Saturday, September 27, 2008

My day off.

I have a newfound admiration for lazy people. They have an innate ability to while away time. I found out yesterday that whiling time is not as easy or enjoyable as it looks or seems.

Having absolutely nothing to do today, I decided on my schedule after a late breakfast of delectable Mendu Vadas. I was torn between catching a flick and spring cleaning (Ok, I’m a few months late). I also had the option of a chilled beer and a nice movie at home. It had started to get confusing. The more I thought, the more was I in a quandary. Honestly, spring cleaning was never a contender but the beer or the multiplex options were perplexing.

Finally, I decided to do nothing. Nothing at all. How would it be, to do nothing- nothing significant or worthwhile that is-for a whole day? I wouldn’t leave the house but I wouldn’t switch on the computer. I would not attend any calls (Most are from salespersons anyway).

I allowed myself to watch the tube as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it for more than ten minutes. They news channels are shitty, the reality shows seem staged and the commercial breaks are as long as the movies. I tried sleeping. I can’t understand why sleep evades me on holidays. I recalled it had been ages since I have curled up to a good book. Nowadays, it’s all about e-books (non-fiction, mind you) and for good reason. Books come from trees. Nevertheless, I tried to read one on Mother Theresa. What transpired was comical to say the least! In minutes of reading a few pages, I felt drowsy. Closing the book, I lay on my bed. Again, sleep evaded me. I tried this routine twice, to same effect.

I tried to strike a conversation with my neighbour. It is then I came to know that her daughter was in the SSC and needed help with English. Ah, I thought!
Something to do! I asked her to send the kid over after lunch. She beamed at me. I realized then that she had been a good friend to mum and I hadn’t reciprocated her warmth.

I had ordered Biryani from a popular joint. I guess the cook was having a bad day like me as his Biryani tasted funny. Throwing more than half of it away, I rolled up my sleeves and invited Riya over for some serious learning. I was taken aback when I opened her book. I remembered nothing! What had I developed, Amnesia?! Nothing made sense. I couldn’t recall if I had ever read about Clauses. Active -passive speech was scary. The girl ended up teaching me a few things. I tried valiantly for an hour to teach her. Exasperated, I gave up! She comforted me and told me that as English was ingrained in my psyche, I thought intuitively and my brain no longer remembered unnecessary information. Was I getting old? I promised her chocolate pastries if she would keep the tutoring to herself. She agreed. I plodded onto my next task.

It was evening by now. It had been a long time since I had used my punching bag or skipped. An exercise session was in order! I would strongly suggest easing into your exercise routine if it’s been a while since you’ve done it. I was out of breath after 50 skips, couldn’t do a single pull-up ( much thanks to the extra kilos I have packed in) and sprained my back trying to pull off a few round house kicks- all this in 5 minutes.

I had started getting edgy as the abstinence from technology started driving me nuts! I kept hearing my phone ring the whole day (I had switched it off, remember?). I craved for the internet. I pined for the polluted air of the streets. In a desperate bid, I tried pranayam and got bored off it in 45 seconds. I had trained in Hindi classical music and thought of taking a shot at that. I sounded like a frog as it has been years since I stopped Riyaz. I even took out my rusty Guitar from its cover and tried playing a tune or two. My fingers felt heavier than lead! It had been days, nay, months since I had strummed on the Guitar. I could not remember why. Was I so busy in life as to stop doing and enjoying the simple pleasures like reading, singing and playing the Guitar?

Finally, dad came home and I heaved a sigh of relief! He is an excellent conversationalist and a better thinker. When I told him of my day, he had this to say. “You have become so hard wired to the daily grind that you have stopped thinking about what actually pleases you. You are hooked on to technology but fail to see the simple pleasures of life. I used to enjoy listening to your tunes while you were in college. Nowadays, all you do is work on that computer.”

It hit me like a tracer bullet. I used to enjoy a good read, dishing out rajma and making tunes and singing. What had changed? What had happened?

I’d gotten so busy with my professional life that I’ve ignored all this and jumped into the rat race. As someone had once said- ‘In this rat race, even if you come first, you’re still a rat.’ I knew more about the market health than that of my own. I was pleasant and charming with my colleagues but had even forgotten my neighbours name.

What had I become?

© of Kartikeya Dwivedi 2008

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Kartik, it's never too late to start afresh all the things you once enjoyed!
...Just start with one small thing a day, instead of doing everything on the same day.
....Make a time table (since you so love lists!) to add one activity you enjoy doing everyday for short periods....and see how much more energy and enthusiasm begins to build that you will actually start looking forward to these alone times!:-)
Soon you will discover that you are ahead in the Race, and no longer a Rat!:-)