It is taking far too long for me to get out of this jet lag. By 7 pm, I’m fading. My eyes want to shut down and I slip into effortless sleep. Except that I’m up by midnight and then wide awake for the next few hours. So I forced myself, two nights before, to stay awake till about 10 pm and took a sleeping pill I bought at the local pharmacy, Donormyl, so I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night. The sleeping pill caused a new problem: it made me want to sleep all the time, even during the day. I lay in bed working in the morning yesterday and by 11 am, had dozed off to sleep and didn’t wake up till 2 pm. The same thing has happened today. I woke up feeling bright and energetic but shortly after coffee and a slice of toast, I wanted to do nothing but doze off to sleep.

Yesterday, during the few hours when I felt awake- and hungry – I took the no. 7 to the 10th arrondisement to an area known as Little Jaffna. There I ate idlis at Saravana Bhavan, where it was a marvel to see Tamil waiters conversing in Tamil, Indian English and (presumably French) French. Little Pondicherry, a restaurant, enticed customers to try standard Indian fare as well. One of the passages on Rue du Faubourg St-Denis comprised, almost entirely, Indian restaurants (with a North Indian man screaming matherchod at someone else walking away) and barber shops. An elderly gentleman at Saravana Bhavan ate idlis, ordered filter coffee and gleefully swiped at his smartphone, telling the waiter in Tamil that he could now read The Hindu sitting in Paris.

I ate, took the train back and barely made it awake.

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