Thursday, August 03, 2006

Snore Galore

I remember, as kids we siblings were going to Gaavaacha-Amma's house at Nanjangud for a long break during both summer and Dasara-Deepavali vacations. We called our mother as 'Mommy' and paternal grandma as 'Amma.' There was Mommy's mother too and we had to call her with a different name to distinguish from the one Amma at home, so we called her Gaavaacha-Amma (G-Amma) meaning Amma from village (Gaav is village).

Well, at Nanjangud, the days were full of fun because there were tens of cousins and innumerable second cousins; we kids could wander from 7th cross to 14th cross wihtout the elders getting on our throes because many houses on those streets were those of our relatives and everyone knew all the kids. Whether catching flies with your palm or playing hide-n-seek, or carrom, or going to the water channel, or the tonga ride, everything was pure fun during the day. But the nights used to be a real torture.

G-Amma's was a big family of legendary snorers. Starting right from G-Amma, to her six sons and four daughters (including my Mom), every one snored like there's no tomorrow. Until sleep completely took me over I used to feel like I was thrown onto a platform of the busiest railway junction in the world. Like the tani-aavartana in a Carnatic music concert where the Mridanga, Ghata and Morching compete with each other, my Mom, G-Amma, and uncles roaringly competed to clinch the 'Best-Lung-Powered-Person-of-the-Night-Award'.

Every inhale of theirs was like an ascending thunder ending in a gradual exhale with a swishhh... Like London's Royal Philharmonic Society, the snorers snored in sync - if one inhaled, the other exhaled and so on. No sooner it hit sack, this well orchestrated snoring ensemble snored in all octaves. Add to this hullabaloo, the grandfather's clock ticked away as if mockingly counting each second of this audio torment. Sometimes the intensity of the snore would induce fright in me, suddenly the irritability gave way to scare and the sleep would slip away as my ear drums were bombarded relentlessly. The juggernaut of the night would eventually stop and before I knew I would be in the warm embrace of sleep.

Inspite of creating a racquet and disturbing others' sleep, the snorer himself is sound asleep. One feels like banging a snorer, I am no different and I used to resent snorers and cursed them. Also felt like pouring a pitcher of cold water on the snoring-beauty. But fate had some nasty things up its sleeve and nights took an ugly turn in my life. Few years back when I had to stay overnight at a friend's place I was in for a rude surprise. The next day as I was about to leave, my friend's Mom told me that my snoring at night was disturbing everyone. She was visibly very much irritated and it seemed like I was not welcome there anymore. I felt ashamed, angry and was in a shock.

I always thought ill of snorers and here I was, being told that I was not welcome because I snore. Well, that was not the only time I have been chastised for my ear-splitting night-calls, even others have shied away from sharing my room. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I transform into a roaring noice-monster in my sleep and hardly speak when awake.

So, beware! I snore.

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