The Alarm Clock Battle
I too used to wake up early in the morning until eight years ago when I was in grade 7. The 50-rupee alarm clock must be credited for taking the hefty challenge of regularly waking up one of the laziest students in our hostel.
Our hostel had some strict rules regarding sleeping and wake up time. The hostel warden made sure that all the lights in the hostel were out by 9 p.m., and everyone was to be out of bed by 5 in the morning. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”, was the main motto among many others.
The “early to bed” part was easier to follow and was indeed welcomed by most of us as a day full of extra-curricular activities and childhood mischievousness would have left us drop-dead tired. It was only the latter part of the rule: “early to rise” that was difficult to follow. So, one weekend I got myself a 50-rupee alarm clock from a nearby shop lest I annoyed the warden anymore. The alarm clock felt like an invaluable asset especially because the heat of the final exams was all over me. I began to wake up earlier and prepared for the upcoming final examination.
On the day prior to our final examinations, an eighth grader senior brother residing in the adjoining dormitory came to me and asked for the alarm clock. His district level examinations were still about 10 days away, but we had our exams the very next morning. I tried to convince him that I would lend him my alarm clock as soon as my exams were over, and in the mean time I would wake him up every morning precisely at the hour he intended to wake up. At the end, I was the one to be convinced as he told me that he intended to wake up earlier than me, and would wake me up at 4 every morning. I let him have my alarm clock.
The hostel warden woke us up the next morning. The whole dormitory seemed to be relying on my alarm clock to wake them up. We didn’t have much time to revise on that day. The senior brother had betrayed me.
The next moment, I was in his dormitory holding my alarm clock from underneath his pillow. I didn’t even tell him about it later. The next morning I was waiting for the beeping of the alarm clock to wake me up, but it was rather one of my friends gesturing that the warden was on his way. I quickly got up, astonished to find the alarm clock missing from underneath the pillow where I had hidden it. He had stolen the clock after I had slept, and he hadn’t even notified me. It was infuriated. But a peculiar notion crossed my mind.
That night I gave my alarm clock to one of my friends and asked him to wake me up after the alarm went off. Friends are loyal. He did wake me up the next morning. I did it till our exams were over, and involved three or four additional friends in doing so. When I was leaving the hostel after our final exam, I saw the senior brother emerging with an alarm clock in his hand with that defeated and regretful look in his eyes. I patted myself on the shoulders for the little victory.
Ragini Upadhyay Grela is a well-known Nepali artist. A graduate in fine arts from Lucknow College of Arts, India in 1982, Upadhyay won a British...