Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Day in Isolation

                                        A Day in Isolation

There is this day every year when I spend the whole day in isolation. I sort of turn the clock back to a time when I didn't have a computer at home -or a smartphone-and was happily jobless. I make it a point to stay away from television, radio or even a newspaper, on that day. Phew! Life-or lifestyle -has changed so much...

One hour into my resolution, I found myself fighting withdrawal symptoms. I felt restless, frustrated and cut-off. I was quick to notice why. My smartphone was switched off and my laptop shut down. It was as though my window to the world was closed. I started breathing heavily. Such dependence on WhatsApp, Facebook or Gmail for that matter! The world of pseudo connectivity that I had built around myself was crumbling with every passing minute.And I started facing stark reality again...

I tried to remember the last time my friends and I went out-qualitatively. We met every alternate weekend. But by and large, the connect was missing. Every second guy would be texting away on his smartphone or taking a call from a colleague. Somehow, the rapport that was missing when we met face to face seemed to rekindle when we had a group chat online every night! I feared we would at sometime stop meeting and make the Instant Messengers our permanent haven!

Six hours into my resolution, I felt a little better. Some calm was setting in. I was sort of out of the depression that had engulfed me hours ago. The day was meant to be a day for rediscovery. I wanted to ensure that I achieved my objective. I went to my book shelf and picked a book I loved most. I dusted the covers and flipped through the pages. The scent was so pleasant! I had almost forgotten how a book smelled. The rustle of paper as I turned the page; The joy of the afternoon sun peering in through my window to light the lines of the book was something I had long forgotten. Not that I was reading after a long time. But I was feeling a real book in my hands after a long time! I cursed myself for having resorted to PDFs on my smartphone and Laptop which I used to read. And more so, the habit of reading to kill time as I travelled for an eternity to and from work.

Work.How it had changed my life in just more than a year! For the first time that day, I had time to reflect how the equation had changed over time. I had started off enthusiastically. Then developed a love for my work. Sooner than later, I developed a hatred for it. But before I realised all these phases,my relationship with work was in a can't -live -with -or -without phase.Checking mails on Outlook turned from a chore to passion to obsession! I was never a huge fan of money, yet work was something that I currently gave prime importance in life.

Prime importance. I pondered over the word for 15 minutes, 10 hours into my resolution. I mean, did I have anything else to give importance to?? It was half hour of introspection. I turned myself inside out. There was nothing else alive inside me! In some corner of my mind, hidden deep, was a bag of memories-memories of  different facets of my personality that had somehow vanished into oblivion over 2 years. I couldn't even recollect them properly. I pulled my file of certificates out of the drawer. It had been two years since I had seen them. The memories on ventilator slowly came to life as I went through the file. I had missed so much! And this day was slowly giving it all back to me...

 In the midst of all those certificates was a greeting card. 'To "Personality Personified" Wish you a happy birthday! :)' it said. I wondered how I had forgotten this greeting and the person who gave it to me. I chuckled to myself when I realised numerous pages in my diary were dedicated to her some years ago...though she no longer existed in my realm of things anymore. I wondered how this aspect of my life had taken a beating as well. All I found interesting these days were a couple of girls- one on Facebook and the other on WhatsApp-both of them changing their DPs every 10 minutes. The longer I looked at them, the more my interest dwindled. I  was on the verge of accepting that I browsed their profiles out of sheer habit  than anything else. I was appalled at my lack of emotions! How my life had changed....I decided to keep the greeting at a more accessible place, so I could nurse my emotions back to health.

17 hours into my resolution, I felt better than ever. I had played a game of carrom with my brother. I had had a full meal with my family in a long time. For a change, there was no television over dinner that day. We laughed our heart out over trivial things and pulled each other's legs.The whole idea seemed so fresh! I was itching to make that routine entry in my diary. Only, it wouldn't be a routine entry that day. 

As I sat in my favorite place at home after a long time-the sit-out- it was almost a re-birth like feeling. I felt rejuvenated,cheerful and somehow felt my life had a deeper meaning. I resolved to give my life more attention. I resolved to give myself more attention. I opened my diary and went through the last hundred entries.Each one seemed unmistakeably the same-only the order or words would be different. The highs would be a word of appreciation from a senior guy and the lows an escalation from someone else. The pages seemed so dry!And that day, I probably made the most meaningful entry in a long time...

It was the 19th hour of my resolution. I could feel the excitement in a part of my mind about my self-imposed exile ending.I also felt sorry that I still couldn't resist the temptation of switching my smartphone or laptop on-even after this experiencing this elevated state of mind for a day. I mean..I could always contact my friends over land-line..was Facebook or WhatsApp so critical? I questioned myself stupidly. But I knew I would succumb. There was one thing I had to do before the inevitable happened.

I took out a pen and a note pad. I wanted to write. Literally. I was so used to typing on a keyboard that my creativity went numb when I actually wanted to pen my thoughts. They say Creativity is a thing of the mind. But here I was, grappling thoughts in the mind and a pen in the hand-the grip on both of them as feeble as ever!

For two hours, it was sheer torture as I tried to squeeze out my constipated thoughts on paper. Somewhere, the effort must have drained me. When I woke up, it was morning again. All that was on my paper was saliva that I had drooled. The first thing I did after I woke up, was type my experience on this page....but not before I had caught up with my group on WhatsApp..and not before I had updated my status on FaceBook "Back from a day of isolation. Feel rejuvenated". I'm still checking the number of likes and comments each hour. There have been 45 likes and 16 comments.....hoping for a lot more....

An isolation has ended....and an other one has started..

                                                                            --23rd March 2013.

This bit of fiction..would have been the reality at some point in time in our lives...

1 comment:

  1. wow! u have sth important here.. maybe, just maybe, we dont need face to face any more, and just make it sound so awesome bcs.. well, somehow, everyone tells us it is awesome. but if it is awesome, we should feel it too, right?

    on other thoughts, maybe it is to each his own. i dont answer my phones at all and get on the net twice a day, but that twice a day is super important to me. :)