Saturday, 27 December 2008

Getting real

Easily one of the most boring days of my life. I could not well ever imagine that I could ever be bored especially doing nothing. I know that sounds strange, but it is true - I have, all my life, never found doing nothing as remotely boring. In fact, on the contrary, I find it greatly invigorating. Quite comforting to know that one has all the time in the world to do all the inane stuff that one wants to do.

Some of the shining examples of my endeavors, in this regard, include sorting out the hard disk of my laptop – you know the usual stuff like sorting out the files, deleting unnecessary stuff, bringing it all together in one place, so that it looks nice and is easy to access. One avocation that I have a go at, (might I say ‘with a vengeance’) is reading news and geopolitical stuff on the internet. I follow current events and issues (of rather flammable type), with quite a vigor. And then there is the issue of mastery of the irrelevant – in which the Internet, and to be more specific- Wikipedia- is my partner in crime. I usually come home from office and before I sleep, almost always read up something on this site. Then there is the issue of repairing stuff (lamps, computer, flower vase) etc. Not to forget my inclination towards things spiritual. I can get on with that for a lot of time, you know.

However, I could not bring myself to do anything of that sort today. It is a kind of surprising that I could be afflicted by this malaise called boredom. I find it rather strange, because I could never fathom what boredom was all about. A look into my past, and you will know why I say this; let me give you some examples.

Back in Dharamshala, one of my favorite pastimes was gazing at the sky - specifically, the clouds. I could sit near the window sill, and in one of my favorite positions (feet on the window sill, pushing the chair just as far back on its two hind legs that it won’t topple backwards), and gently rock myself for hours together, gazing at the bright blue sky, waiting for the clouds to take the shape of my thoughts. I could do that for as much time as possible, for as long as possible, till someone broke my reverie, wanted me to go to the market, or study, or do the homework, or something else. Or when I got a call from friends to play marbles with them, or cricket, or some such thing. I could just sit there, and…well…do nothing.

I liked doing another thing as well. My bed was besides a wall, with a window next to it. I liked putting up my feet on the wall, sprawling them so that my ankles rested on the wall. I used to gently sway my legs, and feel the blood rushing into my head, while looking out at the world (well, for a long time I thought that Dharamshala is the entire world, and if I went beyond the paan shop, I would fall of the edge). It used to give some ethereal kind of comfort resting my legs on the wall, and I would continue to do that till it actually drained the blood off my feet, and I could feel the coldness in my toes. The impulse used to be to bring down the feet, but just at that point, I used to push doing it a little longer still, and when the coldness gave way to a mild pain of sorts, I used to bring down the feet. That surge of comfort was never less than heavenly.

When I had absolutely nothing to do, I used to rearrange my room, sift through my books, stack them nicely on the one shelf that was there on the wall, move the bed and fit the table in way that gave the room a little more character, hung my airgun in as regal a manner as possible (replete with a cycle chain to complete the ‘mean’ look), stick car posters so that other kids could see my unique collection from outside the window, work on table lamp so that it was squeaky clean, or better still paint it in garish red color so that it looked new. 

Back then, I could read anything for hours together. One of the greatest imaginary luxuries was to be able to read a mystery novel, cooped up in the bed, but without having to hold the book in either of my hands. It used to be cold outside and it was almost painful to bear it. I always dreamt of a gadget in which I could somehow string the book, keep it on an angle that made my reading easy, and with the help of some mechanics, have the pages sift by themselves, while I lay fully covered in the cosy territory of my warm bed - with both my hands inside the quilt. It does get quite cold in Dharamshala, and I think this is a very legitimate fantasy to have.

I must add that in my true sense of fairness, I used to keep one hand outside the quilt/comforter for exactly the same number of pages as I would keep the other. 2 pages for the right and 2 pages for the left. You might find it funny or even strange, but I have always imagined my body parts to have their own life and character. I know I know, this has a lot to do with fantasy stories that I read in my early childhood, but I always thought of hands as two people – with their own lives, their own set of freinds and families, and their own stories to tell. So I could never bear doing even the least injustice to either of them - I did not like being partial to my left hand, even when I knew that it was right that did most of the work. Look, I know which hand to reward more in normal circumstances, but winter is a different thing altogether. One has to be magnanimous.

I think the reason I never got bored of anything back then, was because there was an inner world I was always busy with, always intrigued in,  and most of the time absorbed in. I used to dream with my eyes open, and was perpetually lost in doing so, bereft of the reality around me.

I think I have started becoming bored because I have started looking outwards to keep myself busy.

I am getting real. 

Is that good or bad?



  1. You are a weird one. That makes us brothers. :)

  2. Bored?! I think he was just missing Aadi and me since there was nobody left to try his ministrations and experiments on :)