Apparently we’re all short on time. Our lives are so full, so busy and so wonderful that we no longer have time to – well do anything.
There was a time when our mothers and grandmothers would head out to the market, haggle with vendors and return bearing tiny mangos, lime and maahali. They would sit outside and make jar after jar of pickle. Once a year the children would stand guard on the terrace – mobile scarecrows that shooed away the crows brave enough to inch their way towards sheets of drying vadaam.
Good skin and hair were things that took a healthy diet, weekly oil baths and massages to achieve.
Love was the outcome of years spent peeking through the bedroom window at the boy or girl next door. Or waiting at the turn of your of the road watching the object of your affections head to tuition. It meant spending hours at Landmark finding the perfect card with just the right amount of hearts, puppies and synonyms for love on it.
But who has the time for all these things? Today it’s meal in minutes, better skin in 2 weeks, yoga in bed, speed dating, crash courses and quickies in the elevator. (And if you don’t have time for that there’s always the power shower.)
Now this isn’t some rant to get people back to making pickle at home. This isn’t a call to get back to the good ol’ days. That would mean tights and Doc Martens. And that wasn’t a great look on me - or anyone else for that matter. This isn’t even a call to people to slow down and sample life’s simple pleasures.
All I’m wondering is this. What is that we’re doing that’s taking up so much of our time?
We aren’t in deep Tibet finding ourselves. Reading Deepak Chopra over a latte is more popular than sitting in a commune somewhere eating bean sprouts and not taking any hot showers.
We aren’t spending years training our minds and bodies to be focused and flexible. There’s Meditation for Dummies and Speed Tai Chi for that.
We certainly aren’t sunning ourselves on the back porch and making pickles that are as hot as the neighbourhood gossip. The only ladies who do that are a certain Priya and Ruchi. (And I have a very sneaky feeling that they’re men in safari suits.)
So what’s taking up all our time? Work? Has the ladder of success turned in to one of those giant exercise wheels that hamsters and mice are forever running on? Are we spending so much time trying to get ahead that everything else in our lives has been relegated to the instant category?
So what you say. What’s the harm in jumping the line a bit? Why can’t we find love in a 60 seconds? What’s wrong with looking for beauty in a jar? Nothing really.
But then today morning I spotted a woman on the train reading "A crash course in Paediatrics".
And there’s something very unsettling about that.