My feed is flooded with year-end round-ups, and it isn’t limited only to a few sites. The Christmas buzz has been replaced by an intense nostalgia that the new year seems to be inducing in almost everyone I know. Seduced by its popularity, I almost wrote one myself, but I couldn’t get past the first few words. It isn’t like me at all to be a follower of the current trend (sometimes I’m happily unaware of it), while it is exactly like me to be breaking traditions. So, in my last text post of the year 2015, I have decided to share a mundane but powerful experience rather than talk about what a satisfying or challenging year I had because, frankly, I don’t think even I’d bother to re-read it.
This morning, I found myself in an uncomfortable situation. I thought I had become accustomed to its sporadic nature, but I didn’t react to it the way I usually do. When the WiFi router at home suddenly stops working without probable cause or fair warning, I tend to vent out my anger, after which I sleep till I feel better, usually waking up in time to see it has magically repaired itself. Rarely do I get my hands dirty and try to sort out the matter because I know next to nothing about fixing it. This is the first time that I did neither.
I just position myself in front of it, looking at the yellow LEDs blink and fade, waiting for the frustration to kick in. After a while, I resigned myself to the fact that there was nothing I could do about it and went back to my room with unusual apathy. I opened a forgotten notebook lying in the depths of my cupboard and set pen to paper. It felt rather strange at first – I had never actually written a hard copy of my blog posts. I went through the usual routine of wading through the depths of my imagination till the words gushed out and I found myself writing more than I was striking out.
I paused when the word count was approximately 200. There was something eerie about my writing process and it took me a while to put my finger on it. I had become so used to being interrupted by notifications on my phone or laptop that their absence unsettled me. I’d always switch between WordPress and something else, sometimes multiple something else’s (an apology to all Grammar Nazis here), whenever I would write. That’s the price I had to pay for using WordPress’s editor – I could not go offline if I wanted my draft to be constantly updated. Slowly, it had turned into a poisonous habit and I had become set in the ways of multitasking. Paying undivided attention when composing a post was a luxury I couldn’t afford.
But there was more to it – a growing melancholy. I had found a nook of peace and quiet, away from the constant noise of the outside world and it made me feel left out. I wouldn’t be part of the chatter on my social groups and neither could I ping someone on a whim for a while. It was stifling even though my thoughts were right in front of me, written out in bold blue ink. I gave them a second look, reading carefully this time. What little was on the paper was undeniably my best work in months.
The pensiveness switched to pride. I had never before loved my first draft this much. 3,000 words scribbled in radio silence later, my stomach grumbled – the only indication of the passage of time. I shut the notebook after the next full stop, satisfied, my mind already making a to-do list as I stretched my legs. I went to check on the router and noted that the Internet light was still stubbornly and mystically off. I smiled to myself, unfazed, as this was the best gift that the writer in me had received – the gift of solitude.
Needless to say, I decided against posting what I had written and that my Internet connection is alive again. What do you make of it? Comment if you feel like sharing.