The lost art of boredom

Apologies at the outset. I haven't published a post in the last 50 odd days. This doesn't mean I have not written anything in the past 50 days. It just means I have lost my mojo (if I had any, that is). I had drafted a potboiler, whose premise (SPOILER ALERT: Hindu-muslim conflict) the initial readers deemed too unpalatable and whose ending (SPOILER ALERT: gruesome murder) too predictable.

Okay, I'll admit, that's not the real reason for my inactivity. The truth is that the fan mail from my readers just keeps on pouring in and I'm having a tough time replying back to all of them (to be read as: somebody please write back to me for God's sake!).

Back to the topic. I was going through my book collection at home today, once again (yeah, weird fetish) and this particular book caught my fancy.

I had purchased this book 15 years back - 31st July 2004 to be exact (again, I have a weird fetish to scribble deets onto the first page) - at a time when boredom could be considered a genuine contender for a calamity.

Some of the 'Things to Do' in the book included - have a contest among friends to see who can spot the most flower buds (that's just plain weird), pretend to be a detective and 'shadow' a passerby (now that is fun) and make your own popsicles (unnecessarily overusing brackets is another fetish of mine).

It wasn't a life-changing book but was definitely ass-saving on more than one occasion. You see, for kids born in the 90's, getting bored was a regular annoyance.

Lazy afternoons, rainy days, sick at home, guests at home, sick guests at home on a rainy afternoon - you get the drift - there were a multitude of situations screaming boredom.

But it was in these moments of languor that impractical ambitions were dreamt up, memories were forged with siblings and adventures were embarked upon with friends.

I can't remember the last time I was bored. Not 'bored' because my Facebook feed is stale or the Netflix show I am binge watching is slow paced or because I am waiting for someone to reply back on WhatsApp, but genuinely bored.

I hate to be that neighbourhood aunty but I'll have to say it anyway - our opportunities for boredom have been hijacked by technology.

Impatiently waiting in queues and bothersome cab rides are now a thing of the past. I can grab a smartphone from my pocket and instantly have the entire world wide web at my disposal to browse and voila! there is never a dull moment in life anymore.

But, these dull moments in life are exactly what is required to ponder, reflect and to be creative.

I can't help but feel that the once dreaded boredom is now a luxury - a luxury that is availed by very few today.

And fortunately, today is a day that I am bored.

For the last half an hour or so, I have kept all distractions aside and literally done nothing (nothing except wonder what a classmate of mine from second grade is upto. His name is Moses Ravi Bachelor. In case you are reading this Moses, how have you been man and why the hell is your surname Bachelor?).

In fact, I am bored this very minute as I sit down to type this sentence. I sit by the window overlooking the garden, while my parents nap in the adjoining room.

It is a sunny, lazy afternoon - just the kind I like.

I like how the warm wind sporadically whooshes by the litchi tree, creating a little whirlwind of dust in the process. I like how the sparrows feast upon the nascent fruits, cautiously craning their necks every now and then to check for any human who might shoo them away. I like the shrieks of kids who are excitedly rolling a tyre in the lane outside.

My gaze falls upon the hedge bordering the lawns. A swarm of bees hover above purple flowers which are raring to bloom. This might not be the most terrible idea in the world after all, I realize, as I begin counting all the flower buds I can spot.

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