Waking me up - when I was a kid - was quite a task! Because (like my son now), I used to take a long time to fall asleep but when I did, a herd of bisons running over me wouldn't wake me up. And this posed a problem for my entire family in general and my early-riser father in specific.
You see, schools and other such death-zones started way too early in the morning.
So, my family - never short of ingenuity - came up with crazy ideas daily.
Basically, the idea was to create a furore in the morning that would make me get up. It went something like this...
"Oh, gosh - is that Babu's father driving a train on the road?"
"Bappa has grown a beard - my god!"
"Careful - Jogu (the cook) is jumping off the roof right now."
"Hey, look - there is a monkey in the backyard."
Imagine coming up with something like that EVERY DAY. Impressed?
And imagine the kid falling for things like these. EVERY DAY. Disgusted?
But the kid - yours truly - started catching on and very soon, it was only the promise of something as big as a monkey in the backyard that got me impressed enough to get out of bed at 7 AM on a weekday morning.
One day, it was a different story.
My father shook me and looked happier than he normally did in the morning. He said, "Get up fast. You now have a baby sister."
I thought, "Yeah, right!" as I started to turn around and go back to sleep. "No monkey today?"
"Wait", he said. "I am just back from the nursing home. See, I am wearing trousers..."
This last piece of information caused me to squint through my sleep-deprived eyes. Indeed, he was in trousers.
"See? Quickly, get ready for school. And then we can go and see her in the evening."
And that started off yet another school day.
So, why this story today?
Because we are at exactly the same day and probably, the exact hour when that event happened several decades ago.
And days like these make me wonder what would have happened if it wasn't a sister but a monkey in the backyard?