figments of my insomnia

then, just like that, out of the purple haze, i thought of this place which i used to frequent as a medical student a decade or so ago.
this place, and those years.
and that’s when i found myself in the grip of this aching nostalgia.

islamia college

what made the place and the years special more than anything else was, i think, the comforting, blanketing greenness about the place, the copious amounts of milk-laden pink chai i would drink with the other students (most of whom had come from the districts and villages surrounding the city and my company was as fascinating for them as theirs was for me), and the reassuring presence of a functional family that awaited my return anxiously every afternoon, and of a mother who was the beating heart and the gravitating nucleous of it all.

further, a couple of years ago on this day we done despaired thus of writing, a sentiment that recurs often and again and drives us mad. mad as a mute full of words and empty of the faculty to pour them out.


it just so happens that we are, once again in the grip of this melancholy mistress (and the attendant effect that comes with it of referring to ourselves in first person plural):

As it happens, this night I received another visitation from my melancholy mistress of ‎long, dressed as ever in her terrorizing black and with her luscious black mane undone ‎and wild and oh so long. You guessed it right (or did you? all ye of dirty minds and little ‎literary imaginations), it was another bout with insomnia.

speaking of which, nytimes has a whole series on this strange malady. read it when the rest of the world is asleep.
here is the artist paul davis at 2:19am with insomniflows and night moves. excerpt from night moves and an insomniflow illustration from davis:

For the sleep deprived, the early hours of morning can seem like an endless expanse of boredom, blankness and unchartable territory. In his series of illustrations, “Insomniflows,” the artist Paul Davis maps the dark and desperate movements of an insomniac night.

insomniflow davis


a few days ago we wuz again out in a remote village in a province, and it might have been over the spartan lunch we had at a hamlet with a low, sooth-stained ceiling where for the first time we realized that we had perhaps gone too far in romanticizing rural life – at least rural life in this country. as someone bitter once said of life in state of nature, here in state of rural afghanistan too it is brutish and short, with little security, and lots of hardship and with time really taking its time. one can do without food and fruits, and make do with tea and bread. but good reading material, internet, and a comfortable bed is also hard to come by, and those are indispensible to any decent, romanticized versions of life. we think we will revise those thoughts about packing up and leaving for good for a few years and carving out a life as a farmer in a distant valley.

emil cioran, “on the height of despair” cited in gordon marino’s counting the blessings of insomnia:

Just as ecstasy purifies you of the particular and the contingent, leaving nothing except light and darkness, so insomnia kills off the multiplicity and diversity of the world, leaving you prey to your private obsessions.
What strangely enchanted tunes gush forth during those sleepless nights!


~ by safrang on April 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “figments of my insomnia”

  1. Hence,

    “Doctor or a lawyer
    I’ll never be
    Life of a drifter
    The only life for me…”

  2. Hi Hamesha,

    I came across this blog about insomnia from 2010. It was intriguing. I like your writing style and was hoping to find more recent blogs that you have posted.

    I also noticed you went to medical school and would be interested in hearing what you have been doing with your career. If I were to guess, you might be doing something interesting. 🙂 I’m about to leave my psychiatry private practice in Seattle, WA and have thought about writing and traveling among other things. Any thoughts you might have on the matter of dropping out for awhile (or dropping into something else), would be fun to hear about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: