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                           What do people do post dinner? No this is not a trick question or a naughty question but a very genuine query from the heart of a deeply troubled soul. The truly young and reckless go partying and pub hopping I believe. The not so young ones with young infants of their own, and those with teenaged brats – both spend sleepless nights albeit for different reasons. Then there are the elderly who prefer an early dinner to retire to bed early as well. Finally there are a few lucky ones like me whose children have outgrown the stage when they don’t allow you to have a schedule and are yet to reach the stage when you want to kick them out of the house – The age group between 5-10 years that you can bully into sleeping by 9.30-10pm. What do those people, more specifically those women, do once everything is wrapped up for the day?

                             For about 6 months, I had my evening-night schedule clearly worked out, at least for the weeknights – religiously followed the trials and tribulations of the surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital. Come hell or high water, by 9.30pm the kitchen was wound up, my 7 year old forcibly tucked away and with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands I was ready to shut myself to the outside world and enter the fictional world of Grey’s Anatomy.

                   But one not so fine a day, suddenly everything changed. Okay it was not suddenly- Star World had been screaming about One Tree Hill replacing Grey’s Anatomy since almost a month. However when it actually happened, on the fateful night of 26th February, it did feel as if it had all happened suddenly. The next day I woke up in a world sans Grey’s Anatomy. By the time the weekend arrived, I seemed to be exhibiting what might be called withdrawal symptoms. Not having been addicted to anything that I had to give up (Chocolate is an addiction I’m determined to carry to my grave), I am not qualified enough to diagnose withdrawal symptoms. But if restlessness, irritability, a general sense of emptiness and a gnawing vacuum, an overpowering desire to lay your hands( in this case eyes) on what you have become accustomed to- if all these qualify as withdrawal symptoms, yes I am suffering from addiction of the severest kind- addiction to Grey’s Anatomy. Life without Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t seem worth living.

                   Why does Grey’s Anatomy exercise such a strong hold on me, I can neither understand nor explain. In one of my earlier posts I did try to unravel the Grey’s Anatomy phenomena but how deep rooted the malady was became clear only when Star World ditched me. I am aware of the many other options available – downloading it, buying the DVD set from Palika Bazaar or Nehru Place. What is stopping me is not the legality angle of it but the simple yet inexplicable charm of watching a series on TV. Watching all the episode back to back is not the same as watching 1 episode a night and waiting with bated breath for the next episode. Silly? Probably. And also crazy and downright ridiculous. But that is how it is with me.

             As I try to introspect and find the reason why I miss Grey’s Anatomy, I’m reminded of what Meredith said in the season’s finale – “The hospital is my sanctuary”. Yes, that is what Grey’s Anatomy had become for me – a sanctuary, a haven, a safe refuge from the real world. As I would enter the fictional world of the Greys and Mc Dreamies and Mc Steamies every weeknight at 10 pm, my own life and its worries, no matter how big or how inconsequential, all would cease to exist. For that 1 hour every night, it was just me and Seattle Grace Hospital. Come 10 pm, armed with a mug of hot chocolate, my phone on silent mode, I would shut myself to the real outside world. The daily episodes gave me respite from my own life like clock work. Business of living can be quite a tiresome one at times. Grey’s Anatomy became my reward as it were for surviving each day. At the end of the day, there was something to look forward to. Escapist? Defeatist? May be. That, howsoever it may sound, is the truth. On a more profound level, Grey’s Anatomy gave me the much needed sense of perspective on my own life. What better way to appreciate life and all that you have than by seeing how suddenly all can be lost. There are no certitudes in life. How can you be sure that you will return home to make up with the spouse with whom you’ve fought bitterly that very morning? What on one hand became a convenient getaway, also at the same time became instrumental in helping me thank the Lord above for my life with all its trial and tribulations.

                    Grey’s Anatomy, however, did make me hate weekends. Now I hate 10 pm on weeknights as well. A 6-month-old habit is difficult to break. I still retire to bed by 10 in the night with a cup of hot chocolate. Only that there is no Grey’s Anatomy and out of sheer loyalty to, and as a mark of protest, I refuse to even lay my eyes on “One Tree Hill”. However if my symptoms persist and Star World doesn’t start airing Season 7, we may need a Support Group soon enough. Grey’s Anonymous perhaps? Do I already see a page request on Facebook?