January 28, 2010

Is urban life cluttered. Going by what people have to say after spending time in Arco, it would seem so. What is it that clutters life in the cities. And what is missing here that makes it appear uncluttered.

People come to Arco Iris for a holiday. Naturally, they tend to leave the workplace behind. Given the number of hours that people are spending at their workplace, it follows that time tends to hang, initially lightly when there is no workplace to go to. It can be argued credibly that people do the same over weekends. Yet, there is no sense of this “unclutter”. Could it possibly be that leaving the workplace is one thing and leaving work is quite another. These days, it is impossible to meet a working professional without a blackberry and/ or an ordinary mobile phone and/ or a internet enabled laptop. With these leashes firmly in place, is it not logical to continue to get the feeling of being tethered to the workplace. Thankfully, in and around Arco, the wireless signals fight a losing battle and most of them wireless devices are rendered impotent. The extent to which “connectivity” has inveigled itself into our lives is impossible to realise till we experience otherwise. It has been my personal experience that the “now and here” of mobile communication is so pervasive so as to make us blind sighted to the longer term. I used to be paranoid about responding to mails and unanswered calls. The feeling of self importance is heady and more relevantly, delusional. The world, as it has for so long, will continue spinning. As for telephone calls, the world would be a better place in the absence of these stark inanities which pass off for conversations between friends, spouses and well-wishers.

Then there is thing about “doing nothing”. A few times we have had guests checking in with noble intentions of checking out all the places around Arco and ticking off the list of must-dos and must-sees, only to surrender to the simple pleasure of “doing nothing”. The number of times that this has happened is revealing in itself. The pressure to be doing, or in the least, be seen as doing something is so intense that, guilt quickly dispels any thought of doing nothing. Even a holiday becomes a plank for outdoing the Joneses. Yet, given half a chance people are extremely comfortable taking up the option of simply lazing around or lounging with a book and a some beers. The prospect of doing nothing is liberating and actually experiencing it is thrilling. Less is more is truer than ever in today’s times.

Could it also be being closer to nature brings with it a sense of tranquility. For all the speeding that we do the fact remains that Mother Earth continues to spin at more or less the same speed. Is it that a little effort at aligning our lives to the natural rhythms makes our lives appear “less off-key”. The feeling of oneness in being woken up by the birds is refreshing, if not uplifting, and is less stressful than being rudely awakened by a shrill alarm.

All this is not to suggest that all is wrong with the fast pace of urban lives. As long as we are able to balance it with quiet, introspective periods doing things that we like and want to do, including “doing nothing”, life will be “uncluttered”.


One Response to “Uncluttered”

  1. Mary Says:

    I thought doing nothing was a very Indian thing to do.
    Surprised to see India has changed so much. Sounds like you are talking about life here.

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