Solitude


A few years back, we went on a trip to Leh, Ladakh in the Himalayan region of India. The rugged terrain was simply breathtaking, and at many moments during our trip we stood awestruck by the glory of Mother Nature.

We had to travel for many hours by road each day to visit all the tourist spots in the region. We had lots of time to take in the scenery, to ponder over the majestic mountains and to think about the deeper meaning of life.

On one such road trip, I saw a lone biker, going up the treacherous terrain, where the cliffs had sheer drops. As the road snaked its way up the mountain, the biker came into sight on and off, two or three roads higher than where we were.

I asked myself why he was braving this terrain all alone? But then, I realized that he probably craved solitude, a time for himself to take on new challenges, a time to rejuvenate in the cold air of the mountains, a time to climb higher and leave behind the trivia of everyday living.

Cut to this morning. When I was on my walk, I was stopped in my tracks by the image of a woman who was seated under a tree, reading a book; with golden sunshine spilling over all the greenery around. She was totally immersed in the magic of the writer’s spell, enjoying her time alone.

Further along my walk, I met a little bird, alone in the bushes, probably seeking some solitude from his busy day.

Even I do this sometimes; slink away to my room to enter the world of books and let my imagination wander, or go on long solitary walks with my thoughts, or just sip my filter coffee and stare into space with a mind empty of all thought.

Solitude, a much needed rejuvenation!

Moments of nothingness


The week’s craziness has abated, though not completely. This is the Indian festival season. Navratri’s barely over, and we are already barrelling towards Deepavali.

After many days, this morning I got a few minutes to sit on my living room couch and gaze out through the balcony window. A few moments of nothingness.

I believe that looking out at the world outside is immensely therapeutic; you are oblivious to your own self, as you watch life happening outside.There is so much contentment in just being.

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            Courtesy – en.wikipedia.org

As I watched, a lazy pigeon feather swirled round and round, enjoying the gentle breeze on its way down. A beautiful pigeon sat on the balcony grill and watched the world. My hibiscus plant moved gently with the wind. Crisp laundry fluttered in the service areas of many homes. Curtains billowed in the breeze.

Faraway, traffic moved at the junction; cars and buses filled with people. Everybody with a purpose, going somewhere, meeting someone.

Birds chirped; and now and then clouds hid the Sun from view.

I felt philosophical, as I watched life happen around me.

Most days we run from one mad chore to the next, never stopping or slowing down, never pausing to see that the plants in our balconies have grown buds, or that the orchids are in full bloom. Sometimes the cacophony of our minds and the noise of traffic and technology hide the beautiful music of chirping birds and the whispering breeze.

It truly felt great to observe and not participate. Before I got dragged into the chaos of everyday chores, I took a few deep breaths and enjoyed my few moments of nothingness.