January 17, 1991. Cold London. I sit up all night and watch the Gulf war unfold. An unknown channel called CNN had two reporters doing it live from Baghdad -Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw. That’s how CNN became famous overnight. I stayed up all night and every night to watch the news. I think that’s how I lost it. Sure, there was some trauma on the personal front and I never slept again. Dizzy and dazzle… it is a very personal thing.
On this very day, I lost my sleep permanently. I don’t know how to describe it. I am sure there are many who suffer the same disease. It drains you out. Everything you want to do goes for a toss. Cannot work, cannot play, cannot concentrate. Especially if you are recovering from a personal tragedy that you have just gone through as I did. So even as I stayed up night after night after night unable to sleep I was wondering how to kill my time. There is only so much TV that you can watch or so much books you can read. And the radio blared KLF 3am! I couldn’t appreciate the irony.
I read so much that I am not even able to retain. I learned about night crawlers. I would go to Manek Chowk in my hometown and dawdle around and eat something. They all stayed up till 5am and went home. I had nowhere to go. I still cannot sleep but I discovered something I could do.
Every morning I started writing. The cuckoos of 1999 hijack, 2002 and 26/11 made me so furious that I decided I had to write. I had to create something … a brand name to describe them. Thus was created MediaCrooks. I am sure there are a lot of people who suffer the disease I do. They cannot sleep. And because I could not sleep I wrote articles through the night and posted them early morning. I tried my best to make a virtue of my illness and sleeplessness. I have no idea how others deal with this problem.
So if God cursed me with Insomnia, I made something good come out of it. I have not slept in a long long time. This is just a short note to others who suffer the same problem and nothing more. I know what it means to go through a life without sleep. Maybe it will finally come. God took my sleep but he kept me awake enough to learn and dream. I think there has to be a reason. Sunrise doesn’t last all morning, neither does night time. That’s one great blessing to count.