What bothers me most these days, are the afternoons. The time when everything is moving slow, like the postman I see everyday from my terrace. He walks slow, and I doubt it’s because he has aged. He goes from one building to the other without really pausing in between, but his movements are sluggish, there is no urgency whatsoever. Why judge him though, from my window to the world, almost everything appears slow, as if the time has stopped being important to me and my world. So I indulge in some luxury of afternoon siesta, but I tend to have horrible dreams. The other day I dreamed of a large boa eating a rabbit (!) and winking at me while it so voraciously devoured the poor hare. So I try not to make it into a habit, and use my time elsewhere. I have never been very affectionate, or caring, and people close to me know me well enough to understand that this is seldom out of genuine disregard, and more out of my preoccupation with abstract thoughts. Nevertheless, I felt this was a great opportunity to get in touch with people, say hello to them, and that’s just what I set out to do.
Of course I hadn’t really envisioned things to be this difficult. It has become practically impossible to reach people out of blue! When did this happen? When did we all become too busy for a languid chat with old friends.. I have no clue. Almost every friend, or cousin seemed to be busy that day except me. An imaginative mind puts a lot of things together, and can form conspiracy theories like bubbles on a soda. Of course when you use the logical part of your brain, you understand that other people have things to do, perhaps more important than spending time talking to you. This brought me to another thought. Was I like that to people? Did I shun them out when they may have needed an old, trusted ear? Have I taken everyone around me for granted too much?? I don’t know.. that train of thought is never too good, so I have dropped it. Hindsight is twenty-twenty after all. The point is, I have more time than I have ever had in my life, and it’s making me crazy. There were always things that I couldn’t do, people I couldn’t meet, because I never had the time. Now, things are different, and I can do it all ( as much as my weakened finances can allow me that is). However, there is a peculiar issue. Whom do I share this joy and newfound freedom with. I have almost stopped calling people, because I am sick of listening to how busy they are. I understand they are not doing it to spite me, but it does not provide motivation to stay in touch. So I have found a unique solution to my predicament.
Go solo! That’s right. That’s exactly what I have been doing for past few weeks. It’s too much of a hassle anyway to match schedules with everyone else, when there is a stark difference between their free time and mine. So I have been going on treks and hikes, all by myself, playing snooker with strangers in malls, shopping and generally catching up on reading. Surprisingly, it doesn’t disappoint me, nor does it feel weird to do things this way..was I always so self centered and vain, I wonder. I don’t care though, I have been a big supporter of doing things that I felt like doing, and these days I am actually getting around to do them. What else can I ask from life? It just makes me think of a funny incident. I had this meeting with a client who wanted a website redesigned. So I asked him what kind of website he wanted. Suddenly he stopped and looked out of the window, and said
We are like islands, Harshad. Little islands, of solitude, and joy, and everything else that makes us human.
I remember wondering what that had to do with the kind of website that was required. Jokes apart, an insight can come from anywhere I suppose. You just know when to apply it. Perhaps he was right! We are like islands. Sometimes we float together in a small bubble, and sometimes we move away from one another. Yes, that sounds about right.. and it makes my life simpler. After all, awesome islands don’t need a lot of company to keep them worth visiting.