For amateur insomniacs, the time between three and four is the weirdest. You can neither go to bed thinking you will wake up early tomorrow and start afresh. Nor can you fathom the courage to forfeit one night’s sleep. In this weirdness abound, you come up with all kinds of little nothings to ease the passage of time.

It’s raining outside. Wildly and the sky is bright purple. The melody of the shower eclipses everything. As if the consonance around is too hollow, I decide to tune in a decidedly incongruous Jokhon Porbe Na More Payer Chinho Ei Baate. And that too by a Bangladeshi singer: a certain Mita-ul-Haq. She whines on some of my favourite lyrics. Fine.

The other option is to pick up a book and read till the cows go graze. The procrastination at the decision itself can be a wonderful activity. Will a Tennyson suit the mood, (it’s still raining, though it has subsided to a palpable drizzle now) or maybe Nietzsche in the darkness? Since a Rabindrasangeet is already on song, maybe the surrealism of Jibananda Das will be enchanting? Or say Shankha Ghosh, who lies temptingly across the table. I decide in favour of the day’s old newspaper.

Going straight to the sports page, I realise I have already read each of the articles at least twice. I skip back to the editorial. Lots of serious gubernatorial issues being discussed here; feeling obtusely out of concord, I flip back to page three. Too many pictures, and now too lethargic for self-help. I put the paper down.

Despondency can ambush you from nowhere. Depressed, I look up at the clock; it’s ten minutes to four. I start counting my second…