Last week, I went crazy. (This happens to me sometimes!) So, I decided to walk. And I did. For a few kilometres, merely fuelled by my fury. I wanna tell you about that Wednesday.
I have always been comfortable interpreting my mind and analysing myself – Happy with my thoughts for company! That’s why I wonder how I missed the signs of my irrational mood swings. Come to think of it, maybe I knew… subconsciously.
If you know the cause, half your problem is solved. Because then, you can stem the flow at the roots. Easy to say, Hard to do. I know.
Back in Highschool, I should have had a clue. My Doctor concluded that the migraines were due to stress. My Dad, on the other hand, exclaimed that I am at the top of my class. Why should I be stressed out? “Exactly! They are the ones who worry all the time!”, the Doctor stated. You would never guess that I was a walking Pressure Cooker all the while. Wanting to let my steam out. Didn’t know just how!
Over the course of years, the migraines left me. Or I left my migraines behind. Changed, started afresh, moved on.
I trudged along the road after the last lecture of the day. In my usual slow pace. Often, I say that my system is optimized for long battery life rather than high performance! Of course, the odds of successfully willing myself to do a task is pretty bad. In fact, the odds of all things under the sun go down to zero when I am in the sunken caves of depression.
Therefore, I look up. Beyond the sun. Beyond the sky. To God. Yet, that week, the prospects weren’t looking good since I had skipped church twice. My mind had been to dark places. Triggering memories I would love to forget and stabilizing thoughts I would love to bury.
Of course, I am aware that I have it relatively painless. I have met people dealing with far more challenging and demanding set of circumstances. We should take a moment to stand in awe of all those brave men and women who dare every day.
Coming back… I knew what I had to do. ‘Do something, ANYTHING, to wear myself out, shove my body out of its comfort zone and burn the unwanted negative energy.’ So that I can think clearly. Physical activity is the only ruse to clean up this mess I am in.
It was JCB (Journal of Cell Biology) that finally urged me to get out of my seat. I love reading it and certain qualities about it inspire me. I strolled past the sign which declared the name of the lake in my neighbourhood. The gate was chained shut but I let my eyes wander inside. In there, was a lovely garden that sprawled out unreservedly. The place beckoned me with its green paths, cute little benches and the soft colours that were warming my heart. Why won’t they let anyone bask in its quiet beauty?
I was wrong. Although, I realized it only on my way back. There were actually two gates into the Garden of Eden. And the second one was open the whole time! “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” It appears to me that I haven’t been knocking enough! How many doors have I missed in life because my eyes were looking at them but not seeing?
I came upon a sharp uphill curve and as I emerged out of the bend, I read the word ‘MOONSTONE’ on a sand coloured building. Funny that it sounds like a milestone to me. Maybe I am a Pokémon trainer. I found this little haunt of a place where I battled with all I’ve got. Woohoo! Here I am, victorious over the iconic Gym Leader. I saunter out with one more of those gym badges to add to my collection – a Moonstone badge!!! What can I say? My crazy head and its figments of imagination (or is it idiocy?)! It is surely amusing to note how many weird random ideas we pick up when we are in unchartered territory.
I turned right at the Stone Temple. The sun was blazing when I set out on an impulse. Now, twilight had set in as I took a short break under the shady trees, outside a herbal beauty salon. I consulted the map on my phone and spotted four ATMs coming up on my right on the route. Sometimes, citizens tend to mark the same site twice by mistake. Like different historians describing one grand event in World History, people put their own impressions to paper; regarding the very things in Life that everybody experience.
However, as I continued down the street, I saw that the ATMs were actually located there, within a couple of metres, each belonging to a different bank. All four machines were deserted unlike the long queues common in those days following the demonetization (of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 Indian currency notes).
I have been ambling around for over an hour now. I guess Maps and I could be best of friends forever. For I have had a monumental shift in my outlook somewhere along the journey. Things came back into focus. And I was ready to turn back. To confront my Life.
An hour later, I was home. All that exploration on foot wasn’t the sole reason I was drained out. I was tired of carrying my rucksack too (- it had a couple of books!). We all carry some sort of baggage in life. For each, his/her own. The key is to understand your purpose.
Pablo Picasso said,
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
I had a hot shower. A bowl of corn flakes with a glass of hot milk. Then, I climbed into bed and settled down under the blankets. The storm had blown over and I felt like myself again. I am happy and I texted my Mom.
Three-quarters of my life, I am a child – immature compared to my peers. In the fourth quarter, I am older than my years – with a soul as wise as Time.
I hear my voice. Now… This is Peace.
And if you wouldn’t mind me quoting Louis Armstrong, “I think to myself, What a Wonderful World !”