The Importance of Being Lazy

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Last week I did something that shocked my family and a few really close friends.

I took a week off – from both, professional and household work. Just.Like.That. I decided to take a break. With just one agenda – Do absolutely nothing! Not to travel. Not to learn something new. Not to finish errands. But, to do NOTHING.

They were surprised (‘shocked’, really now, was an overstatement 🙂 ) because I am the kind of person who does not believe in breaks. I am someone who feels obliged to do SOMETHING every moment of life. I think it comes from my paranoia that every moment I do not do something, is a moment wasted. I call it paranoia, coz it really is an unhealthy obsession at times.

So, how did I, the great time-paranoid, think of such an awesome idea?

Am not sure, really. Maybe the mounting life-stress got to me. Or maybe I just realized the importance of slowing down a little. Or maybe the self-help positive messages that the social media bombards at us these days made me stop and think.

However, whatever may have triggered it, the more important question here is did I succeed in this task (Oh god, I think of doing nothing as a task too. I need help!) At the end of the week, I Googled ‘The importance of being lazy’ just to get an idea of what people do, to do nothing. And I found that I was indeed, quite unsuccessful in this very-difficult task. No, I hadn’t just strolled or wandered around the garden or the streets of my city. I hadn’t sat by the window staring into nothingness or the ever-pouring rain. I hadn’t laid on the bed, doing nothing in particular. No, I hadn’t done any of these blissful nothings.

But, the best part is, I didn’t do anything of significance either. So, when one of my friends asked “how was my break week, what did i do?” and I instantly replied “nothing really”, it was one of the life-altering moments for me. I had succeeded, even though just a little bit, in ‘wasting’ my week, by not fretting over things to do.

And I am proud. And I look forward to more of these far and between breaks. They will slowly teach me the importance  of being lazy. Cheers to the lazy in me 🙂

**

Here’s some food for thought, on this amazing concept of laziness.

“O Laziness, mother of the arts and noble virtues, be thou the balm of human anguish.” ~ Paul Lafargue, The Right to be Lazy

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Shades of Love – VI

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She loved train journeys. Even when they took almost half her day. She cherished that time to listen to music or catch up with friends or simply go down the memory lane and day dream. Day dream, by the way, was her favourite thing to do.

And today she was especially looking forward to her solitary travel time. It was Valentine ’s Day. A day she lived for. Well, not really. But she lived for the idea of romance. And the fairy tale that it was. And it was her 5th Valentine with the love of her life, but only the first one she was actually going to celebrate with him. This train travel was dedicated to the memories she had made with him, right from the day she met him to the day he proposed and to their wedding day. It was going to be a lovely stroll down the memory lane, indeed.

Her day in office was spent in a blur. Her focus was the evening planned with her hubby – a quiet dinner, just him and her. Holding hands and talking about nothing in particular, while the world went by. Oh, how she had craved for this beautiful day with him. Now, only if the clock would do its work and move ahead – it was somehow ridiculously slow today!

Her cell phone beeped. Right she was. Hubby it was! She opened the message with hearts in eyes (yes, she was like that. She was the hearts-in-your-eyes kind of romantic). Only to be disappointed with her fate. “Guddu. Have bad stomach ache. I think I should head home. Let’s celebrate over the weekend.”

Pop! She actually heard her heart bubble burst. She packed her bag and left for the day. Back in the train. “Girls! Can you believe it? He has stomach ache and our date is off. L” She messaged her dearer-than-sisters girl gang. “Aww… no worries girl. Celebrate tomorrow. The weekend is yours.” came the reply. “Ya. Sure. Just disappointed. See ya”.

Maybe I should get a cake at least. We will eat at home, if we can’t go out. “He has stomach problems, if you didn’t get it, dodo” she realised. Another pop.

But she was little miss sunshine right? Her friends called her that for a reason. And her hubby was waiting for her, right? So, pushing the disappointment away, she opened the door to her house with a smile on her face. And the smile stuck there. For a good 15 minutes.

Her house was dark. Only candles lit it up. There were a hundred heart-shaped red balloons dancing on the floor. The dining table was full of even more red balloons, surrounding a heart-shaped, yummy looking cake and a card that said “I love you’. Soft music playing. And hubby smiling, arms open for her to fit there. She realised that her fake smile was still pasted on her face. But it was fake no more. She was radiant and she was smiling. Non-stop.

Her hubby stood wondering. Is the room lit up by the candles or the glow on his wife’s face? His smile widened. “Hi honey. Happy Valentine’s day!”

Love indeed, was a fairy-tale. You just have to wait for it.

