The air whipped my face, making the stubborn locks of hair fly away, towards the back. As I went soaring backwards and up again, exhilaration I hadn’t experienced since a long time came rushing back, filling me up with warmth and bringing that lost smile, along with the memories. I swung back and forth on one of the two still-in-place swings, watching the stars overhead and feeling that childhood gush of happiness. My slightly less adventurous and cautious brother tried to persuade me to swing low, saying, “Don’t swing so high! Slow down please! You remember how you flew- downwards, when you were swinging this high, at the age of ten?”
That made me smile. : ) Not only because I always love the concern in his voice, but because his comment made me revisit my life as it was many years ago. The time when I just loved going the highest, when on a swing, not giving a thought to minor possible hazards such as a fall straight on the gravel (which came true a couple of painful times! :P). Nevertheless it was one of the prominent joys I looked forward to, every evening. And now I was experiencing the same joy, after so many monotonous years.
The park’s a few metres away from my place and I mostly use it to get across to the lone daily supplies shop in the block. Or to photograph the plants, flowers and colourful birds on good days, but hardly ever to get on the swings and fly high, with my brother on the adjacent swing, swinging slowly and trying to keep me from falling off! This was the first time, when our parents suggested we go ‘get some fresh air’ and we ended up on the empty swings (since it was night time). That moment, when the air filled my lungs and I again felt that sense of delight I used to experience almost daily, I thought of what my life has come to be, hollow, looking for pleasure in temporary fixes, in Facebook and the stupid, virtual world. That’s when I finally realized that typing a silly ‘LOL’ doesn’t actually make me laugh, but just makes me consume harmful rays (or whatever it is that laptops and PCs emit) and waste a hell lot of energy. While a stroll in the park brings so much happiness that it cannot be even expressed in a whole paragraph!
|My aunts (bhuas) on the swings in our park! :)|
The World all over is observing ‘Earth Hour’ at 8.30pm IST, today. I urge you to follow it too. You just need to switch off the lights, fans and basically other appliances that can be switched off without causing any problems (like your beloved laptop) and try to save energy. Believe me, it’s the least we can do to contribute something worthwhile from our side to this planet we call our home. And while you’re at it, don’t get online through your phones, but get outside, meet neighbours, walk in the park, watch kids playing, enjoy the breeze and if possible, be the child you were many years ago and do what you loved. Play cricket, get on top of swings or any other physical activity you like. It may seem funny if I suggest you start swinging, even if you're officially an adult, but really, it isn’t funny at all. People would secretly admire your nerves and you might just convince them to do the same! Try it! (See the pictures for inspiration. These are my two wonderful aunts, who do what they enjoy. :))
After all, true joy lies in living life like a child. It’s up to you to believe it or not.
PS- I really didn't want to
include spoilers, but I might get curses if I don’t warn you beforehand. Just
make sure you haven’t had your dinner before you get on the swings! You might
end up feeling nauseated for a full hour after the initial exhilaration! :P