Time has a weird way of flowing. Sometimes you’re struggling to breathe through the sheer inability to get things moving, the utter boredom of it all. And then before you know it, you wish there was one more day to the weekend, so that you can wallow in the boredom of it all.
It has been more than a week since I picked up Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty”. I got warned by a lot of reviews and people who had read it, that it might not be smooth sailing. After all this time, I’ve gotten to some 140 pages out of 445 and am sitting in front of my MBP updating my blog, only to avoid reading it. The pedantic part of me won’t pick up another book until this is finished. But I would have to move to a “bring down the book” mode, where I plan out a number of pages each day to get to the end of it. Some books reward that approach, by being better towards the end, or just being great but not racy. Some just need to be finished for the numbers.
Either way, here I am, updating the blog. I remember mentioning at the end of the last year how I am in a happier place. Turns out that might have something to do with End-of-Year vibes – to have holidays to look forward to, to vacations that I usually plan around the end of the year, etc. The start of each year is the same – to look at the monotony of getting past a year, to see another short winter go away and get replaced by another searing summer. This time am painting the roof white to mitigate some of the heat. Am not a fan of A/Cs or air-coolers, I feel like am cheating a season. A summer should see sweat, as much as a winter should see jackets/rugs and the Monsoons, umbrellas. But then I digress, this is more to do with me, how I feel during the start of the year. I wonder if it is the pressure of the rest of the year or just the fact that within a few months there is the realisation that this is going to be yet another year that will be just the same as the previous one. Or maybe it is about getting closer to my birthday, and feeling another year go by. There were years when I looked forward to the birthdays, not anymore though. Who does, anyway?
I don’t know. There are days that I wake up and want to get the whole thing over with. And then there are days when the whole world looks beautiful and I want to get out there and be a part of it. I guess that’s “normal”. I talk to people, put feelers out and get the same response – “Some days are just like that”. Just that am not sure growing up is such a great deal. I wonder if it is possible to get back to the stage of being not self-conscious, not be self-aware, be engaged with what’s happening without the necessity of activity. But then how much is our memory playing truant here? I do remember days of boredom, being in Ulsoor in my uncle’s RBI flat, with the balcony looking out over the lake, watching the Brahminy Kites, those egrets, the vataara under the balcony with its kids spending their summer holidays playing. I wonder if there’s more expectation about having to be in a specific place, the need to earn, and the fears that what not having a job could do. Maybe its not something you think of everyday, but maybe it is a subtle thing that stays all along, that cannot be gotten rid of. I remember the glory days of the recession 6-7 years back, when MS was about to layoff people. I had an actual plan to go all around India, if the axe fell on me – I had just paid off the education loan and felt free. Flash-forward to now, such a thing would mean worries about my flat’s loan EMI, my mother’s medicines, just getting life going in an increasingly expensive city. I wish there were an option to get out of it, to choose something that could get me off the pressure. Like maybe someone could give me a few Crores and let me just retire. But what would I do then? How long would I sustain a life of passiveness?
Oh well, there are no easy answers. Sometimes growing up sucks. Just need to get on with it, and not think about it. Observe the cadences, enjoy those moments when change comes along. As always, find joy in the little things – like the cup of coffee, the cat on its back, letting me pet its neck, the games of tennis.
Little things. Always.