Lost the touch of solitude

I have lost the touch of loneliness. I kind of used to be an expert on it. Living alone, keeping myself shut from others, not being close to people; that and many more things qualified me to be a really skilled solitude-man. But not in my dreams had I thought that one day I would drop my grades in it; lose my touch in the art.

It is an art, of course. Humans are social by instinct, and to go against that and be perfectly fine, productive and to shine; that requires a lot of upstream swimming. You have to define rules, boundaries, and still feel free. You have to always look for ways to escape before you get into any social situation, and fill your mind with enough things to accompany you, so that you will never miss being with someone other than you.

People would call being alone, a depressing idea; but I disagree; I was rather proud of myself for being good at it, for being a successful and a happy solitary man. But I think it all started to change from that day, when I had sought out for people. This tracks back to only about a month ago; I do not exactly know the reasons that led me into that scenario, in fact, I think I had no peculiar reason as such. What I can clearly remember is me calling out to my friends, desperately I must add, to make a plan, for a night out. “I want to be with people.” was what I repeatedly said; it kind of felt weird after that night passed, because that statement made me look like an alien in this world of people.

I did have a night out that night, and it was a good one. However, since that night, I kind of kept having a lot of hang outs, planned a lot of them, and planned rather frequently.

Two days ago I shifted to a new place. From a room shared with 5 other people, I shifted to a smaller apartment where I could live alone; something I had always wanted, or at least something I truly wanted before the weird “I want to be with people” night.

I, now, finally live alone, but now I miss people. I keep looking at my cell to see if there are any text messages, I keep thinking if I should call someone for a hang out. I have lost the touch of something that I was proud to be. I am not sure if it is something good or bad, but I surely do know, that I just need to let this pass by. I will be back on my track, filling my brains with enough stuff to keep myself occupied, leaving little time to think about others. However, I also am pretty sure, that from now, I wont mind missing people. I wont think twice before calling a friend if I feel like being with him or her. I do realize that with it, comes the attached traumas, like disappointment, expectations, plans getting cancelled, friend not responding, futile waits, and a lot more. But, that is collateral; maybe one day like seedless grapes and bananas, humans will devise a way to have happy attachments without the emotional-behind-the-scenes-trouble; till then I will try to spit out the seed, and enjoy the pulp and sweet juice.

I will be the solitude-man again, regain my touch; but I will blend it with just the right amount of people, friendship, love and emotions. And that, I think, is not a bad thing.


The Bond of Availability

I would like my life to be disciplined enough to be a point that even my time for breaks and time for calling and remembering people is decided and fixed. I really would like it to be like that. Matter of fact, I have even lived like that and I did not miss anything or found anything to be wrong. But I wont do it. Because the people around me do not like me like that. They like me to pick up calls when they call me, not just in the time window meant for picking up calls. They want me to talk to them at 3 in the morning if they are sad and want to share something. They want me to walk with them if they want company. They want things that definitely ruins my schedule, but I feel happy to do it.

It is true that I like my life to be well defined and structured. Not completely planned, but structured. However I don’t mind to break the structure for people  I love, people I care for and people who care for me. It is the very assurance that you will be there when they need you that makes life possible. If we all had a time schedule to work, a time schedule to help, to care, to just walk with someone, we will end up with a more structured but less human, life. I am pretty sure that one day when I feel like sharing some thing to someone the last thing I would like to see is a “Closed for today” board hanging on everybody’s  neck. Its the feeling of availability that makes you feel good.
Its that feeling of availability that assures you that when you are out on the road at the middle of the night or up from sleep at 3 in the morning, there will be someone who will arrange something to pick you up, there will be someone who will pick up the call.

It is for this availability that people fall in love. It is for this availability that people have close friends and it is for this availability that people some times even earn lot and spend money hiring people to serve them. They all desire for it, some get it from love, some from money, some from friendship, but we all get happy just by the thought, that we have it.

There are always some people who would come up and say that they like to live a solitary life. I have said that many time. Its not that these people always lie. But just a little bit of availability from other people makes their life worth living. Of course with availability comes the obvious con of expecting people to be available. And that is always the cause of distress in even the strongest of bonds. But then what fun is dinner if its all sweet. A little bit of spice makes it more palatable and that is exactly the way in which these distresses should be considered.

In short what we call bond among people, the bond of love, friendship or even the bonds of money like your cook, your employee and also the bond with animals and the bond with machines like your computer, or your simple ceiling fan can all be somewhere broken down into one major factor making them all strong – availability. Being a software engineer, availability is a term that we are well familiar with; but only associated with your website being up all the time and things like that. Had I known back then that it extends outside to everything around you, I would have certainly seen and done things in a whole new and different way.

Its not accepted by everyone when you break down something considered to be so complex as the feeling of a bond to something so simple, something which is just one word. But now it looks obvious enough to me, that the bonds we talk about so passionately and the things which make us happy are all just a matter of availability.