Tag Archives: crowd

my Gemini twins

Loneliness and boredom are the twins that reside within me. Like spoilt brats they quarrel all the time and vie for my attention. And like a hassled mom I try to favour them both equally. No wonder then that I feel bored and lonely in equal measure – all the time!

Sometimes I’m amidst a million people and I suddenly feel so alone. Like a stranger amidst a sea of familiar faces. Then there are times when I’m alone and incredibly bored. Making me wish there were people around me creating a comforting cacophony.

I wait all week for the weekend. On Friday I’m my chirpiest best at work. As a rule I do not go in to work on Saturdays. Given my pathetic social life, the weekend is generally dedicated to activities that centre around my daughter. So I plan in advance and think up of things that will interest her. When the weather is good, I plan picnics with her friends. I scan the papers to look for plays or events that would be interesting for her. Sometimes we plan a chef style weekend and bake cakes and cookies. So, usually by Friday I know what I’m going to do over the weekend. Why then does boredom set in on Saturday mornings? I go through the motions of the well laid out plan. By evening I’m gloomy. Not that this happens as a rule – but the Gemini twins within me do seem to control the pitutary glad a lot!

So am I feeding these twins and letting them grow? Should I ignore them and hope that they will die starved of attention? But I have no idea how I can ignore them. Like babies in the womb they kick and prod, claw and scratch. Until I pay them some attention.  They nonchalantly toss away my sense of joy like  a much abused toy. Then they go ahead and play with my emotions. And then I go from irritation to guilt to anger to loneliness to acute boredom…

Many years ago I attended a 10-day yoga session. I still remember the face of my master. It was incredibly devoid of worries. So fresh and clear. So peaceful. I swear he was glowing.  How is it possible to not worry or feel upset or guilty or angry or even exuberant? To just be. To be  so wholly at peace with oneself. And all these years later I’m still wondering. Of course, as you can see I have reached nowhere.

I want to put an end to these parasitic twins. I want to feel contented. I just want to be. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can do that?

Sunday evening at Marina

Admittedly Chennai’s Marina beach does not feature anywhere amongst the most peaceful places on earth. Certainly not so on a Sunday evening when about a zillion cackling, screaming, plastic laden population descends upon its shores. If you’re snorting and laughing at me for even mentioning the oxymoron here – hold your breath…

It was my daughter M who decided (sigh! as always) that we all need to go to the beach in the evening for some fresh air. “Not to wet my feet amma. ‘Cos I don’t wanna get all that icky sand on my leg. Just to play in dry sand and get some fresh air.” She declared.

So as ordained by the mistress of the house we reached the beach, struggled to park the car and managed to squeeze it in somewhere – feeling much like Mr. Bean carefully parking his mass of metal.

We stepped out of the air conditioned environment of the car and the sea breeze hit us like a sucker punch. The breeze was so strong it left me breathless for a few seconds! Wow. Ages since I felt such fresh, cool breeze on my face. It felt good. I was instantly grateful to my little princess for suggesting this happy outing.

We stepped in to cool sand and navigated our way past the various species of human race that had assembled at the beach. The ‘bajji’ ladies were doing brisk business. Merrily frying onion/cauliflower/potato/chilly/brinjal and other yummy smelling varieties of bajjis in their giant woks filled with oil. All of it served so casually in oil stained newspapers.

The sundal/murukku guy was also enjoying his weekend bonus. He followed us for a while, hoping we will get tempted, but then trailed off. A guy in a four wheel cart was selling something white and fibrous. This thing was displayed in a glass jar – I was amazed at how many people were buying that suspicious looking thing!

The most amazing of all were the corn sellers. They were roasting corn on a little stove fired by coal and the wind was carrying the embers with it. Making it look like a formation of fireflies! In the fading evening light this looked almost surreal and magical. I stared at it fascinated, until I was pushed ahead by my impatient daughter who wanted to get close to the water.

Finally we reached the edge where land met sea. The sea seemed angry. Spewing forth frothy waves and spitting out all the muck that humanity flings into it. So the shore was lined with all kinds of muck. Plastic glasses. Rubber slippers. A trouser with just one leg intact. A wooden box. And what not!

The air was filled with the fragrance of salt and ozone. A lovely primeval smell that somehow helps you connect with Nature. I sat there with family, watching the waves and inhaling the freshness. Each of us absorbed in our own private world. Each of us deriving our own sense of peace. Each of us incredibly alone amidst this mass of humanity.

It made me feel so humble. It’s so true that ultimately you are all alone. You need to find your own peace and your own happiness. Amidst a zillion screaming people, amidst the tinkling of the sundal seller’s bells…I felt so calm. Amidst the slapping wind, the thrashing waves and the flying corn embers I found peace. Nothing else mattered at that moment.

Yes. It’s true. I felt it. You can find peace – no matter where you are. Yeah even at Marina beach on a heavily crowded Sunday evening – you can.