The Night Boy

I saw an episode of the second season of Modern Love last night. It reminded me completely of myself. I have been a lover of the night, since as far back as I can remember. I love the night. Everything about it is beautiful. I have stayed awake at night since school. I would study late and then I would go to school. Nothing really changed in college. I couldn’t get up for the early morning lectures when it came to degree college. I hated waking up in the mornings.

Staying up in the day drains me. It literally takes away my peace of mind. As it is I do not do too well with peace. I am melancholic and the nature of day drains me further. There are too many people to deal with. Too many interruptions in what I wish to do by myself. There is traffic. There are irritations. There are frustrations.

The night is quieter. I wouldn’t say it is quiet, living in a city like Mumbai that never sleeps any which way. It has an ambience about it which I can never find during the day. Even the elves in J R R Tolkien’s universe awoke at night. They looked upon the stars – they were the first things the elves saw. I won’t dramatize this by saying that stars are what I love. No, it’s the moon that gets me every time. I love the moon. My favourite song happens to be Moon River. Everything to do with the moon mesmerizes me.

There is a quote I often find myself narrating, “I am not the sun, I am the moon. I soothe, I do not burn.”

This stays with me. When I chance upon the Moon in Tarot, I am mesmerized by the imagery. It is meant to be associated with the darker nature of the self, the psyche, intuition, sleep, a deep delving into the soul, if a soul there is. I think about the moon and then I think about the night. When I wake in the day, it is evening. I greet the dying sun and I am content. As he settles for the night, I find myself blossoming. Sunsets are more beautiful than sunrises. We just like to romanticize new beginnings, the end of the day can be grander and way more poetic.

For some people, like most of my loved ones, they bloom under sunlight. Mom is a bit like me, but she has to cave in to the others because she has a home to run. Doorbells and maids, food and shopping, and her daughter who doesn’t like the night. Then sometimes, I am accused of not being a part of the world, but I am. The world doesn’t die at night. There is a whole new world that opens its arms to me.

There are owls that fly by silently. Moths flutter in towards lights. The rain feels fresher, darker. Dogs move about quietly and sometimes when they fight their voices ring out. It feels like I am not quite living in a city around three and four in the morning. Memories are easier to grasp. People are easier to read. The moon is bright when it is full and you can talk to it without anyone else eaves dropping.

I can read. I can write. I can cry. Poetry comes easy. Words make prose without necessity. Meeting up people who are also night birds brings in a flock that jabber and chatter and sometimes breaks the quiet. It gives me the time to engage, not just with like minded people, but with one’s own self.

Most times, I see the sun rise. The sky becomes a dark blue. Then it lightens. Birds fly and the owls rest. Ribbons of grey filter the sky and somewhere in the east, the sun rises. Sometimes, the sunrises are beautiful to watch. Especially in the overcast filters of the monsoons. And after I say hello, it’s time to sleep.

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