Two Worlds | Flash Post 428
And they thrive side by side in the same home we share, Button!
I know what you’re trying to say.
Hers is the tiniest room in the entire house and she sits there, most times on her bed curled up under a duvet, working, talking, thinking, planning, strategising and spinning dreams. Her world is very different from the world just outside that room. It’s one where she feels sheltered, warm, cosy and safe from watchful eyes. She doesn’t like being judged.
Have you been inside her room?
You know we aren’t allowed in there! I peeked inside once and she came from behind and, very sternly, told me to buzz off and never attempt it again. I’ve seen Dost go in there sometimes and you and badi didi. Messi went in there once and almost jumped out of the open window when she entered! Why is that? Does she not like us?
That’s her room and for her, it’s sacrosanct. It’s a space she lets very few people in. Mind you, it has nothing to do with any of you because she dotes on all of you.
I still don’t get it.
Prior to the pandemic, if you recollect, the time I had carved out for myself in the afternoons to do some of the things I wanted to do was my time. Those couple of hours of ME time gave me the freedom to do as I pleased without being watched and judged. I celebrated that time because I could mould it my way, manouvre it, do with it as I pleased because it belonged to me and there was no one to puncture holes in it or haul me up for something I’d done against their expectations or tell me what to do with it and how to do it. I’d write a post sometimes, listen to music, sing out loud, do a little jig now and then, click pictures of the orange haze of the setting sun through our bedroom door, stuff my mouth with dark chocolate, suddenly catch an unfamiliar birdcall when the traffic sounds dimmed or just do nothing. I’d reason with myself that there was nothing wrong with doing nothing because that time belonged only to me and I wasn’t answerable to anyone. With the advent of the pandemic, even with loved ones around, that feeling of bliss of having something just to myself has weakened and though I have managed to relocate some of those luxuries like writing a post late into the night, taming my urge to sing out loud or do that jig in the walk-in closet or the restroom, it is not the same. When I sit and gaze out doing nothing, I am asked if I am well because everybody at home sees me as a busybody.
I’m sure lots of people with single-minded devotion to their craft continue to do the things they are passionate about in the midst of complete mayhem. There are others who need that space or their comfort zone to pursue their dreams. Does the other didi have something in her life she calls hers?
Hers would be the animals she rescues from time to time. The relationships she shares with each of them is unique and very very special. For her, life is worth living because of her fur babies. She shares her bed with all the pets we have at home—and we’ve had several—and she says that she’s never slept better. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well, unlike the rest of us, he is a people person and loves having them around at all times. His ME time is in the relationships he shares with each of us and with the people in the workplace, with acquaintances he’s built over the years and those he comes in touch with every day. He can pick up commonplace people and chat with them over anything. He chats with cab-drivers, the bhelpuriwala at the street corner, the lift attendants, the man who takes care of our garden, the guy who comes to drop off my daily groceries. He was shocked the other day when he asked me if I even knew his name and frowned when I told him I didn’t. He then proceeded to tell me all about his native place, when he had migrated to this city, who were the people back home and much much more. He was very keen to find out details about the guy who plays the flute in our locality. I found him chatting with him a few days back after which he asked the guy to play Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyar Badha, Ke Main Ek Badal Aawara from the 1961 film Chhaya composed by Salil Chowdhury and even proceeded to conduct him by moving his hands up and down much like our very own Zubin Mehta. The pandemic broke him because, apart from his family, he was unable to meet new people and make new acquaintances.
Our own Messi has lots of ME time. You must have noticed how he sits on the window parapet for long stretches of time just gazing at the greenery outside our window or watching the squirrels scurrying up and down the trees. What do you think passes through his mind?
What’s your guess?
Nothing. His ME time is sprawling out a little more on the window parapet and enjoy the game being played out between the squirrels. He’s the sharpest amongst us because he doesn’t allow anyone to mess with his time: It’s only his.