I think it was Albert Camus who believed that life is absurd but one must enjoy it anyway and get through it with a smile. As we stay in lockdown mode across the world to fight an unseen enemy, we find ourselves with all the time in the world and not enough resources within ourselves to tackle the task of keeping busy.
How many books can one read and how much TV bingeing can one do without reaching saturation point? There are suggestions that this is the best time to declutter without any outside distractions.
As I peer into my overflowing cupboards, I am hit by a wave of procrastination so strong that it knocks me off my feet and sweeps me away to another room. As I move from room to room, I wish I were in the vast outdoors, with the option of stretches of roads before me, beckoning me to follow whichever one takes my fancy.
Try growing your nails or hair or, if you have a really bushy beard, try cramming as many toothpicks as you can into this facial growth to beat the prevailing record of 3,500 toothpicks. Or if you are a gourmand, go for the record of fastest time to eat a bowl of pasta. The current record is 26.69 seconds
My niece in the US advises me to start a virtual hangout group as she and her friends are doing. Somehow I am not enamoured by the idea. A few of us in my city tried a group video call but all we could think of by way of conversation was the enormity of the challenge of keeping ourselves occupied 24/7.
One friend said she was cooking up a storm but the downside was that she was putting on weight. Not such a good idea after all. There are lulls in the conversation as each one thinks of something to say but we are all conscious of the fact that we are living in what seems a surreal world, cut off from human contact in order to keep safe.
Maybe this is the time to think of creating a Guinness World Record. It isn’t difficult when one reads about the weirdest attempts made by people who obviously didn’t have anything better to do and all the time in the world to think of the wackiest ideas. We are in the same boat now so to speak.
Try growing your nails or hair or, if you have a really bushy beard, try cramming as many toothpicks as you can into this facial growth to beat the prevailing record of 3,500 toothpicks. Or if you are a gourmand, go for the record of fastest time to eat a bowl of pasta. The current record is 26.69 seconds.
You could try ‘gurning’, which simply means making a face. As children we challenged each other to make the ugliest face one could and, when someone won, the others would say that it wasn’t difficult for the champion considering his or her ‘natural’ advantage!
The world gurning championship is held every year at the Egremont Crab Fair, which dates back to 1267.
My siblings and I call one another every day. As soon as I mention finding it hard to pass the time, I am inundated with what they consider helpful suggestions such as learning how to cook.
They tell me that this will definitely help keep me occupied and, as an incentive, they say I can work towards preparing a three-course meal with them as my guests as soon as the lockdown is over. Do they really think this will motivate me to slave in the kitchen?
What I miss is not getting the newspaper every day. Initially there was some doubt whether this came under essential services but later we were told that newspapers could be delivered. Unfortunately, the deliveryman is missing. So, now I don a mask and rush to the kiosk to get my daily fix.
Life is hard, don’t you think?
Vanaja Rao is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad, India.