Approaching Midnight.

Karthick Ragavendran
3 min readNov 18, 2023

Time is a funny thing.

Child me

Sitting on a boring Saturday morning, waiting for Sakthimaan. I glance at the clock — each second drags. Patiently waiting, scratching my head, but clapping at each tick.

‘Yay, only 14,400 more ticks to Sakthimaan! Totally doable!’

But then, a tick goes backward? 🥺

The clock reclaims that second. The innocent little man cheers again. Little do I know, Sakthimaan time will never come in this eternity.

Adult me

Okay, it’s Saturday morning. I open YouTube.

Suddenly, it’s 4 pm. ‘Did I fall into a video vortex?’ 😕

‘No. This is not good. This is not healthy! Let me watch a YouTube video on how to stop YouTube addiction.’

I glance up — it’s 2 am. ‘Wait, what? How?’ 🥺

I get up from the computer. Stretch my hands. ‘Time for bed.🥱’

Birds chirping outside. It is 6 am.

‘Welcome to Sunday! A day for sleep.’ I go to sleep.

Wake up. It’s Sunday night. Weekend, poof, gone.

‘Tomorrow’s office,’ I think. ‘Just one video to ease the pain.😕’ I start the video.

The video plays. Time has no patience. It’s 8 am. The alarm blares.

‘Monday??? Wow!!!’

I sit in the office. Turn on the computer. Night falls. The manager shows up.

‘You know you don’t have to work late nights, especially on Fridays?’ he says.

‘It’s Friday??’

‘It is. And it’s not appraisal time. So leave!’ The manager gives a smile into my soul.

I come home. I need to buy some socks. Open the Amazon app. Time check — Sunday evening.

‘Nope 😑! Time to snap out of this!’ I decide. ‘Some meditation to clear my head.’

I sigh. The computer sleeps, I lean back, taking deep breaths, eyes on the clock, trying to stop it.

The minute hand slows down.

The second hand slows down.

Both stop.

‘I won?’

Nope.

The hour hand is ticking.

6… 7… 8… My evening is gone.

12pm… 8am…
THE ALARM SCREAMS!!!

‘Why???😨’

I go to bathe. Come out. It’s dark again. Is it Friday? I check the date. Of course. It is.

I sit at the computer. Look at the date on the monitor.

It’s Friday, 30th December. “It is December. Oh,” I realize.

30th. It says.

It ticks to 31st.

31st it says now.

1st…
2nd…
3rd…
3rd…
3rd…
3rd of April…
3rd of May…
3rd of June…
3rd of July…
3rd of July…
3rd of July…
3rd of July…
3rd of July 2026…
3rd of July 2027…
3rd of July 2028…
3rd of July 2029…

I freeze, hands trembling off the mouse. I shut down the computer. Sit staring at the turned-off computer.

Time does not stop when I do not look. It does its job.

It is calm for a while. I close my eyes. I hear kids’ sounds in the home. ‘I am a bachelor,’ I remind myself.

‘Thatha has shut down the computer! Thatha has shut down the computer!’ Kids flood into my room.

‘Finally!!!’ a 10-year-old sighs loudly.

‘Thatha always watching Tamanna songs…’ a little girl complains.

‘Get up, Thatha… Everyone is waiting for you in the family room,’ another grown one rushes.

‘Is Tamanna still alive?’ I ask, getting up with the help of my grandkids.

‘Yes, Thatha,’ one replies, pouring honey into the poor soul.

‘Who is Tamanna?’ the little one has no idea.

‘Some 80-year-old actress,’ one answers.

‘Why is he worried about an 82-year-old woman?’ one child pokes.

‘Because he is 85 years old, just like her,’ another replies.

‘Still, it is inappropriate for a 90-year-old to talk like this,’ another little thing judges me.

There’s a cake in the family room with the number 100.

I turn 100 by the time I reach the cake.

Happy birthday… Everyone sings.

I get a gift for cutting the cake. It’s a watch. It has one hand. It has 8 seconds to midnight.

‘What is this?’ I ask.

‘This watch shows life,’ someone answers.

‘Alright.’ I say.

5 seconds to midnight.
4…
3…
2…
1… a deep breath, the world stands in silence.

‘Good night,’ I whisper to everyone, and to no one.

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Karthick Ragavendran

Fullstack engineer | React, Typescript, Redux, JavaScript, UI, Storybook, CSS, UX, Cypress, CI/CD.