The Kulkarni At The Crack Of Dawn !

dawn, early morning

Isn’t it funny how time flies?

Our daughter, bless her little heart, has recently joined kindergarten school and clambers onto her schoolbus early in the morning, eager to reach her school. This will change soon enough, when boredom sets in, and she, like the rest of the planet, understands the deep and empty despair that Monday mornings bring. But for the moment, school for her – and everything else, really – is one great adventure.

The only trouble is the fact that her schoolbus appears near our home at seven thirty in the morning, and that, in Kulkarni land, used to be midnight.

There are those of us who wake up with the lark and stand at the window, breathing in deeply of the cold morning air, and there are those of us who burrow further into our pillows well after the birds are a-chirping, and wish that mornings could be wished away altogether. And I don’t like to boast, but I was this close to being elected lifetime president of the latter group. I would fall asleep at one in the morning at the earliest, and while it is true that my eyes would be open at nine, it was best to attempt communication with me around eleven am or beyond.

But in the seemingly never-ending list of things that parenthood changes, is a new entry. Nocturnal behaviour is out, and early to bed and early to rise is in! Getting our daughter ready for school at seven thirty means getting her up by seven, which means we need to be up at six. And the upshot of all that is, that we therefore find ourselves in bed and beginning to snore gently by around ten-thirty pm, at the very latest.

This was brought home to me today morning, when upon checking my messages, I found that some friends of mine had been chatting on a Whatsapp group, and had tried to include me in their conversation. All this had taken place at eleven at night.

Under hitherto normal circumstances, I would have been more than happy to be a party to whatever was being discussed, but these days, eleven is a bridge too far. Dinner chez Kulkarni’s is now an affair that starts by 8.30 at the latest, and is over by nine. The television shuts off by ten, and lights out happen half an hour after that.

I have, in other words, finally turned into an adarsh balak.

The disturbing part, in all this, is that I have a confession to make. I actually like this. There’s something that is comforting, logical and yes, sensible, in turning in at around ten, and waking up before the sun dominates the sky. There seems to be more time in the day, and, as it turns out, all that hogwash about the early hours of the morning being more productive turns out to not have been hogwash after all.

All of which is fine so far as it goes, but what worries me is the slipperiness of the slope I find myself on. It is one thing to go to bed early and rise at the crack of dawn, but how far away am I from urging you to drink methi juice and try pranayam in the morning in next week’s column?

Middle-aged, that’s what I’ve become. A truly petrifying thought, and it’d have kept me up at nights.

A most convenient paradox, if you ask me.

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni