A lot has been said about travel, exploration, adventure, meeting people, creating memories, food, friends and so on. A lot has been shared on how difficult it has been for each of us clinging to the boat to sail through this stormy weather when the world is hit by an unceasing pandemic powerful enough to upend our lives and snatch away the near and dear ones.
There is a lot we all have seen and there is a lot we will see. With all these thoughts appearing and disappearing like a bubble in my mind, here I am stuck, and don’t know if that’s the right word, quarantined in this hotel room, 607, with a huge French window giving me a beautiful yet contradictory view.
On the one hand, I see a wide spread of sea at times calm, at times perplexed and at times violent, its scream getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the city throughout the day but ensures its dominance at night when its waves crash on the shore.
And, on the other, this glorious city, with its own beauty and pride of achievements and success, narrates its story standing high with each fast-moving vehicle and twinkling lights on top of the towers, getting tired and exhausted in the wee hours of night, surrendering itself into the arms of the masculine sea showing all its power in the rising glistening surfs.
Quarantine or call it social distancing. Everyone has a different perspective about it. For some, it’s a much awaited and deserving rest period, and for others it’s fun time with family and kids, and for some it’s the time to finish off with all that is pending in life to catch up with this fast-moving world.
I do very much respect all these perspectives. But as I said, I am stuck in this room 607, not knowing what to do when, along with my physical existence, I want to quarantine my mind, too. Yes, being a normal human being, it’s really hard to quarantine your mind and thoughts, your emotions and fears, your wants and desires. It’s not easy to leave behind the loved ones or their memories and all the warmth received from them. The mind keeps travelling back tracing all the possibilities of things that could happen, of lives that could be lived and of hearts that could be touched.
The mind keeps travelling to all the opportunities missed, to meet the people who had been waiting to see you but couldn’t due to this pandemic, to all the hugs that were dropped keeping Covid restrictions in mind, to all the face-to-face talks and pouring of heart that was denied following the pandemic protocols.
When I look at the city standing high, I think of the importance of everything around me. My mind convinces me of how I am needed, of how things can be brought to a halt or delayed due to my absence, of how the household can get adversely affected due to my prolonged absence. And I get weary. Anxiety builds up within me, wanting me to rush, desiring the days and nights to pass in a jiffy so that I am back to my normal routine and sense the importance of my existence, secretly wishing this quarantine time to get over.
I believe this is how we all often feel.
But the moment I gaze at the greenish silver sea, stretching out endlessly, my heart overpowers my mind and shouts out the futility of everything around me, including my own existence. And here I feel like I am quarantined. I try hard with intermittent success to declutter my mind, organize my thoughts, comprehend the unimportance of things around me and understand that everyone is replaceable.
There is nothing that stops or gets severely affected with or without your presence. Yes, the pace is slower at the beginning which is because of the period of adaptability, but once it’s managed, everything falls in its own place again.
It is important to accept that you are just somebody with a little more importance in someone’s life than someone else’s. Just that. It is important to accept the practicality of life. Being emotional is fine but it’s time to be more realistic and pragmatic. It’s time to strengthen yourself from within, to befriend your own self which has been ignored since ages.
It’s time to sit back, relax and think of all that you like and love to do – be it tuning in to your favourite song or tapping the feet on your memorable dance number, be it scribbling, doodling, writing, expressing, sipping a cup of coffee as per your taste or simply observing things happening around you.
It’s time to make peace with yourself and prepare yourself to get detached from all that you are surrounded with, be it people or objects. And it’s time to get attached to your own self, your vision, your goal in life.
Quarantine is the phase of waves rising high and getting lost in the depth of the vast sea of mind. It’s the best time to sulk over all that had and has been going wrong, cry over all that you didn’t like or didn’t want to happen, rebuild your energy by refreshing yourself and re-establish yourself to lead the remaining life with peace of mind, without getting bogged down by the unnecessary burdens of life.
It’s time to relax, rejuvenate and rebuild.
So, all those who are in quarantine or all those who will have to be, do be mindful of quarantining your mind, too.