Tuesday, 29 October 2013


 Published in
Business Sandesh July 2016

Web link: http://www.businesssandesh.in/july-2016/

Before my retirement FAQ was what I would do after retirement. I
was not much concerned about my post retirement financial blues. I
had already got my children settled and would not anticipate any
serious responsibility. My colleagues and friends who had retired
earlier always suffered from retirement blues. Luckily all of them got
placements here and there. This was enough for my better half to
rattle me with her pasted ‘answer me’ look, “why don’t you search
for the job like others ?”

“What for? Don’t you want me to give you company at home and
watch you doing daily chores since morning till evening and of course
night? I have been missing you always through all these years”
winking I had said. Females, however old, get and feel the essence of
massage and always respond with coyness and pleasing smile. Isn’t it 
so nice of them?

It was not that I was well off financially and did not require additional
income for support. Every penny counts during this century’s
economic upheavals and Sursa like inflation. I had 15-20 years still in
me (GOD permit) due to better medical care, yoga, exercises etc. The
fact was that I had become sick of offering and accepting
salutations.....sir...sir...sir....during the last 37 years of service. I
wanted to get rid of this sir (shit in rest) business. I could not dream
taking up an employment again. Venturing into some sort of business
was out of question.

Secondly the responsibility which I had thought would decrease after
my retirement, actually increased with the passage of time.
Attending to the nitty-gritty of household problems, tending to grand
children, making my own parents live comfortable life,
maintaining/reliving/reinventing social relations with relatives and
forgotten friends, taking my hobby of writing poems and short-
stories seriously apart from looking after self and wife were enough
to keep me engaged, engrossed and occupied.

Then one fine day I remembered William Henry Davies poem ' leisure'.“What is this life if full of care/We have no time to stand and

This quotation propelled me to question the worthiness of yet
stressful and busy life even after retirement. The answer I got from
inner self was in negative. I then and there decided to enjoy one day
in a week doing nothing- NOTHING at all. Sundays had become
busier than other week days so I decided the Wednesdays to be the
day to enter into the venture: DOING NOTHING. I really loved it and
shall love to share my experience on doing nothing. Small but
notable things which we are missing to feel, to observe and to
absorb in our daily life. Doing nothing must have some pre-requisites
to start with as under :-

Pre-requisites : Your time, your house, any park, market, cross-road,
hill-side  & beach (if available ) or any place where you can park
yourself and enjoy, feel and sense the happenings going around you.
Mind you, you are not an idler. While doing nothing, you are still an
observer, keen watcher, a knowledge gainer, a commentator. You
will soon develop a sense of belonging to the environment while
doing nothing.

See your toddler grandchild trying to crawl and getting up giving you
his/her innocent smile making different facial expressions like awe,
fear, alarmed, superficial crying and seeking your attention. The
satisfaction you get is immense. Just enjoy and do nothing.

Watch a bird feeding its little ones from its beak from the balcony of
your house and enjoy the motherly love.

Watch a couple of pigeons  on your AC top trying to make nest with
broom sticks, rags, cotton pieces and appreciate the efforts made by
these lovely creatures to build a nest time and again. Time and again
you try to remove these nest, next day you find them there
rebuilding. What a patience and living hard way.

 Watch a house lizard staring and waiting patiently to gulp down its prey.

Stare at the beautiful rising sun bringing sun shine into your
compound and in your hearts early in the morning and observe the
setting of the sun like a fireball going down slowly and steadily. The
serenity of situation will dawn upon you and enlighten you to the
existence of cosmic life. Just do nothing and enjoy.

Watch the laborious ants making a bee line balancing and carrying
eggs and leaves to their holes in corners of your house wall or  under
the tree in the park.

Your neighbourhood will provide you ample enjoyment not available
on your TV screens. Listen to the folk, filmy, devotional music blaring
through loudspeakers. Watch ladies of the locality haggling with the
vendors over the price of vegetables. Car washerman washing the
cars with same dirty & muddy water, leaving these mean machines
spic and span. Children running after ice-golawala and racing on by-
cycles attempting stunts seen on TV ads. People of all ages walking,
jogging ,singing, discussing, playing making the park proud of its
existence. Just do nothing and enjoy.

At nearby market place go for window shopping. Watch intense
selling and buying, traffic at snails pace, people laughing, talking,
poking, sweating for parking place.  I am not telling that you have not
been to the market. But then you had a purpose and you had
pressure of time. You were oblivious of surrounding and happenings
around you as your concentration was on your need of coming to the
market. You couldn’t have enjoyed the market scene as one enjoys
standing doing nothing.

Stand at the cross-road and observe the urchins begging or selling 
everything pirated/spurious. Admire their skills at marketing or
begging. They may force you to part with your hard earned money.
See interns of MNCs advertising their new product and convince you
to go for it. Watch a traffic constable more interested in cutting
challans/ or pocketing money instead of managing the traffic when
signal lights are off. Just do nothing and enjoy.

Living near a hill side ( I belong to J&K state) just leave worries at
home. Don’t get involved in daily homely soaps. Wake up to singing
and chirping of birds, listen to the rustle of leaves, feel the
whispering of trees, breezy conversation between streams and water
falls. Enjoy walking on serpentine and zig-zag roads. Look down the
gorge from the top of hill and feel yourself getting sucked in a black
hole or watching the earth moving under your feet. Just do nothing
and enjoy.

As I mentioned already, doing nothing will not label you an idler. An
idler is one who just laze around, totally inactive both physically and
mentally. My version of doing nothing is that you do nothing yet you
gain an immense insight into the working of nature and human
forces and their behavioural pattern just by watching and feeling
which I have been missing throughout  my life till I decided to make
Wednesdays my do-nothing and enjoy days.
Tribhawan Kaul

1 comment:

  1. Published in
    Business Sandesh July 2016

    Web link: http://www.businesssandesh.in/july-2016/