Once again, crystal balls will be dropped in Time Square, NY and elsewhere while fireworks will light up the skies around the world as we bid farewell to a decade and prepare to welcome 2020. Personal resolutions will be made and in some cases, may even survive the passage of time beyond the first few weeks of the New Year.
In India, most people regularly talk about “time pass”. It is generally used to express something mediocre like, “Movie theek thi (okay), time pass type.” A person is also said to engage in “time pass” when engaged in unproductive activities, just to pass time. Author Marty Rubin states however that “Time does not pass, it continues”.
Perhaps it is just a function of my growing older or, constant exposure to gadgets that intrude on our private moments but everyone I speak with, claim to be very busy, all the time. Do we choose to add more stress to our already busy lives? Our obsession with smartphones for instance. There is this urge to constantly check for and immediately react (not respond, for that involves thoughtful consideration) to messages, texts, missed calls and emails. Reviewing the same trending news from multiple sources and tweeting, retweeting or recirculating the same messages to a captive “chat group”. I have noticed people sitting in movie theatres checking their devices. What could be so important, I wonder, that causes these people to revoke the very thing they have come to do – relax and enjoy themselves. Is it a feeling of self-grandeur or the lack of time management skills?
Last week, I had the chance to spend time with a three-year old kid and learnt a great deal from observing his behaviour. His single-minded focus when assembling puzzles, rejecting any offers of help; no vacillation in deciding on the food he wished to eat at different mealtimes; clarity in selecting the books to be read at bedtime. I realized that he was prioritizing his activities, focusing entirely on one thing before tackling the next.
Famous Author, Journalist and Philanthropist Mitch Albom writes in his book, The Time Keeper, “… once we began to chime the hours, we lost the ability to be satisfied. … There (is) always a quest for more minutes, more hours, faster progress to accomplish more in each day. The simple joy of living between sunrises (is) gone.”
So, please take a pause to sit alone and enjoy quality time with your own self. No TV. No iPod. No radio. No texting. No emails. No distraction. Only SILENCE. While sounds can be classified and defined, Silence can only be experienced. Disconnect from other channels to connect with your self. A de-cluttered and relaxed mind is able to think clearly.
Finally, as an antidote to the growing intolerance that we are witnessing everywhere, I conclude with this iltija (request) from an unknown shaayar (poet):
|… Ab ki baar mil ke yuuñ saal-e-nau manāeñge||This time, together we will celebrate the New Year thus …|
|ranjisheñ bhulā kar hum nafrateñ miTā.enge||forgetting past ill-will / hostilities, we will wipe out hatred|
Best wishes for a healthy, peaceful and harmonious Year ahead.