ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

The Joy of Doing Absolutely Nothing is Simply Priceless 

Just enjoy your free time! 

Published
Blogs
4 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large
Just enjoy your free time! 

Mere paas bahut khali samay hai, bahut doopherein aur shamein maine nitant akelepan me guzari hain”. (I have a lot of free time, and I have enjoyed being alone, absolutely alone.) This line, by Manav Kaul, during a session at Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, Kitna Kuch Jeevan, hit me hard. When was the last time we heard anyone say, s/he has a lot of time?

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
Just enjoy your free time! 

“I do not have the time” – this statement has always had me perplexed. All of us have the same number of hours – 24 hours – so is it not about priorities then? About the option or options we choose? Life, after all, is a series of trade-offs. So, if our priority is go to place X, we act accordingly. It does not imply that we do not have the time to go to place Y. In other words, if our priority is to rush up the financial, social or academic ladder, some aspects of life will become secondary, and may suffer.

Groucho Marx was clear of his priorities when he said ‘I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.’

There is little in life which is permanent and priorities too, change with time. As we move on the road of life we, suddenly find time for actions, which not a long back, appeared impossible.

Just enjoy your free time! 

Douglas Coupland had, years ago, written that ‘most people can’t handle a structure-less life’. Today, the urban young are often heard stating that they do not know what to do if they are free; they feel lost when free, and hence prefer to remain busy.

The ‘urban’ here is only on account my ignorance about their rural counterparts. Another friend had mentioned how life now resembled a conference – one did as one was told, tried to get one up over others around, overate, was keen to speak, and not eager to listen! Of course, in this simulated environment, there is no free time.

In this age of certainty, structure, and control, free time is akin to what ‘darkness’ once stood for. An area we are supposed to stay away from – for our own good. That, many a time, people are not sure of what is keeping them busy is another topic altogether.

We live in a time where irony could be our best teacher. The first link that came up when I searched ‘free time’ on Google, was an article titled, ‘Time Management: Constructive ways to spend your free time’.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
Just enjoy your free time! 

Children too – thanks to us adults – are busier today than before. In their highly packed schedules, usually as air-tight as their tiffin boxes, there is little time for them to be themselves.

Amidst schools, sports, extra-curricular activities and other ‘in vogue’ activities, what is at premium – and many a time lost altogether – is free time. Time where they get to decide what they want to do – including doing nothing. We are damming their river of life if we are taking away their free time.

An educator had shared of how ‘the most crucial part of the multiday environment education camps he organised was the free time where children sat by themselves – to ponder, reflect and to be silent. The importance of this silence and reflection has been emphasised since ages, including by Confucius and Mozart’.

During school days an essay in the syllabus had many of us intrigued; the classic, On Doing Nothing, where JB Priestly brings in Wordsworth and God to wax eloquent about free time. It will be well worth our time to revisit the essay and mull it over.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

(Nimesh Ved enjoys undertaking train journeys and soaking in glimpses of the country they offer. He blogs at http://nimesh-ved.blogspot.in/ and can be reached at nimesh.explore@gmail.com. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More
×
×