Samyak's Nook

Papa switched off the Wi-Fi

I don’t know why he does it.

The reasons he gives are pretty weird, to be honest.

“Give rest to the router.”

“The internet speed will slow down in 2 days.”

“Why do you need the internet at night, anyway?”

The creative excuses don’t seem to end. Every time he switches it off, there’s a tiny pang of annoyance; a little voice in my head grunting in disgust. It depends — when I’m tired from the day’s hard work, I feel bad about it. When I already took an afternoon nap and feel wakeful in the night, I feel worse. Much worse.

You might expect that I’d spring up from my bed as soon as I get disconnected and switch the router back on: no, I don’t. Not because I have some sort of phenomenal respect for my father’s decision (don’t look at me like that, I do respect him in general, but umm… anyway…). It’s mostly because I have my phone around, and I can use mobile data. Hotspot on, problem gone.

But on most days I don’t turn on my mobile data either. If I’m working on my laptop and I can’t find my phone in the dark, I don’t turn the lights on. I don’t search for it anyway. I don’t need it.

“Why do you need the internet at night, anyway?”

No, I don’t talk to some girl at night (not now at least!). I’d prefer a voice call anyway. I’m hardly active on any social media: all I do is make the occasional tweet and run away, which takes me less than 5 minutes on any given day. I might talk to a friend for something interesting, you know, those 2 am conversations. But not every night is of that kind, either.

What I do, instead: Either of the two situations might play out.

First, I’m super-drowsy from all the day’s work and I’d like some sleep. I pick up a book I promised I’d read, and then read some ten pages (on a good day) and fall asleep. Goes on to show how sleepy I actually was (or how boring the book was!).

Second, the situation right now. I sit in silence. I stare at the walls when I’m really trying to solve for something, or pick up my laptop and start clattering away. I make sure I write things down on the offline notes app, which I’ll transfer to Notion the next day. I don’t have movies/TV shows downloaded on my laptop. Whenever I do, I’d fall for watching them.

But you know what?

I value this time more than any other time of the day. This is probably the only time of the day I can talk to myself without the constant buzz of notifications and the chatter of people. This is the only time of the day when I’m not crossing off items on some to-do list. This is the only time that I’m able to convince myself that it’s “too late” in the night to do any chore, talk to any friend, indulge in any guilty pleasures — I convince myself that I just don’t have the energy for it.

This is the only time of the day when I don’t have to fit in to anyone’s expectations, to their requests and commands. This is a great time to reflect on my past actions or imagine my future possibilities, and come up with esoteric ideas that impress me or make me cringe to the core. I pick up the ukulele and ‘discover’ some weird chord progressions I didn’t care to think about, because I could look up the tabs of some song anytime. I stretch my body as slowly as I can, often staying in the same hold and going deeper with every exhale. Heck, I can even listen to my heart throbbing or my diaphragm moving with every breath; how could I miss out on something so simple, yet so wonderful?

Isn't the solution to many "big" world problems simply turning the internet off? To appreciate the calmer, "boring" world around you instead of the world the media portrays? Isn't it liberating to simply "cut the cord" that forces you to stay vigilant of the things that you can't ever influence? What is freedom - being able to control yourself or be swept away in the tides or fall into rabbit-holes you can't come out of?

And in these strange, twisted threads of thought, I fall asleep.

Looks like Papa gets it right every time. How does he!? Call it my respect for him or my fascination for the universe inside of me, I don’t turn the router back on.

For it also needs rest, just like I do.