I did not miss India this summer. Delhi heat, dust-laden winds and dry grass made me believe I am not alien in this country. I thought this would be a short-lived experience. Days after days, in fact, weeks after weeks, sunburnt skins, parched grounds, muddy playgrounds, flowerless shrubs, dead leaves, thirsty trees, tired birds. There were times when my brain just stopped functioning due to the heat. Its unusual for someone who grew up in Delhi where average temperatures are 40-45 degrees in summer. I could not comprehend what made life in summers much easier back home.
Here was the weather taking a completely unbeaten path, and on the other end was me. A dull, dry, hardened, immovable ball of mud, which exactly like the “Big Ball of Mud software system that lacks a perceivable architecture”. I had closed my eyes to the world, shut the doors and windows, and left myself parched. There was nothing which gave me any satisfaction, any joy. Switching on the work system became a herculean task.
Few minutes of the morning were spent staring at the white ceiling. Why another day was the question I started asking every dawn. Dragging myself out, reaching out to the power button and looking at the blue screen asking for the security code was a complete nightmare, day in and day out. Work was suffering, I was working extra hours to finish my documents and presentations. Unbelievably I forgot how to cook. I tried to delve in the kitchen once in a day just to churn out absolutely tasteless and almost inedible food. My house was suffering from dust and dirt in every nook and corner. I could not gather the courage to pick up the vacuum or a dusting cloth and wipe the surfaces and shelves. Come evenings and I slumbered on the sofa surfing channels endlessly or just watching whatever was playing on the idiot box.
I never went shopping, never went exercising, never went for a walk. If someone would ask when was the last time you went out of the house, I could count 8 or sometimes 10 days. I stopped reading, stopped writing. Driving was scary, my feet used to shiver with fear. I stopped meeting friends. Taking calls was an impossible task. All I wanted to do was hide somewhere and sleep whilst suffering from insomnia. 3 am became a norm. I was tagged a full-time procrastinator. All in all, I became a dry ball of mud ready to crumble. I slowly started realizing the fact that I had changed completely. I could not recognize myself. I can go on and on about the struggle to breathe every minute of my life. This post may become never-ending.
Well, I still do not recognize myself. I am still the same arid and withered ball of mud. I still do not cook. I still do not clean. I am still scared of life. But something has changed. The weather. There is a nip in the air. The earth is no more thirsty. The grass is green. Birds chirp. And when I look outside, I see joy smiling and peeking behind the wall. Either he wants to come in and hug me, or he wants me to come out and play. I see him every day, the stubborn joy. I am so sure he is going to pull me out, tickle and giggle, hold my hand and sing a song of love and laughter.
I leave you with this piece of music I am sure will enthuse you with self-love –