Compiler Design

As the soporific charm gets down to work in the classroom, random thoughts wander into the minds of those unfortunate enough to be rejected by sleep. As you may have guessed already, me being one of those, I chose to pen down those wisps of fancy; in all their randomness, in all their glory, in all their weirdness.

The futility of our bodies being where they were, with our minds being elsewhere should surely be one of the first thoughts to cross my mind. The design of compilers being the least of my priorities, one could always term my presence in this class as worthless. Couple that with the possibility of being somewhere else and doing something productive or even that of merely enjoying myself, the circumstances can be deemed almost criminal.

While getting babies to sleep may not be a dying art, with lullabies and cradles being still in fashion, I cannot help wonder if the stage is set for something new. A pathbreaking, novel way of getting the tykes to sleep. We could hit the market like a whirlwind, reaping money like mad. All we need to do is to bring a decent recorder to class. Easy enough, because almost all the modern mobiles come with decent recording capabilities. And then, capture the lecture we are subjected to. The recording should be flawless – the Gift of the voice etched into the immortality of digital memory, in all its glory. The nasal twang, the rise and fall of pitch, the uniformity of volume and the eerie silence which surrounds it.


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Behold, we have a champion product. A lullaby which can put the most stubborn of little monsters to sleep. Patent it as iSleep or uSleep or whatever – the name is but irrelevant before the uniqueness of what we have here. A musical wonder with no background instruments at all, yet perfect and enthralling in its rise and ebb. Buy it, play it and forget it.

Okay, I’ve written two pages of nonsense. A look at the watch tells me it has hardly moved. I tap it twice. Could it be that the inherent magic of the voice can put even a thing of cogs and wheels to sleep? No, it moves. The moments are not stagnant, they are merely stretched. Fuck relativity.

The third page dawns and I’ve almost run out of ideas.Seems the dulcet tones can not push you into dreamland, but can also suck thoughts from you, like a blackhole. The lethargy lies heavy, not only on one’s mind, but even manages to crawl its way onto your limbs and smother them. Remarkable.

SNAP!! The spell is broken and the class scrambles to wary alertness as a question is directed at the last bench. The victim looks like a convict woken up roughly by the jailer in the early morning to be told he was going to hang. Except that jailers dont normally go on to hang the guys in the neighbouring cells if the first guy wasn’t ready. Whispers fly back and forth as to what the answer might be, and more commonly, what the question was.

The guy asked is unable to answer (Duh!!!) and the urgency for the answer becomes even more frenzied, though the mute blanket over it is miraculously maintained. The neighbour of the victim follows his friend. They now look like two shy mute children in their first day at a sign language class. The regions of the class where the answers haven’t filtered through yet, heave a sigh , resigned to their fate.

Luckily, the next guy asked is someone who collects his bearings well enough to give a passable answer. The Voice remarks drily about the necessity of paying attention in the class. How unfortunate it is that some people attend the class just for the sake of attendance. If you want to sleep, better do it in the comfort of your own homes. And you are NOT watching a movie here. Kindly raise your heads and straighten your backs. And returns to the lecture.

Normalcy is restored within minutes. The class returns to its usual state of languor and the muted whispers cease. Save the three or four supernaturals, located close to the origin of the epidemic, the dark magic has claimed the class again.

A look at some of the more interesting members of the class may be rewarding. The hulk of the class is beyond redemption. Sleep has so overpowered him that he looks like a tiny gust of wind may knock him down. Like the Giant redwood being knocked down by a feather. Alright, I’ll lay off any more of my laboured analogies. 😀

Glancing around at the rest of the class does not yield much information. I could attempt it, of course, but in how many ways would you have me describe someone sleeping?

A glance at my watch surprises me.It’s almost 3. Somehow, the effort to write everything down has saved me from braindeath. As the minute hand draws closer to 12, an air of anticipation fills the class. Like a group of statues coming to life, heads begin to bob and hands start to move, legs stretch. As the sleepers wake up, they have a hopeful look in their bloodshot eyes.

The anticipation reaches a crescendo as the the teacher in the neighbouring class leaves. Suddenly, an unnamed fear is invoked as the possibility of another hour with the Voice looms.

However, to everyone’s immense relief, the Voice asks “Latecomers, anyone?”, grants them attendance and walks out. The class breaks into huge applause – Mentally.


3 thoughts on “Compiler Design”

  1. I can’t help saying that word again and again – “Marvelous!! Really Marvelous!!”.. But the details in this piece of writing suit more for those Principles of Programming Languages and Systems Programming hours when it was too hard for any of us to keep ourselves awake for not more than even ten minutes,, 🙂

    Frankly speaking, bringing a whole set of audience at the brink of a deep slumber is another art that we must never fail to recognise, buddy, and those who continuously succeed in doing so deserve some sort of award for that gracious work! 🙂

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