ENJOY YOUR COMPANY

I have just moved out of India and as I look down from my window ledge, on the 43rd floor in my apartment which is perched on top of a hill, I feel a sense of kinship with Rapunzel. The only difference being, I don’t have to let down my hair (there isn’t much anyway to), but just answer the bell, which rings… twice… in a day. Back home (this still doesn’t feel like one yet), I was stretching my time between a full-time job and sundry other things that just fill our days. Of course, I know how to keep myself busy, so no this is not a rant in self-pity. I have books to read and stuff to write but what I crave for is human company. Someone I can talk to, share the joy of reading something, watch a movie with and then discuss it threadbare…. you get the drift…

And it makes me think that all of us battle loneliness at some or the other point in time in our life. It could be a move prompted by a job change or for education, it could be retirement, loss of spouse, children moving away, anything which leaves us to fend for ourselves. As a child, during vacations, after the first week of ‘entertaining’ me and putting up with my incessant ‘I-am-so-bored’ and ‘what-do-I-do-nows’, my mother would finally give me an earful. That would shut me up for the rest of the month and I would look for ways to entertain myself. In that process, I sharpened my observation skills, read voraciously, watched some great content on TV (hard to believe today but I have witnessed Doordarshan’s golden era) and above everything I learnt to enjoy my company.

Today, alone on the window ledge, I fall back on this skill set to keep me sane and hope that all of you are building that survival kit for yourself and your children too. Learn to enjoy your company, resist the urge to pick up the phone or switch on the TV for some mindless surfing. Silence can be deafening initially but it gets better with time. The same cannot be expected from the white noise that we surround ourselves with.

Give it a thought as the promise of a Saturday stretches out in front of you. I shall come knocking, week after week with this piece. As much as I look forward to writing it, I am equally excited to have a chance at the conversations that I might have with you.  

So even if my doorbell rings only twice a day, I hope your comments that walk in, keep my notification bell busy!

Have a wonderful Saturday.

DR. SHIVANI SALIL

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