The last few months have been very hectic. My work has been taking me all over the country. My daily routine tossed out flat under this juggernaut. I have sent my family on a vacation for about two months now. There has been incessant work and no rest even on weekends. This is my life now. This is what some people envy and some people craze for, while others despise.
Yesterday, I went to bed at 3:00 AM in the morning and had to be in my workplace by 9:00 AM in the morning. After running around like crazy till 7:00 PM when the event I was managing got over, I reached back home by 8:00 PM. Had dinner, made some calls, and then started working from 10:00 PM till 3:00 AM this morning, when I went to sleep. I woke up at 8:00 AM this morning to a phone call from a business associate related to today's event. There was this event today, which I had to oversee, although remotely. Hence, though strictly not a complete holiday for me, it is a relatively free day.
After having my brunch I went over to the balcony of my 6th floor flat. The weather was just perfect: ample of day light, a light breeze, and best of all, no scorching sun in the sky. It was just a rare lazy cloud-clad Sunday noon that I crave for. These are the moments frozen in time which gives one time for reflection. Instinctively, I had an urge to go for a walk.
A short walk from the side gate of the community where I live takes you to nice desolate spot. A road lined with trees on both sides. On one side of the road, beneath the shade of the trees there is a large wooden bench beside a stone wall. It is just an inviting spot to spend a few minutes alone to enjoy one’s own company. Though, it is a residential area, there is hardly any vehicular movement. It is mostly visited by our two and four legged friends - birds on the trees and buffalos on the ground.
As I took my seat on the bench, I could hear the birds chatter. They were restless. On the other side of the road, there were about 7 huge buffalos and a small calf. As I watched them, I wondered how these buffalos think of themselves. Do they admire their symmetrical horns? Do they like the white moon on the forehead? Do they think about any such thing? Or they just laze under the trees all the time thinking about when they will get the next patch of green grass? All of them lying down in the shade, without a care in the world, were chewing cud and lost somewhere in their thoughts. Or maybe they were not thinking anything at all. They were just being in the present and letting things happen as it would. Hardly could I notice any movement except the continuous chewing movement of their jaws. Occasionally, they would turn their head or flap their ears. No deadlines, no urgency in anything, nothing to manage, nothing to change, no reports to be sent, no discussions, no arguments, nothing to altercate or improve upon. Just peace, serenity and contentment with what they have.
The pack of birds, on the other hand, was creating a ruckus. They were a boisterous bunch of sparrows, highly energetic and noisy. They had the unwritten agenda to make their presence felt in the world. They pushed the propaganda well to prove their collective might in spite of their size. They were jumping up and down for reasons best known to them. Some of them were flying down to the ground, pecking at it and then flying back up to the tree with glee. Even while on the ground, they appeared to be never at peace. They were hopping and skipping all over, ever restless like hyperactive children. I remained there motionless and maybe they took me as part of the natural set-up.
Being a self-styled thinker, I did not have any other wont than not to ruminate on this. On one side there was this large, heavy animal, full of confidence, self-assurance and poise. This was one way of being carefree in the world. On the other side there were the sparrows, one of the smaller sized birds in nature, fidgeting all the time, with a highly undisciplined and racketous behavior. But they projected fun, happiness, life and carefree nature in another way.
Sometime later, a person arrived. The sparrows, ever restless, flew back up to the bough of the trees and remained invisible, though the incessant chirping, as is their wont, could be heard. The person, apparently, the herdsman who took care of the buffalos, started poking one of them with a staff that he was carrying. It was more of a gentle thrash than a poke I would say. The buffalo having being prodded against their wish, very reluctantly moved her body. I was quite amused. Slowly, she looked at the herdsman, and then looked the other way. The herdsman shouted. She then made an effort to move. But inertia took over. The herdsman prodded harder again. By this time, the calf was already on its legs. The buffalo, acted very slowly, taking its own time, put herself back on her legs and stared at the herdsman. While all this was happening, the other buffalos still held their ground literally. Though, I am sure they would have noticed the arrival of the herdsman and his intention to take them back to their shed, they were hardly bothered. They were in their own world, without a care for their master. I was wondering who the boss here was. Attitude wise, no doubt the buffalos, while action wise, maybe the herdsman since he was wielding the rod.
One by one, the buffalos, in spite of their inertia, got up. It was like they did not want to leave the place. They could have spent their entire life lying at the same spot, chewing cud and being at peace with themselves and the world. But even after the herdsman poked and shouted at them, they did not have a tinge of resentment. In a few minutes, they were all up, walking in a file with the herdsman at the end. My eyes followed them till around the bend in the road where they disappeared.
The sparrows, by then, had resumed their game.