People are more busy than ever in urban India. At least they are under the assumption that they are. To be busy is a privilege, a social stamp of importance. In fact, if you are not on the run in your bustling city, you are the odd one out. It can be stated with assurance that a hardworking farmer in any village would have more free time than the average urban dweller (employed or otherwise) states that he or she doesn't have. Why indeed?
The 18 to 35 age group are sealed to their computer seats more than ever. As a recent survey showed, most people are not looking for anything in particular on the Internet, most of the time. Just how much time would one need to check their email accounts? When was the last time you logged on to a social networking site and found anything useful? Online videos, when you are done with TV, then there is the dependable cell phone waiting to whisk you away.
Free time inevitably bring in self-reflection and introspection, the truth becomes more evident and inescapable than ever. Fear looms, jealousies, regrets and tears too.What you repress by day, accumulates at night. Habit-induced sleeplessness has thus become a culture. You sit, post comments and make wise statements on Facebook, sometimes right till dawn. You drink that the mind may be temporarily numb. You will do anything to evade what is looming right in front. There is an illusion of safety too, you are not alone. There is a whole hoard, including your friends and relatives who are playing the same game.
"So what do I do instead? What to do when I am not busy?" We do not have the time to consider these options. That's all it will take - rest, relaxation and self-reflection. Meanwhile, busyness flourishes. Advertisements, celebrities, employers, educational institutions are busy emphasising this delusion.
Hell, there should be time to waste. For it is in that wasted, empty time that you are regally seated on your throne. Now, can you while it away?