It was a desolate evening in the peak of summer
Clouds gathered in the sky to spread a gray roof overhead
Not a single leaf stirred…not a single bird chirped
Deadly silence spread its cloak on sky, Earth, man and bird alike!
I roamed around in the almost empty streets
And felt a ‘killing’ sense of boredom envelope me
I crossed the road and sat by a pond in the park
And watched the passers-by taking their stroll
There came a young lady with a four-year old
The child kept prattling without a break
And the mother patiently listened, smiled and nodded in consent
They were in a world of their own…of love, of bond, of trust, of sharing!
Then came a man in his fifties with his dog which kept pace with him
He kept talking to it and it wagged its tail and ‘woofed’ and ‘woofed’
Such good company the two made for each other
That I wished I had a pet to talk to , to share with, to love and be loved!
All of a sudden the sky turned to a bluish purple
And shed a purple hue on all of us
It struck me that the moods of the sky are beyond comprehension
One minute gray, then turns to blue, and then to purple, and then to blue again!
My thoughts were interrupted by a friend calling out my name
I turned around and saw him walking towards me
He came and sat beside me and told me about the day’s events
About how he had paid a visit to the countryside and had a great time!
He told me that it was his first visit to his countryside in the last five years
For, he had been busy at work during day and at the club in the evenings
And had been leading his life like a robot
From the time he got up to the time he went to bed, it went on the same way, for years and years!
But it took its toll on him and he got so bored in life that he wanted to get away
It was then that his wife had a brainwave…to visit her parents in the countryside
So with his wife and kids, bag and baggage he left for their ‘retreat’
A beautiful farmhouse with a smiling housekeeper at the doorstep to welcome them!
“The surroundings were idyllic …farms and farms with blooms of new crops coming up
Trees and shades and birds and rabbits and all Nature’s sounds
Brooks and ponds and water gushing everywhere
It was all music to the ears! Eden to the eyes! A Feast to the senses!
We went for early morning walks, we trekked some days
We learnt a little about farming and harvesting
We plucked fresh fruits, we did gardening and had fresh soup
We had dreamless sleep and we woke up , fresh, alive, rejuvenated , every morning!
Far, far , from the madding crowd we found our haven
Haven of love, peace , and the profundity of true Silence
And, before we realized it, it was time for us to leave
To return to our routine life, the stress, the din and the boredom of monotony!”
He broke his reverie with a sigh when he was tapped on the shoulder by his son
To remind him that they had finished their purchase and it was time to go home
He said goodbye to me and left
Leaving behind him nostalgic memories of their wonderful ‘retreat’!
The thought of sprawling farms and lush greenery
Of hiding rabbits and chasing hunters
Of plucking fruits and harvesting crops
Kept flooding my mind, to chase away the sense of boredom !
Suddenly it flashed upon my mind that boredom can set in anywhere
Be it the countryside, be it the city
Be it while trekking, or be it while catching rabbits
Be it while farming, or be it while harvesting!
For, I am sure, that those who get used to the sights and sounds
And to the daily routine of the country side
Must be feeling monotony in all that we find thrilling!
Be it farming, be it gardening, be it trekking, or be it harvesting!
And my mind looked back on all those things that held my interest once
My work, my club, my tennis sessions and my outings with my family
I realized with regret that they no longer were interesting for me but just ‘mechanical exercises’!
So monotony or boredom is not in the sense objects or their stimuli!
Monotony and boredom are in the human mind
Which falls into pattern-thinking in the wrong context
Pattern-thinking for completing a numerical series is a skill
Whereas the same, for looking at one’s life and what it offers, is a disadvantage!
Beware! Let us not let our mind fall into the same pattern of our daily life
Let us go about our daily work as if we were doing it for the first time, each and every time
Let us live moment-to-moment with our body, our thoughts and our mind
Coming into harmony with the breath , to make life vibrant, dynamic, thrilling!
‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop ‘ – so is it rightly said
But, once awakened in Spirit , it becomes the guiding light
And the mind expands to look at life with a new perspective
And when the mind expands, the Frankeinsteins of boredom, loneliness and depression vanish into thin air!
The rejuvenated mind rejuvenates the body in turn
The fortunate seeker, in this state, lives life, celebrating every experience
He is as much to himself in a crowd, as he is when he is alone-‘’the Retreat into the depths of the SELF”
Peace, Contentment , love and creativity are born from the womb of solitude!
By solitude , I mean, the mental state of such a human being
And not physically running away from the real-life-scenario as ordained for him by Nature
He is totally in sync with Nature, Creation and God and what they offer him
So also is he comfortable in his surroundings, like a fish in water!
So, this encounter with my friend was a priceless tool to make me realize
That whenever I get bored, I have stopped moving and am static and rusting
And it’s time to introspect and do something about it
Yes! To do anything that will bring me back to my centre, to Myself
For, Nature has designed me to be alive, blissful and dynamic
And to treasure every second of this precious lifetime
Goodbye to monotony! Goodbye to boredom! Goodbye to loneliness!
For, every moment I say to myself “ I love you! Live life to the full and celebrate it every moment!”