The Problem of Insomnia

Yasmeen Baloch
Biologically, insomnia is a disease that is referred to as having sleepless nights. In order to get rid of the side effects, many people take sleeping pills. Night is a blessing for sleeping and resting, but night is also something beyond the plain meaning for the renaissance man- the dawn in night.
In childhood, children are strictly told to sleep early at nights and they sleep well because it is taught that “early to bed early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” I was one of those children, who used to sleep at eight o’clock with my parents in one room. Hailing from a middle class family, we used to share one room- me, my baba, my mamma and my brother. This small family strengthened the bond of every spirit in my life. My every desire went through the process of completion even before uttering it. Nothing bothered me, because every moment was filled with eternal and pure love. The love drove away every melancholy and I truly believed that my father had a wand that estranged the pain away from my life. My mamma looked after my likes and dislikes and undoubtedly, I was nurtured like a princess. Baba sometimes recalls the old memories by saying: “Mamma (dear one), when you opened your eyes, everyone celebrated this happiness, even my friends distributed sweets among the needy ones.”
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Pain and sorrows never touched my shadow, but with the passage of time baba got transferred to various cities due to employment and grief slightly started to embrace me, whilst I was still too young. Baba’s picture on my chest gave me relief and I used to sleep at nights peacefully. I entered a new phase of youth and I was in 10th grade then. All my classmates moved to Quetta for higher education and I insisted to go too. Baba discussed the plan with his aba jan (grandfather) and then we moved to Quetta. I was glad, but one thing made me sad and that was the returning of baba to Panjgur. Baba was a government employee and he could not stay with us in Quetta. Despite the ironic situation, I had to be strong. Baba admitted me to a tuition center and I took classes regularly. Baba and mamma told me to study hard so that I could get a position in the entry test of medical college. I left no stone unturned to please my parents. After the entry test and result, I felt that I might have fallen and I felt baba’s wand had stopped working or it had been broken. However, I prepared myself again for the trial and appeared in the entry test. Life introduced me to failure twice and then I broke down completely. I started questioning my intelligence and destiny and that was when I entered the phase of self-evaluation. I slowly explored myself and discovered my intellect, abilities and creativities. The sleepless nights of studies led me to sleepless nights of thoughts. Whilst studying, I lost the true version of myself and I knew that the version needs to be updated in order to keep going onwards. All this thrust me towards an updated version. The pathetic loss of success made me a poet, a writer and a philosopher. Deep thinking made the rhymes and rhythm of my poetry; the injustice, lawlessness gave way to my articles and purified my thinking.
After the failure, I utilized my skills and took admission in the department of English literature and linguistics at Sardar Bahadur Khan’s Women’s University. Studies became tough and I had to compete with my upmost energy. Every day gave me a new aim. Literature was soothing for me and the nights were cathartic. I regained the belief that Baba had fixed his wand now. Days were dedicated to studies and I could not give time to myself. Then, night was the only time that I utilized for myself. Mamma and my brother slept at nights, whereas I talked to myself silently, made complaints, asked questions, clarified the misunderstandings and mostly I made myself understand. The answers took the shape of poetry, issues took the shape of articles. Soon, I was a poet, a writer and happily my updated version. The night brought a mirror with itself, which I penetrated and through it I explored myself. I decorated my poetry with the jewelries of words and I perfumed the words with the pure emotions of my heart. Those sleepless nights were no more a threatening disease for me. Night was a beauty, purgation of emotions, the catharsis and adventure. My thoughts have always been the protagonists in my drama and sometimes the negative criticism has assisted me too.
Ancestors and parents have signified the day/sunrise as the dawn of life because sunrise brings new opportunities, novel thoughts but night for me is a miracle. The stars dance in the sky, the music of emotions is played in the heavens, the strings of my heart move, and the words are painted on a blank paper. The open eyes twinkle and a new thought is provoked with every blink of an eye. Literature gave me wings to fly and baba’s wand secured me from evils. Sometimes, it bothers me that what if there was no darkness and what if I could never find the dawn in dark nights? Then I think about the laws of nature and find them to be complacent. I know I am not suffering from insomnia and it is undeniable that I have explored myself at nights. Nights give me too many opportunities and I believe nights are the dawn of my life. About the miraculous and deep nights, I wrote:
“Rath ki tareekhi b buhut ajeeb hothi hai,
Sare jahan mai andhera ho jata hai, mere khayalon ki dunya chod kr.”
The open eyes among the sleepy people are not affected by insomnia, they depict philosophers.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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