Shades of Love – V

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He just did not get it, did he? Gawd, how did I spend three whole years of my life with him, she wondered. Irritating as hell, addicted to work, and dedicated to make her life hell. This is how she summed up her husband. On good days. On bad days (like the current PMS phase), she felt like murdering him. Or take an easier step and just divorce him.

But he just wouldn’t go. She wondered what would finally make him go. She believed she would some day drive him so crazy that he would have no choice but to leave. Yes, he was irritating. But it was mostly her who was responsible for the crazed life they shared. After all, she was the one with tantrum issues.

Thank god for him.

Like it happened at least once every month, they had had a good round of arguments at the start of the week itself. And this time, the ‘I am not talking to you’ phase had carried on through the week. She was pissed with him. But she was used to it. So, life was good.

They had a plan with their couple friends with whom they hung out quite a lot. What better day to enjoy ice-cream than on a cool Valentine’s Day evening. Two couples. Ice-cream. Happiness. With one couple ignoring each other. Perfect.

But, the ice-cream was never meant to be. It was meant to melt away, lonely, uneaten. Ok, to cut the crap, like always, the plan got chucked. This time coz she went off to sleep at the dinner table itself. Tired. And a bit pissed still. Poor hubby never thought Valentine’s Day could be so sad indeed.

The next morning was one of the best ones of her life. She woke up late. Groggy and hungry as she was, the smell of deliciously prepared fish curry hit her senses and jolted her to reality. Her hubby was cooking lunch for her. She tiptoed into the living room, to find a DVD of her favourite Bollywood romantic movie gift-wrapped for her. Mister hubby had been busy all right. Still continuing the ‘I am pissed’ drama, she went for a shower, only to find a cute little top, bundled for her. WOW. Is a person not allowed to stay mad with this man for even a week!

She rushed to the kitchen. “Stop being so awesome ok. And I love the gifts.” “I know. Come, taste the fish and tell me how it is.” “You are only fishing for compliments, aren’t you…” He was never going anywhere…

Kiss kiss

Shades of Love – IV

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“Whoever gets the next card will get proposed on Valentine’s Day.”

And, to her utter dismay, it was her hubby dearest who got that card. She knew it was just a game. But she also knew that the predictions of the card game had an uncanny way of coming true. Sometimes.

The game got over and she instantly forgot about it.

*

It was the Valentine’s Day morning. Like always, she had not thought of anything great to gift to her husband. Yet. Nor had she thought of any cute, special gestures. Yet. Things always struck her at the last moment. If they ever struck her at all.

Seeing her hubby sleep next to her, she wondered if life could get any better. Of course it could. But she realised she was happy with how life currently was. At least at the moment. The peace and the presence of him next to her was still an alien, yet an amazing experience for her.  So what could she do in the one minute she had before setting off to the day’s chores that would make him feel special. And loved. Where were her last-minute-awesome-ideas when she needed them the most!

His phone beeped right then, and she got her super idea. She spent a couple of minutes on his phone, gave him a quick kiss, and set off to tick off her morning tasks.

The day passed by. And all the plans for the Valentine’s Day celebration flopped. Post dinner, they were content to pass time at home, together, doing nothing at all. Just then she remembered. Her hubby was going to get proposed today. The cards had predicted. Her heart beat a tad bit faster now.

“So you didn’t get me any gift today. Did you eat the  the Fruit n Nut I gave you?”

“I am taking you shopping tomorrow.”

“Hmm. Nope, I don’t need anything. So did you get proposed today?”

A playful smile spread on his face. “Yes, actually I did…” Three years back, he had proposed her on the very same day. And now, someone else had come in between…

A skipped heart beat. “What? Who is she!”

“Someone I have come to love. A lot.”

Double skipped beat. “Hmm. Naice ha. How did she propose?”

“She set an alarm on my phone, which said that she was crazy about me. I was waiting to tell her that I am crazy about her right back…”

And she remembered the alarm she had put for him in the morning. Several alarms in fact. At an interval of one hour each. Professing her love for him. Her Valentine for three years running was sweet after all.

Shades of Love – II

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The entire week was pathetic. Work work work. No play. No fun. She was bogged down with so much work. And her colleagues were not helping either. Going on vacations. Burdening her with extra work. Leaving her with no time for self.

Not like she was complaining. Not like she had a hubby waiting for her at home. Or a boyfriend demanding her time. And she was in the best spot as far as her career was concerned. She wasn’t asking for more. Really.

She was just asking for a little bit. She was just asking for the so-called ‘love of her life’ to make an appearance in her life. At least sometime this year. Sooner the better. Just let her know that, it’s him she is waiting for. She would take it from there. And make him arrive faster.

