Are you bored?
Let me get this straight. How bored are you at the moment? Let’s make a ten point Likert scale and grade your level of boredom from a staggering sloth munching his eucalyptus leaves to Joffrey Baratheon shooting his prostitutes for fun. How well did you fare? Were you a four – staring at the wall and contemplating all the bad decisions you made and feeling guilty, or were you a mind numbing two - reading pages of the same line of text once, twice, thrice, Zzzzz…
Do excuse me. My head just fell on the keyboard. Apologies. But you can’t blame me. I was on level five - I’m bored with people telling me that they are bored, so much so that it induces a sleepy stupor in me when anybody says the word bored. I instantly fall asleep. That’s one way to escape boredom (or so the bored people swear). If you are bored, just sleep. It’s good for health (yeah obviously, if you are doing nothing productive at least consume less oxygen. It’s the very least you could do for others). I am still in two minds to decide my stand on the matter though. I am not judgmental, but again if I’m not judging anyone harshly doesn’t it mean that I’m judging them to be too nice or too perfect; and that doesn’t make me judgmental anyway, albeit a nice one? I digress.
It’s this fleeting nature of mind that we call boredom, and it is so goddamn elusive. You can never accurately describe it. We can take, for example, a classic situation. There are probably a hundred things that you should be doing at the moment. Things that you’d probably added to your to-do list since your late school days (yes - losing those man boobs, getting fit enough to climb a flight of stairs without panting like a German Shepherd, stop making those horrible noises on the guitar, working on your public speaking skills to stretch it beyond blankly staring at the mike and much more). Then there will be this one thing that will be hanging above your head like a Gurkha Kukri (swords as a simile is too clichéd, plus I just read an article on how cool Gurkhas actually are, so what the hell. My life, my world, my choice of metaphors). Then you see this wonderful law in action - Parkinson’s Law. Much like the disease of the same name, the situation the law entails is dangerous, but not lethal - at first. The law says, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. So you have a few spare minutes to relax. You might, again might not. Since the submission/completion/stepping up/../../ is x hours away, and x is a relatively not-so-small number inside your head, you think that you can relax. You “think”. Cue Buddha quote.
The problem is you think you have time.
Now this is where boredom steps in, sly as a fox. You don’t want to do the work at hand. However, since you have something so heavy on your plate (no pun-ed offense to my fellow binge eaters), you don’t feel like doing anything that you normally feel like doing, like having something heavy on your plate (Hue hue hue! Yes offending you, fatsoes). Then we complain and cry and be cranky and break empty plates (I promise this is the last food joke) and blame it all on being bored. Slowly we realise that it’s shit-hit-the-fan-o-clock and we are barely hours away from getting our head eaten by someone with authority (see? That wasn’t a food joke). Then we dig deep and find some crazy levels of talent and somehow manage to finish our work on time, swearing all the while that you’ll not get bored ever again.
I remember reading somewhere that I had no right to be bored in the first place. No right at all. It probably is because the world out there is too large for us to actually understand the magnitude of its vastness. Or in other words, we think too much of ourselves to admit the fact that we are too tiny to matter at all. Before you brand me as a skeptic or a low-level nihilist, let me assure you that I’m not one. It’s a far more relaxing state of mind to be in- to embrace fear to be the bravest, to admit that you are weak to become stronger, to force yourself to think and never be bored. Bored is just a word that we cooked up when we were too afraid to think of what our thoughts might turn out to be. Simplest of things have the power to amaze you. Hence you aren’t allowed to be bored, if you are breathing. Just notice your breathing – did you know that an average human breathes in an equivalent of 13 pints of air every minute?
One pint is half a litre. Fascinating?
So can we start over?…
Are you bored now?
Photography By: Manbarasan