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Forty Winks

Posted on Trivia – The Spice of Life on 13/11/2021

Those who have grown up reading the Tintin Series would be familiar with the kind of dilemmas that Tintin’s dog – Snowy – faces. Snowy is a rather faithful dog but there are times when he has to make a choice between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. This is very hilariously depicted in the form of Snowy as a fairy and as a fiery dragon/demon. Of course, like any other ordinary creature, he falls for the bad and his choice leads to disastrous consequences.

Somewhat like Snowy, the one conundrum that faces people like me – who go to work five days a week – on a Saturday afternoon is whether to have those forty winks or not after a sumptuous and leisurely lunch. While research seems to suggest that a short half an hour nap in the afternoon is fine, a longer one is counterproductive as it could interfere with your sleep patterns. Once you sleep beyond half an hour you enter the phase of deep sleep. The challenge is that once you get horizontal there is no guarantee that the forty will not escalate to one hundred and forty or even more!! The temptation to sleep on well beyond half an hour is very strong. As Oscar Wilde aptly put it – I can resist everything except temptation. It is sinful and criminal to press an alarm clock into service on a Saturday afternoon. The alarm clock too needs some rest. All other loose ends are tied – the mobile phone is put in airplane mode, the landline is put off the hook and the calling bell is also switched off as a precautionary measure.

5 reasons to nap today
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That means that I am compelled to ask my chirpy and enthusiastic ten year old daughter to wake me up after half an hour. The surprising thing about children is that they obey your orders when you actually don’t want them to. The problem also is that you cannot say that you do not mean what you say, for you as a parent are not teaching them the right lessons of life. All you can pray for is that your child forgets all about it. But in my case, somehow this never happens. So as I tell her that I want to catch those precious and coveted forty winks, the first question asked is – what time should I wake you up? I look at the clock and say – half an hour from now!! Off she goes, shutting the door. In no time (because that is what it feels like) she is back, tapping me gently first and then with a little more vigour – time to get up!! I open my eyes with some effort as I wonder whether I should be happy at her diligence and obedience or sad at her not forgetting to wake me up. This is the most desirable though not desired fate of almost all my forty winks!

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2 thoughts on “Forty Winks

    1. Thanks for reading, AKji! Well I have not written on any of the three objects mentioned by you yet. But I know I will never write about the second!! Inanimate objects also have a great significance in our lives. I have in fact written about the rag, the door, the milk boiler, the wardrobe, the landline instrument and the desktop. I have also written on the piggybank in Hindi which you may want to read. (
      Somehow, we tend to take these things for granted and thus seldom discuss them.


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