But as the love gods would have it. No such sign. No such man. Such was life. Sometimes, she wished her life was a movie. A rom-com at that. At least the love would make an appearance within 2 hours. And the men were almost always gorgeous. Sumptuous. Delish….

“Hey girl. What plans for the day?” asked her just-out-of-the-college colleague. She gave the young one a dark expression that said ‘don’t mess with me, if you want to keep your job’. The young butterfly got the message and went on digging up Internet archives for story ideas to please the boss.

Wasn’t she tired already? Of waiting? For the ‘man of her life’. Her girl gang, her ‘best friends for ever’ had spent the past few days cheering her up about the never-ending wait. What was the hurry, they said. You are still so young. Enjoy life, free as a bird. Ya right, she felt like arguing. Let’s swap roles, shall we?

But she did not have time to sulk. Remember, she was bogged down by work? Not like the Godzilla of a boss was gonna feel bad for her and give her the day off, to go enjoy, or maybe sulk herself drunk, since it was Valentine’s Day. The boss couldn’t care less. And so could she.

“Ma’am there is a parcel for you. Please collect it from the reception” said the young lad who doubled up as security and tele-operator at her office. “What. What is it? Are they flowe…what is it?”. “Donuts, I think. Should I open it?” “Noooo. Wait, I’m coming.”

She rushed to the reception. And the card on the box did not make her smile. Instead, it made her heart swell. Who needs a man to make you feel happy and loved on Valentine’s? When you have soul sisters who think of you all the time. And love you. And send you heart-shaped donuts to cheer you up. And to let you know that you are special. And loved, always.

She could not wait to see the excitement transfer to the young-butterfly colleague of hers. Donuts will definitely beam her up, she thought. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. And packages too. And it is the best when it is shared. Yes, she would share the joy. And spread the love. While she happily waited for the man of her life to make an appearance. A hurried one at that.

What dreams are made of…

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Thoughts? Feelings? Achievements? Riches? Experiences?

What makes dreams?

For me, dreams are made of inspiration. They are made of the desire to possess something that makes others respect, admire and envy you so much, that they get inspired by you.

Like this amazingly talented young friend of mine. Check out her very first, live, sitar performance on one of the most revered stages of the city… in the midst of talent that has been at the art, practicing their skills, for years.

I am not much into classical music (you can officially slot me in the ‘music-deaf’ category). So, there is no way on earth I would have gone through the 10 minute ordeal. When she shared the link, I was planning to be the good friend that I am, and not watch it. I would compliment her the next time I met her, saying how her performance was ‘mesmerizing, to say the least…’

But I watched the entire video. It was that good!

I ended up respecting, admiring and envying her…and getting inspired. To get lost. In what makes you happy. In what will, in turn, make others happy too.

Anshika, you make it to my very personal “Real-life Heroes” list. I wish you courage. I wish you more and more dreams. Go girl!

PS: She is the tiny happiness in the center. 🙂 She has started learning the instrument only six months back. Now you know why its such a big deal!

PS 2!: I love the way all the performers are having a great time playing. See them winking and smiling at each other, sharing secrets we would never know?

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This post is first in the series of my very personal ‘Real-life Heroes’ list. Watch this space for more, well… ‘real-life inspiration’ 😉

2014 is a new year for me….

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Yes, of course, it is a new year for you too! Wish you the bestest, happiest year, ever. 🙂

But, it is a ‘new year’ for me, because it is a year that has inspired me to change my life. Not that it doesn’t change enough already, all the time, any time! … but, this year has inspired me to change my life exactly the way i want it. It is the first time that i have made a list of new year resolutions!

So, here are my little notes to self, for 2014:

  1. Get less angry with my family members. (yes, even when they haven’t resolved to tick me off less often!)
  2. Dare. More than i do currently. To do, say and believe whatever I like.
  3. Maintain a blog. (I started one, I started one!)
  4. Act. Not just think, plan, conspire, ideate…
  5. Get inspired to be happy. Each day. Every day.
  6. Make 2014 the best year of my life, so far! (the start seems kick-the-tiny-ass already!)

Every year-end, we look back at the all the things that happened that year, to see how the year treated us. I wish to look back at 2014 to see how I treated it, for a change! Power to me 😉

Ending with a note by Mr. Coelho, my favourite go-to person when i want to set off my mind to wander and wonder…

“I will keep smiling, because it pleases me to know that people think I am mad.
My smile is my way of saying: ‘You can destroy my body, but not my soul.” http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/12/31/2013-the-first-year-of-the-rest-of-my-life/