2 am – 5 am

With all the turmoil on votes and notes on local and global levels, this could very well have been a politically inspired piece. A charged-up gunpowder piece of writing filled with pithy one-liners and relevant socio-economic commentary. But it isn’t. Because finally having sat my ass down to write this, I’m torn between regret at having sacrificed precious sleep, indignation at having the best Trump jokes already taken by 9gag users, and the absolute sense of serenity that pervades the skies at this time. Yes sir, if you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter (and you obviously have), you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s the Hour of the Devil, the magical 180 minutes between 2 am to 5 am.

Weirdly enough, it’s that time of the night (or morning), that feels the most alive. It’s the hour of the artist – when musicians are jamming, dreaming up lyrics and tunes; when actors are belting out late-night rehearsals; when amateur poets are cutting themselves and then writing emo shit about cutting themselves; and also when wannabe bloggers are feverishly plugging away at a keyboard, praying that their post will make sense as it goes along. It’s when studying for next day’s exam generally goes into high gear (because actually studying for an exam in advance is considered cowardice). Might have something to do with the deafening silence – no vehicles, no people, nothing but the far-off bark of an occasional stray to punctuate the reverie of a creative mind.

It is the hour of the insomniac reading “Wait but Why”, of the gamer in the middle of his DotA run, and also of keyboard warriors picking fights with other trolls in musty old chat threads in some dark, forgotten corner of the Internet. It’s the time when the most insignificant of noises, sights, sounds and gestures have infinite potential. Even the quiet rustle of a cigarette drag in the night breeze feels like a symphony, and the distant squeak of an overloaded truck’s suspension as it labours along the highway can send shivers down your spine. This time slot generally also marks that point in the night, when the usual bro-discussion over whisky turns from female anatomy to philosophy. And like any drunken talk worth its money, it inevitably leads to inadvisable texting and inappropriate phone-calls (usually along the lines of “Jaanu I still love you”, punctuated by sniggering
in the background). It is the hour of inspiration, depression and desperation; all very potent ingredients and usually a recipe for genius or disaster. (Usually hilarious disaster)

But most of all, this is the hour of the Hostelite; because this is when you’ll find any students hostel at its maximum energy. There’ll be music, poker, discussions about the relative merits of Tolstoy and Murakami, which then seamlessly segue into discussions about the relative merits of Sable and Torrie Wilson. There’ll be food, because Maggi always tastes best at 3 am when made on your neighbour’s induction plate from tap water. There’ll be studying and project work, true…but not enough to convince anyone to stay in their rooms and actually do it. It’s a good time to be alive and awake, it’s a great time to be in a hostel, and the best time to read random blogs.

Like this one. True story.

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