Sherlock Holmes ,has to call my mobile from his, attentively hear where the sound is emanating from and then locate it, howling very theatrically.The mobile has been/is  usually found in strange places. The strangest was under my Great Dane girl, Layla’s arse.
This morning at 5 am, after tripping over  jeans left in the lobby and  hitting my head on the kitchen door, I finally located it in the rocking chair in the living room, under a pile of recently bought, utterly fabulous lingerie. I summoned up enough courage to tell my sister that I shall not be bullied into listening to faerie fountain music.’Fine’, she said.” Get the mechanical clock you have in your study with your other retro stuff , repaired today,and use it.”
Strangely, I am glad. I am sweetly nostalgic. Something like Faulkner said “How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home”. It will take me back to those glorious, carefree days of my growing up. I am also surprisingly relieved. The mobile is a modern day invention I loathe.Despite its many advantages, I feel it horribly invades one’s privacy and makes life complicated. But that’s a story for another day 🙂
I will still refer to the alarm clock as the intercom of Hell. And people who are erm..fond of it  should be avoided like the plague That is what I told a very beautiful friend of mine, my bestie actually, who it seems has found her perfect love after many imperfect ones.She is having serious thoughts about settling down into marriage.Over  intimate discussions about this man’s awesomeness, she told me that he apparently said in husky tones “I want to wake up every morning with you beside me.I want to be the one to wake you up. I want to be your alarm clock”. I paled.’RUN’,  I screamed. ”JUST RUN! The man is a secret sadist”. I hope she listens to me !
Oh, yeah, I have chosen a rather beautiful gift for my annoyingly punctual boss. Do you like it ? 😀
Listen to this.Hail Pink Floyd! Have a rocking Sunday, guys 🙂 I am off to eat ‘maach-bhaat ‘ 😀

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