Leaning on two pillows propped up on a comfortable bed, I’m living one of my childhood dreams. It’s a hotel room, with just me and my stuff in it. Music is playing in full volume on my speakers, and not my earphones. The air conditioning is in my control, just like the music volume, lights and the TV channel.
I don’t need my earphones and the app called ‘Relax N Sleep’ to sleep, for a change. I can sleep whenever I like, and wake up whenever I like, feeling great.
Whenever I went to hill stations or beaches with my family, I had this crazy fantasy to just lie in my room for a whole day. Away from noise, tourists, pictures – everything.
You, my dear reader, may not understand this, but as disappointing and pathetic as it sounds, this is the first time in many, many years I’ve felt in total and utter control of my life.
I realize all this may well be painting me as a sorry ass figure, but fuck that. Fuck that.
My entire life has been about adjusting. To circumstances, to people – to the whole world, wherever I go. I hate myself for it, but I’m one of those people who’d go to any lengths to avoid conflict. Some people can’t stand spiders, I can’t stand conflict. 95% of my energy goes into putting those conflicts to bay, every single day. Every single fucking day.
But now I realize, after 23 years, that this freedom I’m feeling right now – doesn’t come for free. You have to fight for it. Be a doormat, and the world will not only walk over you, it will rub off its dirty shoes on you as well.
I’ve discovered new, and rediscovered a few friends as well, on this business trip. I marvel at how amazing some people are, really. I marvel more at how much time and energy I spend trying to shake someone’s hand by force, and miss out on so many extended hands already outstretched.
It’s a whole buffet out there. If the spring roll sucks, trying it with ten different sauces will not change that. Look past that spring roll, and you’ll see the garlic bread, fried idli and fruit custard calling out to you, with open arms.
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that my hotel stay will end this week, just like everything else. But now is not the time to think about the future. The only time to think about the future, is the future itself. This freedom, this peace, this control – whatever you call it, is in this moment. Quoting about the value of Now is one thing, knowing it is another. Having tasted and felt it in its full force, I feel better prepared for stepping out of this room.
Let tomorrow come.