Extraordinary in the ordinary

The solitary reaper

It was a day that I had spent with myself even though I deeply cherish my friends. It was a day when I had talked to no one but myself even though I am not a loner.
Published at The Tribune.

I woke up on a Saturday morning after a good eight-hour sleep, with my body and mind amply rejuvenated. I stretched my backbone and sat cross-legged, facing a bright red dot on the wall. I focused all my energies on it, filtering out unnecessary thoughts that unconsciously clog the mind. After this simple 15 minutes of meditation, I relished a glass of fresh lemon juice, and fed my pet parrots and a host of pigeons who were eagerly waiting for their daily diet of oil seeds. I also watered my little bunch of ferns followed by a quick scan of the day’s headlines.

Now it was time to enjoy the outdoors. I wore a colourful dress coupled with dangling jhumkas, caught hold of my sling bag, and slipped into my favourite Kolhapuri chappals. I was set to check out the streets of Mumbai, without any fixed agenda in my head. I was ready to experience the city as it is – brimming with energy, anticipation and vibrancy. I walked for a kilometre or so until a handicrafts store caught my attention. It had the nicest ethnic wear ever. I picked up a coral pink dress. Highly pleased with my purchase, I realised I was hungry. So I treated myself to an assortment of veggies and salad leaves that I had never tried before, followed by a sizeable jar of the good old iced cold coffee. Satiated, I walked further and chanced upon a ‘Circulating Library.’ I spent an hour literally rummaging through the world of literature and picked up a few works.

Consumed by pangs of intellectual stimulation, I walked further and settled down at a café. What can be more blissful than a book in hand and a filter coffee by your side? By then, it was evening. I walked on Carter Road, watching the flow of sea waves and the kaleidoscopic view of people engaged in their own lives. It was a cauldron of an amazingly unique set of activities. Close to sunset, I headed to Prithvi Theatre. Lucky to be in time for a play, for the next two hours, I was lost in a world of riveting characters played by the most talented theatre artists. As I headed back home, I found my soul composing a symphony of sorts.

It was a day that I had spent with myself even though I deeply cherish the wonderful friends I have to go out with.

It was a day when my soul was perfectly in sync with my mind even though I am blessed with a loving husband and a great work life.

It was a day when I had talked to no one but myself even though I am not a loner.

Little do people appreciate the thin, yet significant line of difference between being lonely and being with oneself. While a lonely person may not always be a happy one, but a person who is at peace with spending time with oneself without being reclusive of the goodness in the world, is surely moving towards empowerment. Spending time alone is an essential way to hear our inner voice, connect with our sub-conscious mind, and maintain our identity.

Let each one of us nurture and unleash the unique beauty and spontaneity of the Solitary Reaper. Let William Wordsworth’s creation reincarnate herself in customised avatars that we choose for her, and in turn, for us.

This article was published at The Tribune.

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