Have you ever felt the urge to do absolutely nothing? Just lie on the bed for as long as you please or sit idly with a cup of coffee. No emails that need your attention, no phone calls, no meetings, no deadlines that beckon you. Do what you please with your time or do nothing at all.
The thing about nothing is it takes us years to realize that it’s perhaps the greatest luxury, the one precious thing that we are all running after. Having to do nothing or rather having our days at our beck and call, idling away, or doing what we please. It’s the joy of being a ‘Superannuated Man’, were Charles Lamb revels in his new-found freedom, of having done away with the routine of a job. It’s on the one hand about doing away with the mundane and tending to tasks that have long been left unattended, things that give us joy. To write, read, paint, cook, travel, or maybe teach the not so fortunate children. But then, nothing doesn’t pay. While the tasks that we choose when we bid goodbye to the mundane may sustain our soul, our bodies demand more, so back we go to the mundane.
But a routine job may not always be that mundane. We do enjoy our jobs and it’s not fair to term them as dull – the short deadlines, the challenges, rushing through the days juggling between different tasks does give us an adrenaline rush. And trying to steal a few moments from our busy days to do the things that are close to our hearts, or just, do nothing. I have often wondered if it’s the elusive nature of ‘nothing’ that makes it so precious. Once I decide to give up the mundane, will nothing come back to bite me? I will read and write, translate all my crazy ideas to beautiful pieces, I will travel as much as I please, such tempting pictures my imagination paints. But is it the mundane routine that prompts my muse? What if nothing or the freedom to do anything I please is not as inspiring?
As 2021 walks in with many hopes, a few questions and uncertainties still hanging in the air, I ponder upon nothing. And these rainy, gloomy January days that the year opened with in Gurgaon seem perfect for lazing and doing nothing. But the new year brought newer challenges. So, every morning while my heart desires to do nothing, my mind restlessly scans through the to-do list pushing me out of my warm winter bed. A long winter break is all my heart desires as I rush through my daily chores and phone calls and zoom meetings, I yearn for a day to do nothing.