Saturday, July 26, 2008

On Being Alone

Many is the time we feel the urge to be alone (as opposed to being lonely). We want to be away from everyone and everything. Probably relish the company of Nature. I understood this recently while on vacation in Kodaikanal. I was in the company of friends. But what I liked best was rising early in the morning and wandering out in the early morning mist with just my faint shadow for company. It was mentally refreshing. No wonder many holy men walked into the jungle to pursue meditation. Better than any coffee that can be brewed up, the crisp air refreshed me to no end. And with no one to disturb me with chatter, I revelled in the solitude.

I do not mean that friends are a disturbance. But I feel that we are at peace with ourselves when we are alone. We learn to admire Nature in her pristine glory, think about how mechanical our lives have become. We just need to view the starry sky on a clear night to realize that we are just a speck living on a speck. Yet we think the world of ourselves. (Some think the universe of themselves) All around us, life is moving on. The spider does not know that we exist. It knows only the difference between the touch of a raindrop or the footfall of an insect on its web. Yet we seek attention all the time.

Yet, how many times has one looked up at the sky? We SEE, but we do not OBSERVE. A man was walking through an art gallery with a bored expression on his face. He bumped into an artist. "Sorry", he said "I wasn't looking." Seeing his bored expression the artist said, "Maybe you SHOULD LOOK".

The story doesn't end there. The first guy continued. "At what?" he asked casually. The artist looked around at the riot of colour around him and said, "if only I could lend you my eyes."

I would advise everyone to take a Mental Health Day, i.e, a day alone, a date with Dame Nature. I assure you, you wont regret it.

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