Early to rise. ..

Image courtesy: ManuBala

Childhood. What is it that I remember most about my childhood? a friend asked me the other day. Well, now, let’s see…..dolls, friends, hop-scotch, frolicking in the muddy puddles, trying to catch little frog babies…Ugh! Did I actually do that? Yucks!

Well, apart from all of that, I remember…school, and the fact that I hated school. Yes, I did!

Apart from that, too…I remember…father’s terrifying demeanour, and his lectures, which often began first thing in the mornings.

 The first sound that announced the arrival of the morn used to be father’s booming, “SHILPAA!!”
 It would cut through my dreams like a knife. Why, oh why, did I have to wake up so early? Why did I have to go to school? It was the most hated place in the world for me; why did  I have to lose my precious sleep over it!? Moreover,  the sun was still to rise, why should I be up before Him?”

Tch,” was the first sound uttered in response to the loud…er..name-calling!

What a way to begin the day.


Father’s calls to awaken me would continue even as I would pull my warm quilt over my head and turn around to snatch some more precious moments in my slumber world.  My eyelids would refuse to budge from their tightly shut position, how could I not obey their command? In a matter of seconds, I would be sound asleep, as if nothing had ever happened!

The next sound that announced the arrival of the morn would be father’s heavy footsteps as he climbed the staircase that led to my room. I could hear the heavy thump even in my sleep, scared as I was of the man I secretly called, ‘Hitler’!  Still, I would hold onto my quilt and pray he would allow me some leisure. Ah, but a man is not a father unless he has terrorised his offspring into mute submission unto his dictatorship.

The eyelids would flutter open in terror, but close shut instantly as sleep still beckoned. This tug-of-war between sleep and wakefulness would continue for a few moments until father stood in my room and bellowed,  “SHILPAA! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO CALL OUT YOUR NAME? IT’S MORNINGGGG….TIME TO WAKE UP, GIRL!”

Why don’t you feign innocence and continue sleeping for a wee bit more?’ my mind would suggest, shamelessly. Needless to say, my quilt stood the chance of getting yanked and dumped in a corner, and a mugful of cold water splashed on my face to drive away any traces of sleep that had the potential of pulling me back into its bosom!

I would sit up with a start, fighting to open my eyes and mumble, “But…but…I have been awake for a long time now, Baba!”  Rubbing my eyes to crush my beauty sleep once and for all, I would make my way downstairs. Downstairs, where I would snuggle up with mum for a while before beginning my long, arduous day.

The first words that would fall on my ears as I descended the steps would be –

“You ought to cultivate the habit of early rising. It’s unwise to keep the head long on level with the feet!”

Where had father heard that quote?” I would wonder, grumbling all the while.
 “Makes for the perfect sleep-spoiler!”


“Cultivate the habit of early rising. It’s unwise to keep the head long on level with the feet!”

I swear by these words today. It’s the early morning time when I feel one with myself, with the universe. It’s during these early morning moments of peace and quiet  when the universe communicates with your soul. All you really need to do, is stay still and listen. Really really listen. You will find all your answers.

So, do you greet the rising sun, or does the sun greet you? If it’s the latter, I suggest you try the former,  for a change. See for yourself as you wake before the sun to take in the cool, fresh air and the tranquility of the hour. You will realise what a wonderful conversation you have just had with your universe!

I never called father, ‘Hitler’, ever. Yes, I was in awe of the man as a little girl and would often find him scary. Now, though, it’s a different story, altogether. Father now chides me for being domineering!  My sweet old man, my dad! 💗

And, no, I never attempted  capturing baby frogs, ever!  It’s just a gimmick I used to make my post a bit livelier! 😜
The above post has been written for Wordy Wednesday.

This week’s prompt: Sentence prompt:

“Cultivate the habit of early rising. It’s unwise to keep the head long on level with the feet,”

__Henry David Thoreau.



Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

24 thoughts on “Early to rise. ..

  1. This was a fun post of childhood memories and good use of the prompt. So true that as kids we don't appreciate getting up early and it is a big chore to get up for school, especially. I remember as a kid, I was always an early riser. Even on Saturday mornings I'd get up and sit in my bed reading books while everyone was asleep. Now that I'm older and my sleep is erratic, I appreciate early mornings and don't want to spend all my time sleeping. The mornings are magical, I find when I'm on my own and I watch the sun come up.


  2. Certain childhood memories stay with you for long, don't they> Loved your account, Shilpa. I am neither a late riser, nor an early riser. I get up mostly at 7 and yes, it works good for me as of now. But yes, I have read alot about the benefits of rising earlier, before 6 atleast and would wonder whether I would be able to do that ever. I shall try one day 🙂


  3. hehe That was an enjoyable read. As I read about how your dad came and woke you up, I saw myself. That is exactly what I do when the boys don't wake up after their alarm rings going up the stairs. But yes, I don't tell them to wake up early. We all do, don't we when the time comes. Even when I wake up early, my mornings are so busy that I hardly ever get to savour them.


  4. Your post took me back to my childhood days. I guess most of us have seen this jugglery between sleep and trying to wake up with a commanding parent around us to ensure that you don't give in to more sleep. Thankfully, their efforts paid off and today were able to get up in time to greet the sunrise because we want to.


  5. I know it's smart to be a morning person — I have this book called “The Miracle Morning” that I keep meaning to read, but it's tucked on a shelf somewhere. I tend to be more of an owl, though. On the occasions I do get up early, I love seeing all that I accomplish by 9 a.m. Nice, descriptive post about sleeping in!


  6. I too had a similar upbringing; waking up early was a religion in my house too and its a habit I have till today and am so grateful for it. Your dad sounds scary and yes having cold water thrown on you early morning is just br……….


  7. I am definitely an early riser! Always was.I was trying to visualize you being woken up and laughed my head off.

    Catching frog babies? Really? Hmm. Can't be worse than dissecting one. Sigh.



  8. This is such an interesting story, reminds me of my childhood as well. I used to be late for school almost daily. I use to pick earth worms and plays with frogs for real 🙂 Yep, a tom boy I was.


  9. You sure were a good girl in your childhood, Cat, as you are now, too!
    I wasn't a fan of early mornings when I was little, but, then with time, I began enjoying the early hour, as I do now, too! Mornings are really magical, i agree! 🙂


  10. There are times. when I, too, can't sleep a wink and that's when I turn into an owl! 🙂
    But, I still prefer the early mornings for their peace and quiet.
    'The miracle morning', is a book I, too, wish to read some day! Let's hope I do it soon!
    Thank you for stopping by!:)


  11. Oh yes, Indy! I remember you mentioned indulging in all those tomboy-ish things in your childhood! My brother's friend used to do it, too, and would send shivers down our spine with all his 'hunting' tales! 😛


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