Social-exile for finding oneself

This has been coming to my mind quite frequently now and has been quite unlike one of those random musings that reside in our mind momentarily and wither away in annals of memory. 10 years of work,travel and staying away from home and family has brought with it a sense of boredom and a sweet desire to break free: from mental drudgery, regular working hours, the periodic winding of key every Monday morning to live through the week and battle various onslaughts.

I lack the wherewithal to be able to quit my job on the drop of a hat. I have family to look after. But the desire to break free is becoming more pronounced by the day. It was when Shobha and I were strolling through David’s Park in Hobart last Saturday that it occurred to me that I do not have to quit my job to experience a break. I can go on a leave without pay for a few months for a sojourn in one of the hill stations of India.

Shimla is on my mind.I intend to take off from work for a few months and live in a homestay or a rented apartment on a moderate budget.

I will not plan on what I would like to do when I live there. I will wake up each day to the sounds of local life and live the day uncontested. I will go for walks, meet local people and observe daily lives in the neighbourhood.I intend to live a simple life.No, this isn’t my trying to become a hermit.I want to be anyone but a hermit.I am not renouncing the materialistic life. For the love of the science and passion to teach,I may take up teaching Mathematics and Physics in a nearby school for gratis, if such an opportunity arises. I just need a break. A break where I don’t have to look after my utility bills, tend to household repairs,have social obligations to fulfill.I will definitely use Internet and I will have with me my laptop and a mobile to stay connected with family and friends. I will want to check Facebook and read the news every day. I will want to have opinions and also write about them. I want to experience the freedom of owning my time and, with an undivided attention, writing about what I feel – be it an event, a current affair, a thought, remorse or complaint. I would like to defragment my day because it normally is split into slots: of meetings, coffee break,lunch break,personal time and other forced divisions. I want the full 24 hours of the day to be my personal time. I will watch what people do – around me, and on the social media. I will hear what people have to say. I will choose if I have to ignore or react.

In the midst of these observations, I may happen to find myself. I may see myself as one among the herd who will be my subjects of watch or I may see myself within me and be happy that I have been different from the rest. Living such a life will tell me if I like the temporary but quieter lifestyle I have chosen or if I become myself in the corporate work life that I have adjourned. Living through the self-imposed social-exile will let me find myself and appraise myself for the good and bad in me.

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