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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Pause Button

This place I worked once in downtown had a park round the corner. I had an appointment at the bank four blocks away and left the office in plenty of time and decided to take the scenic route through the park.

It was a fine warm morning defying T.S. Eliot's cruel April predictions. A nanny had brought her wards to the park and there were other children running, shouting, chortling, enjoying the mid-noon mirth.

A man was feeding the pigeons out of a brown bag oblivious of others. Another panhandler was drinking out of his paper bag.

There was an empty bench. I sat down.

People were crisscrossing the paths. Some ambling, jaunting, rushing, strolling, determined to reach somewhere.

And there were birds chirping too. Flying singly and in groups. They seemed to be as happy as the frolicking children in the park.

I must have sat on the bench for a long time.

"I was caught in the traffic, can we reschedule for Wednesday at 3.30?" I said when I returned to the office.


Am very lucky to have this pause button. I can press the pause button and enjoy life's little pleasures and gestures. My pauses can be short or long. The stay in park was one of the shorter ones.

Other short ones will be enjoying a washed dished, (digression: dishwashing is a very satisfying experience for me. Rinse, soap, scrub, wash, dry. Job completed. How many other projects can be finished in such short order?) birds feeding, catching lovers eyeing each other, squirrels storing food for the winter, boats sailing in the lake, a big plane landing, an hail-mary in slo-mo, a painting in the window, traffic and signals at a busy intersection.....

M has almost given up asking why am late;)

Am known to have quit and gone on travels lasting months. Well, not really. They needed me so much they would give me leave-of-absence. They would qualify as the longer pauses

During one such pause I spent an afternoon in a very interesting conversation with a couple in their eighties on the Rajdhani heading towards Trivandrum. After inquiring where I was from, why I was travelling, where I was going, was I married, had any issues - this puzzled me at first - had no idea whether they were debriefing me on Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechenya, Croatia, Palestine - the grilling went on for some time.

Afterwards, they shared their tiffin with this stranger. What was more interesting is what they said later. They said they would have loved to take a pause from their lives earlier on to travel on a whim like I was doing.

I had encountered similar comments everywhere I went.

And I would tell them the same thing in reply. If you want to do something and are determined to do it nothing can come in the way. Just some fore-planning and some mule-ness is all that is needed. Oh, and I forget, a very supportive spouse.

This leads me to a recent exchange with a very hyper super achiever friend


You need to slow down. How?
Two quintuplets would force you to slow down.
But, let us not even consider that!
Explore other ways.
Find that pause button!

Once you make that discovery you could pause life at will and begin to appreciate and enjoy it more. Of course you will have to curb all the high-flying go-getter tendencies and throw all them over-achiever urges out the window.


tough choices

slow down with quintuplets?
what r u high?
pause button?
arey bhai pause button use karnai ka time hO tO slow down hoon na
u and ur brainwaves


If we do not voluntarily learn to use and enjoy the pause button now mother nature will impose it upon us. Only then it could be sans enjoyment..


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