Posted by: miilee | February 8, 2010

Inertia and Jerks


Daily life involves routine. Schedules, deadlines, time tables… these are essential although variant components of even the remotest of organised lives. There are things that one does regularly; things that need to be done regularly. A routine takes care of that; ensures that all the ends are tied up. Sometimes hastily, at others very neatly but tied up none the less. Some people have strict schedules and planned out lives. Some others keep space for whims and impulses and take everyday as it comes. But unless you’re a filthy rich son of a king who can wake up in a  different country every other morning and afford to do nothing but enjoy yourself, the bare basics of your day are predictably the same. Wake up, wash and clean up, eat, get some work done etc etc…. You can differ a little from the usual by taking a cab instead of a bus for a change, or eating out one evening, visiting friends, going shopping, go for a movie etc. But ranging from one day to within less than an hour, you’re back on the track. That is the average, middle class adult’s life.

Not that I’m critical of it; as I said, it takes care of things that need doing. It is good to have a healthy routine. However, our human tendencies are a little queer. Once we put ourselves on a track, we put our heads and hearts into the running for the first few miles. But once we get used to the routine, we have an inclination towards shifting into auto pilot mode. We don’t even think about what we’re doing. Our minds essentially slip into inertia and there is nothing as toxic and unfavourably infertile as an inert mind.

Now, I am a member of the vast media industry and I intend to make my living by employing my skills at creative writing. I, of all people, cannot afford to have an infertile mind. So from time to time, I need to give myself a huge jerk; to get off the usual street for a while, allow myself to forget what daily life is like and live something that I’ve never lived before.

This ‘jerk’ usually comes in the form of travelling. Not the holiday type, fun weekend travelling. A good ten-fifteen day break to take me as far away from routine as possible. Going to a new place sometimes with new people for company. Absorbing something that I know I won’t get back home. Enjoying a little, reflecting a little and taking back with me, a new shade of life.

Fortunately, my lucky starts or the Heavenly Powers or my Good Luck or any of those thing that govern my life’s involuntary muscles, agree with this action plan of mine and provide for it from time to time; especially when the inertia really starts getting to me. Without the travel too, I already belong to that slim segment of Indian youth who have made it to the age of 21 and have access to professional training courses and a city life. Add to that the amount of travelling I’ve done, I’m sure I fall into an even thinner section of the population. I thus like to keep a track of all my travels; a log.

I’m attempting by writing about my college’s recent Industrial Visit to the state of Sikkim, on the border between India and China. Learnt a lot of things out there. Brought back souvenirs and memories and I sure am planning on going back some day. Amongst the things we did there, we spent some time with the Indian Army at Gangtok and they even arranged for us to see the ‘Nathula’, or the ‘Pass of Listening Ears’ which is a trade route between India and China and was also a part of the ancient Silk Route. We visited monasteries and lakes and I had my first eyefuls of the snow topped Himalayas.

Now each of these experiences is so vivid and new to me that it is impossible to fit it all in one post. So I’m gonna start what I’ll be calling my ‘Scrolls’ (This one is the first in that category). Each experience there deserves a whole scroll to itself but since one can’t upload a scroll, I’ll make it a post. (I actually intend to make a compilation of them and print them as scrolls!)

As I write each, I’ll put a link to it on this post (and my subscribers will get an e-mail notification as soon as I publish them). I hope that they are read and liked because I know I’m gonna love writing them. So the aim is one scroll a day. Hopefully, I’ll be able to live by that. After all, I have a lot to say and someone as talkative as me can’t keep it in too long!

So hang on till I unroll the next scroll!

Here’s the Second Scroll : It’s the Journey

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