3 AM tales

I am asked by a reader “What does “3 am” connote? Apart from its 3 hours past midnight and its early morning does it have more meaning? ”

3 AM seems to be caught in a cusp. From the time my parents could no longer force me to go and sleep at a particular time (and forcing me was a tall call anyway!), the time I go to sleep has often determined the quality of sleep. Certain nights, when I stay up late, sleeping before 2 AM qualified as sleeping a “bit late”, and sleeping after 4 AM meant “night-out”. Determining a longer laze or waking up late morning.

But 3 AM? Neither a late night nor a night-out. Sleeping at 3 AM especially if it’s not because of a dangerous dangling deadline (pardon the aliteration), is inching towards insomnia and lack of company. The various forms of night and morning appear to vanish at the cusp. The cone-shaped cusp that holds the map to sleeplessness.

This may or may not answer the question. But it helps me articulate the time that is 3 AM.

PS – I just noticed that India Uncut is having a 3AM moment as well.

10 Comments

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10 Responses to 3 AM tales

  1. Cusp- love that word.

    Could go either way but we don’t. Keep lingering at 3am somehow.

    Nice piece.

  2. I was born around that time of night/morning. Oh! The stories I could tell you! The Horror! The Horror!
    (Quickly dies)

    PS: Sorry for all the inky mess in your comments area..blots and spills et al

  3. Anonymous

    3AM!! Its the start of “divine time”. Time to contemplate….
    As Kabir says – pahela prahar (6PM-9PM) har koi jage; Dusra prahar (9PM-12PM) Bhogi (people who look only for enjoyment); Teesra prahar (12PM – 3AM) kaskar jage (robbers, i believe); Choutha prahar (3AM-6AM) Yogi! (Saints wake up!)

    BTW – Love your blogs. You think very deeply for a person so young!
    -ashok

  4. Heh. You apparently “think deep” and all.

  5. Kalyan Raman

    Your post on ‘3 AM tales’ made me think of this most famous line on the subject:

    “In the real dark night of the soul, it’s always three o’clock in the morning.”

    That was F. Scott Fitzgerald in his near-autobiographical novel, ‘The Crack-up’. So, 3 AM is a brilliant metaphor as well.

  6. This is from a song “as if i hadn’t slept” by Idlewild.

    It’s always 3am in your world,
    so I’m drinking this as if I hadn’t slept,
    telling stories which tell their stories them self,
    you didn’t even hear them,
    our thoughts are somewhere else,

    Its making me very curious

  7. The only 3 AM tale that i’ve heard about is, as ashok commented, that 3 AM is the start of ‘brahma muhurath’, the time when the mind is supposedly, at its sharpest.

    Ideally, people born in the brahma muhurath are(again supposedly) deep thinkers and philosophers.

  8. Inkblot and Ink Spill: What a beautiful combination! :)) This makes me happy!

    Ashok: So basically if I am up at 3 AM and then go to sleep – I am a robber, but if I stay awake I am a Yogi. Maybe a Yogi is nothing but a very tired robber? :) Thanks for coming by.

    Nilu: Stop being jealous would ya?

    Kalyan Raman: Yep. That lines sums up so much beautifully. Thank you dragging out an ancient memory.

    Thinks Heyz: Maybe it just sounds nicer than 2AM and 4AM??

    Sumz: I’ve heard this other tale about ghosts walking about at 3 AM. Hhmm. By your theory Ink Spill is a deep thinker and philosopher! :))

  9. 3 AM indeed. Can vouch for a variety of 3 AM moments. Nicely put. :)

  10. London tube user

    I like screwing the trees at 3am~ comsi consa?

    tubes come in all sizes and shapes like the one at the nurse’s office, the dosa place in chennai and the petrol station.

    Like your posts Neha :) Now om to you, please come and welcome me to your circle of imaginary friends.

    Oh yes I am a bozo sometimes.