In Bed With… Tishani Doshi
Poet, novelist and dancer Tishani Doshi’s home in the fisherman’s village of Paramankeni has a mythical quality. With the Bay of Bengal on view from every room, it is filled with natural light, birdsong and the bark of her three dogs – Bagheera, Buggy and Zelda.
Serving often as a haven for writers, the atmosphere invites an unhurried pace of living, perfect for introspection and harmony with nature. A gentle sea breeze at night offers deep sleep.
We talk to Tishani about her home, writing, and why she believes she’d make a great sleep guru…
Most mornings begin…
Between 6 and 7am. Yoga, walk, breakfast, work.
Daily breakfast menu:
Fruit – grapefruit or papaya, homemade muesli and Cafe Cariappa’s coffee.
Do’s and don’ts of making your bed?
There’s something meditative about making a bed, about smoothing out the sheets and readying yourself for another day. The only clutter I’ll accept on a bed are pillows and books.
Why do you want to be a sleep guru?
I’m a champion sleeper. I have slept on top of a temple in Koovagam, on night trains and buses with strangers snoring beside me. I have the resting heartbeat of a lizard and if I’m tired, I can close my eyes and sleep anywhere.
“Because sleep seems to be the great anxiety of our age, I thought I could become a sleep guru. But Arianna Huffington beat me to it.”
You’re most comfortable sleeping in…
A cotton or silk chemise.
I do all the usual stuff of cleaning teeth, face, neck, but the extra thing I like to do is moisturise my feet. A foot massage adds an extra layer of deadness to sleep.
Does meditation work for you?
Long walks and swims are meditative for me. It allows me to empty out and replenish.
Where does most of your writing happen?
Mostly at my desk. Sometimes I’ll write Proust-like in bed, but this isn’t great for posture.
“My last dream? I was suddenly in charge of a dozen puppies. Panic and bliss combined.”
A glass of fine red.
Tip for a good night’s sleep?
Be physically tired in your body and not overly worked in your mind.
Current bedtime reading:
I always read before I sleep. Right now, I’m immersed in Maggie Nelson’s Bluets.