Out and about in the happily bustling, oozing with life city this past week and craving for an escape to a land of beaches and waves, a lot of things have been hitting me in the face. The most recent being the lack of time anyone seems to have for anything anymore. And if you do have a lot of time on your hands, you’re either out of a job or labelled useless (which, unfortunately, with the way life is these days, you probably are). It’s difficult to do nothing. In fact, doing nothing has become a luxury none of us can really afford, even on the weekends.
Sure, we’re connected and we’re sociable and we’re networking through from one party to the next. But the ‘sitting around a table messaging each other instead of having a conversation’ deal is getting a little bit out of hand. And what’s more, the time we don’t spend on our phones, social networks, at our jobs and falling, exhausted into bed, we’re spending waiting. It is what we do best. We wait.
For the sunrise, for the sunset. For weekends and then for weekdays. Wait till the sky darkens and the clouds threaten to cry upon our heads and cool our hot skin. Then wait again for the sun to peep through between the foggy mountains and crisp us to a gentle golden glow. Wait for the winter chill to huddle in our blankets with books and steaming cups of coffee.
And then wait again, for another season to turn over, another year to end and another year to begin. There’s never a dearth of times we have to sit and wait. We’re always waiting in fact, we’re never just satisfied being where we are. Living in the moment is a distant memory. Spontaneity staggers around drunk, trying to find her way back to us but is caught up in a drunken stupor of monotonous routine and stability that none of us want to let go off.
It’s not as though we haven’t gone over this one before. Oh, we have and how. We’ve pleaded and begged each other to slow down, we’ve tried to convince ourselves to stop and smell the roses, asked ourselves What is this life, if full of care/we have no time to stop and stare. But, that’s all been swept under a haze of dust that a million shoes running past managed to kick up a storm with.
I’d like a little leisure every once in a while, but I won’t hold my breath. We’ve all been conditioned so well that relaxing is something we have to practice doing now. Meditation and yoga and all the new-found fads that promise peace and calm. We don’t have to work at being busy, but taking a break? That’s a challenge not many can face up to.
Brainwashed into thinking busy is best, we’re waiting for the next big catch to hook and reel in. Everyone’s just waiting for the next train so they can hop on and zip past to their next –oh-so-important meeting, phones buzzing and thoughts racing through to the next chapter in their lives before they’ve even scanned through the one still open. Waiting for the next train before they’re off the first. Me? I’m hoping I find a way to hop off and take a little detour to that ‘break from life’ everyone keeps raving about.
Rhea Dhanbhoora has been writing since childhood, has published a book of poems (Poetry Through Time, published by English Edition in 2003) and is currently a Literature student, writing features as part of a full-time job. She can’t imagine a life without writing and one day hopes to be able to live and breathe off the words, preferably in an idyllic country setting somewhere. Food, music, reading and travel are high up there on the list of things she loves reading and writing about. Writing to her is, like life itself, an adventure – a journey to find her place, to define and redefine who she is over and over again and to live and learn through the process.