“Nights are too good to just sleep through them” – Anirudh Singh Chauhan
There is something strange and mystifying about the night. It makes the most ordinary sub-urban residences look like the den of most sinister crimes and fornication. Lonely street lamps cast long and dark shadows. And pipes become snakes, bushes become monsters and the old watchman is the cloak and dagger.
The night makes me realize the triviality of ourselves. Just as the street lamp is a small speck of light fighting a losing battle with the omnipresent darkness coming in from all sides to engulf it. Same is the case with us; we are just tiny specks in the big universe trying to sustain ourselves through the play of cosmic forces in whose plans we don’t even figure.
Then the sound of a wailing siren of an ambulance rips through the shroud of silence in the night; unrelenting and inconsolable, like a mother who just lost her child. Someone somewhere is dying. Someone somewhere is beating his wife in these nice quaint houses, someone somewhere is getting drunk to force himself on his girlfriend behind those pretty curtains, someone somewhere is wishing for his mother-in-law never to wake up from her sleep in those spic and span houses. Because that’s what man is. A predator; and night is the time for predators to come out. Night is to man what the grass is to the viper. The grass sways with the wind, is soft to touch and is easily trampled underfoot; but it the grass that hides the viper till he comes close enough to strike.
But that is only the part of the charm of the night. It shows you the pretty moon and twinkling stars which the sun hides from you every morning. But the night is also concealing, it respects your privacy. The night is quiet, it respects your peace. And most of it all it is adjusting; it only lets you see what you want to see. Somewhere in this night only a woman is sleeping in the embrace of her soulmate convinced that no sorrow can touch her. Somewhere in this same night a kid is burning the midnight oil, sacrificing his tonight convinced that it’ll bring him a better tomorrow. And somewhere through this same night a man is driving towards his loved ones convinced they’ll never be apart again. Night is to man what a shield is to a Knight. It protects him of the brutality and the sword of his day life.
But most of it all night is to man what day is to the earth. It makes us possible to make sense of him. There are no masks, no pretentions in the night. No makeup, no corsets, no suits to hide behind. Nobody to keep up the facade for, no approvals to take for his actions, no opinions to be formed by his speech. The night doesn’t conceal anything about a man, it reveals it. In the dark man is his true self.