He placed my head on his lap, rocked me, told me a story (involving a ferocious panther or a leopard, I forget which), gently requesting in between ‘Baby, go to sleep fast’ (Kunju vegam urangane…).
Finally, when I began snoring impressively enough, he eased out, replacing his lap with a pillow. He carefully placed another pillow next to me so that I don’t turn over and fall to the floor. After that, he gave my legs a push so that they were folded up and not spilling over the corner of the bed.
He demanded to no one in particular, “Are you really asleep?”
I did not answer, of course.
I heard some scampering sound followed by soft steps returning, so I peeked through my closed eyelids to see what was happening. The fellow, all of six years old (and a half) was trying to fool me into thinking that he left the room, so that I will open my eyes. Three times I heard the scampering and the returning feet. When I didn’t open my eyes, he decided I was really asleep (which I almost was, by the way) and went away. After about five minutes, he came to check on me and patted my shoulders (not gently, but hard enough to wake an elephant) a few times, the way we do to put him back to sleep if he wakes up at night. I continued to snore.
Considering that usually when I need a nap, I have to beg and plead with (and more often, yell at) him to allow a few minutes of peace, and when I start dozing, he appears out of nowhere and rolls all over me till I abandon all hope of getting some shut-eye, this was a welcome change.
I woke up half an hour later to find myself still lying as he had left me.