Monday, August 29, 2011

Tea With Me

Have you ever heard the song of rains? It starts with a hum, builds to a loud, emotional singing and reaches its crescendo with the thunders. Never the kinds to be happy as a bystander, I jump in to drench myself with the heavenly notes. What a feeling it is to see nothing but the silver rain all around, to hear nothing but the rain song and remember nothing but rapture. I feel no consciousness of who is watching and I feel no embarrassment to express my childlike joy: rains and I, I and rains: dance away.

Music too has a similar effect. It is like my magic carpet which transports me to different worlds. Listening to slow, meditative music I am transported to the bank of a sacred river, surrounded by silent snow capped mountains. I imagine myself flowing with the river, no resistance, no conflict, just going with the flow. Drumbeats, on the other hand, transport me to jungles where I dance with a tribal group and feel a primal, raw, energy flow through. Imagination refuses to be chained and sitting solitarily on a chair, listening to music I visit places unknown and unheard of. Music has the capacity to make me forget everything- it’s the notes and me, me and the notes: in silent symphony.

‘Love your work, and you will never work again,’ this quote finds resonance with my life. As a child I wrote to my family whenever I felt sad, whenever I felt happy and also whenever I wanted a gift from them. As an adolescent I wrote in my diaries of crushes and infatuations. And today I write books. Writing is a part of me - the way my right hand is a part of me. A paper, a pencil and thoughts just fly about, competing to be pinned down. When I am writing an article, someone could be staring at me for hours and I wouldn’t realize it. I lose all consciousness- all I am aware of is my thoughts and my words. Words and me, I and words: we need little else.

As I wonder what to name this article, I look around. And here I find my answer. I am sitting at a cafĂ© having a tea with me. Everyone else is sitting in little groups. Lovers in a corner, exchanging shy looks over the brim of the cup, some elderly people chatting about their aches and pains in the middle and youngsters guffawing around. Undoubtedly, it is a beautiful feeling to share life’s moments with someone close - but today I realize that it is as important to do a few activities in a day which are just for me. When I need no one else to enjoy what I am doing. When I lose myself in whatever I am doing so completely that for those few moments nothing, absolutely nothing else matters. No roles, no responsibilities, all I know for those few sacred moments is how it feels to be me.

I recently asked someone to tell me five things she loves doing and she could come up with none. Flooding our lives with people and activities we tend to distance away from the person who matters the most: our self. I now know that each day needs to be filled with at least one activity that I enjoy thoroughly, that I am doing only for me. It could be eating a strawberry ice- cream, it could be playing with a dog, it could be singing in the bathroom, it could be scratching my ears: the activity hardly matters, what matters is that its bringing me a little closer to me, making me more intimate with me. So, do you owe yourself a tea time date too?

Megha Bajaj