Today, I took the slowing down literally. Domestic urgency required me to get to Pune today, and I drove along the Expressway, as usual, and touched Pune in three hours.
It started raining as I was getting ready to come back to good-old Bombay. There was also a shower of warnings and caution. Drive safe, go slow, don’t speed and the like. As if it is statistically likely to have an incident when you are driving alone.
As it comes naturally to me, I expressed my drive as soon as I hit the Expressway; a few kilometres down, however, I slowed down. Really slowed down (within speed limits) Turned down the windows, allowed in the friction that I have so vehemently denied all these years. I selected the middle lane. I pumped up the volume to the music of Natarang, with a not very unusual bias to “Apsara Aali”.
It’s 6:44 in the evening. 24 degrees centigrade with an air-conditioner is very different from a natural 24 degrees centigrade. I lit up a slow cigarette, and invited the cool, moist wind to my car. The rain, it seems has limited itself to the municipal limits of Pune. The Expressway is dry. The sun is setting behind a cloud formation that attempts imitating the mountain peaks. It slashes dramatic golden streaks across the sky. Late-evening blue meets a last-minute orange shade of gold. Terminal sun-rays blast through the cloud — making gold everything that they can reflect off. I curse myself for not having carried my camera. Almost instantly, I congratulate myself for not bringing my camera. The viewfinder and the lens would have sucked this moment out of me.
Insurance products and home loans are the reason why we are unable to live in the moment.
Something that I read recently in Robert Genn’s post filled my car:
If your work depresses you, and depresses you more as you go, you need to get happy. Count your blessings. Count your winnings. Take a few minutes to fly the flag of optimism. I don’t know about you, but I often feel I’m getting drunk on a painting. It’s better to be a happy drunk than a mean one. ~ Robert Genn, The fine art of fooling around
I got drunk this evening on the images that surrounded me; on the sense of being that I had almost forgotten. It was a slow drink; each sip savoured so that it could last forever.