Random musings of a wandering soul

The Busy Life

Certain places and people can send you on a reflective trip.The pace slackens, mind starts unwinding, eyes turn dreamy, thoughts go philosophical, mood gets introspective and the journey is almost meditative. My sister’s place in Northern Kerala is one such. The house stands on a slightly elevated piece of land, the open veranda overlooks green patches of tapioca, bananas, coconut and arecanut trees, with a narrow stream of water running in between. Afternoons are cool and breezy, you don’t need a fan eeven in the heights of summer.

Languishing on the veranda after a sumptuous lunch, I often think about how different even close siblings can be. I was always a book worm, she would barely touch them even just before exams. Kitchen was an anathema for me, she loved being a home body. I was very clear what I wanted out of life, she was very clear on what she did not want in hers. She is a charming home maker, with a house that is devoid of clutter and dust, her two daughters serene and calm and a husband who is gentle and soft spoken. And here I am, balancing two lives, alteranting my ego between a busy professional and a mother and wife,running in, out and sometimes away from a house that seem to have been perenially hit by a whilrwind, a tornado and summer storm all rolled into one.

It makes me wonder, does our surroundings influence us or is it us that mould what is around us? One of the best holidays that we have gone on was to Red Hills, Ooty, more than six years ago. It is a 125 year old bungalow, far from the hustle and bustle of the now very commercial town, overlooking a lake that is aptly named ‘Emerald’.Owned by Vijay and Bhanu, one of the best hosts that I have ever come across, this is a place to get away from it all and reconnect with yourself. In places like this, I wake up early to savor those early morning hours of peace and serenity. Every day, I would see Vijay at sharp 7 AM, smartly dressed and sitting on the garden bench, in a seemingly contemplative mood with a faraway look in his eyes. Bhanu complemented him so perfectly, they were almost like the two sides of the same coin. Both gentle in their demeanour, courteous in their behaviour, impeccable in their bearing, they reflected the mood of the nature around their lovely home. It was as if they had turned into images of their surroundings.

We felt as if we were visiting close friends. The meals were served in their dining room, shared with the other guests. Those fond memories took us back there again after four years. The place had changed, with more rooms added in their property, meals were served in a restaurant like place that was added on, and we barely met the hosts. They seemed to have changed along with the atmosphere. The weather was still cool, but the hearts were turning cold. I believe they changed in tandem with their aspirations. What was once a joy for them had now become a business, and the guests had now turned into customers.

Isn’t that what happens to most of us? While trying to understand a process, we have been taught to ask 5 why’s to get to the root of any issue. What if we apply it to our life as well? Why do we run around so much? Yes, it is to make a good life. But then, what is the definition of a good life? Why do we want it? To keep us and our family happy? Why do you think they would be happy with more money?….The more you continue asking these questions, you will finally realize the futility of it all. When did we forget to be satisfied with our basic necessities and little bit of luxury here and there?

As our aspirations grow, the pace of our life also changes. Remember those days when everyone was back home early, a little bit of studies for the kids, an evening prayer and a dinner where all in the family sat around the table, talking for hours? How often do we do that now? We have turned into automatons without even realizing it. In the mad rush, do we even realize that the things that truly matter are passing us by? The wise ones have given us enough warnings, it is up to us whether to heed it or not.

(pictures courtesy – google images)

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Comments on: "The Busy Life" (26)

  1. The places you describe sound lovely. I can understand your sadness that one of them changed, but there will be other places for you.

  2. You know a few years back working in my hometown I used to look at my friends and think… I am earning so lil and have so much free time and am having too much fun… I was 28 or so and thought to myself that I should be earning more and working harder in this phase of life so that I could relax more when older… I changed my career… I thought I was too lazy and needed a boss… I got into a job to another town (indore) then 3 years there and I would think of my friends of my town of my parents and tears would roll down watching photographs of them…

    now after returning back to that life… where admittedly money is not in that plentiful yet enough… slowly increasing surely… I have so much more time for myself and my family and so much more fun … a lot of people actually envy my lifestyle.. even my jobbing wife… πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I guess I am fortunate to realize what I really wanted and am in such a better state of mind now… yes… I might rant in a couple of years about something new… but atleast for the moment I am having a ball πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Hitchy, you were one of the friends that I thought about while writing this. I truly admire your decision. Someone very close to me is going through the same pangs….hopefully the path will be clear for him soon πŸ™‚

  3. Very true. Most of us are in a rush that we forget to enjoy the precious things that we have. We are always after something and when we reach there the goal will move forward. This rat race will bring us only frustration and depression. So it is better to slow down and enjoy what we have while it is not too late. Money is essential but it is not everything. And you can be happy where ever you are. It is in the mind. Yes, calm and serene surroundings will help improve it, but it is not a necessity.

    • Yes Alexis, the more we have, the more we seem to want.
      I agree, you don’t need calm surroundings to lead a peaceful life, but such surroundings definitely sets you thinking, and it does help calm you down, at least to a certain extent

  4. You have a way with words when it comes to describing nature.

    Similar thoughts have been haunting me for quite a while. “We have no time to stand and stare…” How sad!

  5. well when i was in india I had so much time and now i have come here dont seem to have time for anything .. to do a small thing I have to take a day off .. money is a lot more but dont have time to spend it ..

    and all i think now is home back home , waiting for the day when i am able to go back .. moreover as we are gaining new things we forget that we are losing a lot tooo ..

  6. Love love LOVE this post πŸ™‚

    I am in one of those phases right now… trying to figure out what I want from life. It’s so confusing, trying to balance everything.

    As they say…this too shall pass. I guess!!

  7. Such a well written post n u hv so well droven hom ethe point. Makes me wonder too, is there a purpose in all this hustle-bustle of our daily life as compared to say the more realxed life admist nature spent by few of my cousin back in hometown. Is my quality of life really betta than theirs?

    • Exactly, Meena!
      What we call quality of life, is that the real one? Looking at the world around us today, more and more I tend to belive that the life of our parents and grandparents were much better. Sometimes I feel the moe we think the more confused we get. No wonder someone said,’Ignorance is Bliss’ πŸ™‚

  8. Priorities and priorities!! You said it so well!! And, slightly off topic: I just love Calvin and Hobbes!

  9. I guess it’s all about the choices we make. There was a time I was running around chasing my own tail and feeling dissatisfied. Thankfully, my husband is someone who has opted out of the rat race. That made it easier for me to do too. However, I’m prone to doing things that make me busy – a habit I’m trying to shed. Loved the reflections. β™₯

  10. Bindu,
    That was really calming post which brings peace to the mind at the same time lots of inputs to rethink about what we are keep on doing with our life.Thanks.

  11. Loved this post Bindu…..esp about ur sister. Maybe bcoz I’ve thought the same thoughts but I’m the other sister here :-).

    I love Calvin & Hobbes πŸ˜€

  12. I know what you mean. I have experienced something similar ay my Nani’s house in Dalhousie. Even though I haven’t been there in the past 15 years, the memories of childhood spent there still brings smile to my face.

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