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Principia Academica Philosophiae Naturalis - 1

I was still snuggling in my warm bed, with the blanket wrapping me from head to toe like an Egyptian Mummy found in that Sphinx pyramid. The fan above making its pleasantly disturbing noise while discharging its duty diligently, the early risers of nature tuning their voices before they burst into their full throaty vocal renditions, the alarm of my bioligical clock gently chiming - all signs gently indicate to that sorry fact that it was the start of another great day in an otherwise dull life of a nine standard studying donkey bag dragging typical dissatisfied student. The call of the clock (biological, that was) was the first warning shot that I had to pay attention to, lest I was necked suddenly into the fully functioning day operating at a franatic pace - something that I utterly disliked. I, rather, allowed the dreariness of my life permeate my mind, body and soul, like a poisonous gas that was let from underneath a closed door into the room. Though I operated like the usual disgruntled kid for the rest of the day, the moment I was awake from my deep slumber, I had a set of functions that I usually rounded off before jumping into the daily chores. 1. Check to see if the tubelight in the parents' room has been lit. (or if it was summer, check to see if the curtains/drapes have been opened and natural light has been let in) 2. If no, immediately proceed to check, if time was drawing near our regular time to wake up, in the alarm clock, that was strategically positioned away from the reachable limits. If there was still more time left in the sand clock, reclaim the original position of Egyptian mummy and try (and try hard at that) to put yourself back in deep slumber. If the time that the first bugle sounds was awfully near, sulk a little and still try to get back to sleep. 3. If, unfortunately, the tubelight has been lit, sulk a lot and still try to get back to sleep.

Luck only lasts for so long. The alarm (regular, this time, not biological) blared at the top of her voice, hell bent on giving hell to whomsoever was in the confines of heaven. The first thought that sprang to mind was, why couldn't somebody invent a pleasant sounding alarm clock, one that will chime pleasantly, one that wake you up calmly, one that'll sing its lullaby and put you right back to sleep. "Good, quick, easy - pick two" seemed to be the nature of life then. As luck would have it, the siren wasn't forever (and thank God for that) and only lasted until it had exhausted all the potential energy in its spring. But like the domino effect, the damange had already been done. A slight change in the air pattern (damn the longitudinal nature of the air waves!! why can't you be transverse and, more usefully, inert in nature???), was enough to alert the head of the household, who would immediately alert himself, take charge of the situation and jump right into the job of letting the whole word know that the household was awake and open for business. I was caught in the twilight zone of thoughts, where reality and surreality often warred, with reality winning in more ways than one, beating surreality blue and hollow. I still was covered with the blanket, which did an awfully feeble job of sheilding the commotion that had already started - the rustling of the blankets, the opening of the drapes, the noisy swithes that are going on and off on the not so silent switchboard, the clanking noises of the stainless tumblers (indicating that the lady of the house jumped into the fray not to be outdone by her partner), and finally the (dreaded) approach of the head of the household near my bed - all around me.

The events following that commotion always reminded me of the famous Western Cowboy movies. The hero would be standing on one end the frame and the villan on the other end. They both are looking at each other and thinking hard, like they are collaboratively working in telepathy trying to figure out an alternative to Big Bang theory. The music in the background grows from being suspensful to being purely omninous. They are still looking at each other, carefully moving their hands s...l...o...w...l...y towards their belt, housing those famous cowboy pistols. The music gets more and more urgent, when something happens off camera, villan blinks, the hero rapidly gets his pistol out of the holster and let the pistol do the talking. The bullet body slams the villan, who bites the dust, literally, in slow motion. The hero then walks over towards the fallen body, hovers over him for a second, takes out his chewed to pulp cigar from the inside of his jacket, puts it in his mouth, takes out a match stick, bends over the villan, and in a stroke that oozes of casualness and heroism, lights the match against the fallen body the villan. The music reaches a crescendo and credits start to roll.... when suddenly I heard a sound on the switchboard, that was eerily familiar - somebody turning off the fan. And thus always started the first duel of the day between the head of the household and yours truly. The battlelines had been drawn and head of the household drew the first blood by claiming the fan as his first victim. I retaliated by clutching the edges of the blanket tighter and not giving him any room to lift the blanket off the body. He fired another salvo by tapping me on the head and, in a deceptively calm and soothing tone, calling me by name. I figured out his trickery (I knew his modus operandi from the day I was born) and tightened my body even further, to give him an impression of deep slumber. His tone assumed a few more notches, in amplitude. I was carefully observing his next step.

Silence had taken over the next couple of minutes. I could not believe my own ears (and believe me, I was all ears at that time). He retraced his path and I could hear the sound fading away from my bed. I won... I won... I couldn't believe that. I finally, after all these years, claimed my first victory over my nemesis. I always knew that persistence and a little bit of Mummy histrionics, paid off in the end. Now all that I was waiting for the music to swell and the credits to roll over me. Little did I knew that the this was only the intermission time and that he would return with renewed vigor and more powerful ammunition. While I was busy rejoicing by putting myself back to the slumber, I heard those footsteps again approaching my vicinity. I stopped my jubilations and reverted to my Mummy posture - hands tight, blanket firm, head still and upright. I was ready to lock and load. From the faint sound of stainless steel, I deduced that the enemy had come back with a more potent weapon this time - a tumbler brimming with refrigerated water - ICE COLD WATER. I was holding down the fort like the last soldier left in the battle. I knew the end was near and I had to choose between martyrdom and capitulation. I thought that even though the battle was won, the war hadn't been over yet, I played safe that time, by giving the opponent the illusion of concession. I let loose of my eagle grip of the blanket, let out a few low tone grunts, turned over to my side and wore the face of an innocent kid. The ploy worked and tne enemy turned sympathetic. He did not unleash his devastating weapon on me and instead shook me up a little, a little stronger this time. I wasn't going to push my luck and pretend being asleep for long. I had to open my eyes and face this cruel world eventually. It was unfortunate that eventually meant right then. I opened my eyes and gave him a disarming smile. He smiled back and walked away. I was awake.

(Cont'd)

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