It rained last night, albeit briefly. I possess what I am told is the quintessential Cancarian temperament- a susceptibility to mood swings and momentary lapses of reason. There are days when I am all sunshine and laughter and then there are others when my irritability tires even me out. Nothing reverts me to my cheery best as unfailingly as the rains- a consequence, presumably, of spending four long years in water lorry-infested Chennai.
I woke up this morning promptly at the stroke of eight, defiantly resisting the ever-alluring alternative of the snooze button. The smell of wet earth still lingered in the air. Petrichor, I think, is the word for it. For once, I remembered to pour coffee powder into my filter (Yes, thank you PPT) just before I went to sleep. I set off for the mess, pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a reasonably edible meal of Maggi and corn flakes. Perfection, as one Chandler Muriel Bing would have put it.
And that precise moment was when any semblance of normalcy disappeared from my daily rote. As the rest of the world set off for departments and laboratories far and wide, I was confronted by that one question I have faced far too often this semester- 'now what?'
4-2, for the uninitiated, is the master-plan of the R-Land administration whereby students are put through four months of mind-numbing inactivity in an attempt to set right the sham that thesis projects have now become. The reasoning, presumably, is that students will eventually tire of stalking people on Facebook and will find the idea of a project appealing. Sound enough. The scheme, however, overlooks the one thing mankind can never have too much of- sleep.
For the fourth time this week, I sit down with a copy of Gone With The Wind, determined to do Ms. Mitchell justice this time around. The effort lasts all of forty three minutes, seven more than my last attempt. Mrs. Dalloway waits on my bookshelf, as do Freedom at Midnight and The Brothers Karamazov. My head, however, sinks into that familiar depression in my pillow, as I gradually give in to the whims of Lady Slumber. The clock on my bedside table reads 9.22 AM.