Those recurring First Nights….

So my night shift started yesterday. For the coming week I will be doing my duty from 1930 hours to 0730 hours. Twelve hours of night shift. One night down, six more to go. And yesterday was the first night. He he.

First nights are tedious you know. You and your body were accustomed to the standard practice of getting up at six thirty in the morning, and going for duty at seven thirty and working till evening. This is more like a routine job. The normal way how a man works. It’s all good here although the mornings are way hotter and burning than the nights. You somehow manage to cope with all those and after you duty finishes, you return back to your bunk, take a bath, have a peg of whisky if the mood persists, take your dinner, fool around a bit and doze off for the day. Again alls good here.

And then comes the night shift. Oh boy. They are different genre altogether. Especially the first night. We get a 24 hour break before going into our first night and that night usually some party happens and the night is spent boozing away as we get to sleep it off in the coming day. Or we plan to go somewhere nearby to visit some temple or a beach or any kind of tourist attraction the local area has to offer. And before you know it you are getting ready to attend your first night shift.

I am not a married person so I don’t have a clue how ‘the’ first night turns out. Movies show you a rosy picture but I guess its way apart from reality. I mean you will be so exhausted from the day’s activities that you will sleep like a log the moment you see the bed. So I guess that is that.

So our first shift is also kinda like this. Your body doesn’t know that it’s gonna have to change its schedule by half a day. The day should become the night and vice versa. So we go for the shift and do our duty. Also the sleep pattern hasn’t changed and same goes with your biological clock. When the clock strikes midnight, you slowly feel a yawn creeping into your mouths. The body gets a bit tired, eyes a bit drowsy but still you have seven hours of duty left. Now the body slowly begins to understand what it is upto and to prepare for it will take a day.

So slowly you feel sleepy and tired and you ask for tea and coffees to keep you awake. You roam around here and there and try to keep your body in movement. You hardly sit at a place for a couple of minutes and take out your phones and try to make some conversations with someone. But then the clock strikes two. Your chats are over, people are offline. The wind that was blowing previously has ceased and now the air is still and the warmth slowly starts to build. It’s still three more hours for dawn to break and will take another couple of hours for the temperature to cool down a bit. Mind you this is the case when it is the hot season here. During the winters it can get chilly and the moment you touch the metal brake with which you are supposed to operate the rig, you feel a shiver down your spine.

More teas and coffees and milk and somehow you manage to push yourself past five thirty. You are really drowsy. If given a chance to sit you can easily sleep away for the next few hours. You found it difficult to keep your eyes open and occasionally found yourselves phasing out and kinda zombified. But by five thirty the sky begins to light up. Blue begins to replace black and the east lights up with the rising sun. You feel warm and happy. The sun has given you a kind of energy you so desperately wanted. It also poignantly reminds you that you just need to hold it on for a couple of hours and then you are done for the day. That’s such a nice feeling. The feeling of hope.

And those two hours pass by smoothly, chatting away with our colleagues and putting the finishing touches to your work. You are relieved when its seven thirty and you go back to take that much needed sleep and prepare your body for the oncoming six days.

God I hate night shifts!

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