By Gulraj Bedi:
There’s something about loneliness and solitude that pulls me towards itself. It is something that has no description whatsoever. You need to have a fair amount of first-hand experience in order to understand it. To be very honest, solitude is something that can only be felt, it’s pretty much intangible. It can’t be described graphically or even in words.
All of us are lonely in some way or the other and we don’t even know why we’re lonely. It may seem quite strange and unlikely, that in a world which happens to be brimming with social media, somebody is lonely. Well, I have 10,000 different ways of communicating with the same set of people on the same device, my smartphone, and it happens quite often but that feeling of loneliness remains, it’s intangible but it’s present all the time.
Every lunch hour happens to be the same. I pick up my smartphone from my table, stagger towards the pantry with my eyes pointing downwards. My routine is pretty much the same and it seldom varies. My lunch hour is spent eating lunch in silence and writing useless blog posts. The only difference is the location. On days when chicken and mutton are served, I have lunch in the pantry. Otherwise, I have this habit of eating out at a nearby restaurant, preferably a KFC outlet.
A few days back, I opted to eat out at a nearby dhaba. I chose to eat at the dhaba only because of its relative unpopularity as it happens to be one of the quieter eating places. I searched the back pockets of my trouser to check whether or not I have my wallet as I stood there collecting my order.
I felt relieved when I collected my lunch, not only because of the fact that I was damn hungry, but also because this meal gave me something to do, other than standing around alone, hearing other people talking around me. It served as a reminder that I don’t have anyone to engage in a casual conversation with.
The degree of relief grew when I found my favorite table, which happened to be there in the corner of the room, where I could eat and write unobserved. I ate quickly in order to give myself a chance to write a blog-post (this one). I checked my phone occasionally, there weren’t any messages. There were a lot of Facebook posts, all of them involving other people and not me.
So, it was yet another dull day. I was tired of doing the same things, the same way. I’ve done all the things I should: studied hard and got a job. I made myself independent. I’m there on all the social networking platforms, right from Facebook to Twitter. (Not on Instagram though). and yet, here I was, sitting alone having lunch.
It makes no difference where I have lunch. If I would have had lunch in the office’s pantry, then I would have been alone. Well, I could never really understand why this happens to me. I always thought I was a decent enough guy, but the few friends I have, are either busy or living far away and somehow, when I meet new people, I don’t leave enough of an impression for them to consider me, anything more than an acquaintance.
To be very honest, I’ve never felt lonely. There have been times when I’ve just locked myself in a room. There have been times when I’ve felt suicidal and terribly depressed, but I’ve never felt the need to talk to anyone else. I never felt the need to talk to anybody. I never felt like sharing something with people. To be very honest, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered about because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude.
You might disagree with me but I strongly believe that when you’re surrounded by people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be a part of a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you could feel like you’re really alone.
I don’t know how to be anything other than intense. I don’t know how to experience something without feeling too much or thinking too much. I’m always searching for something, always questioning and struggling to find meaning in everything. I am passionate and I am deep, and even if I’m misunderstood, I’m totally okay with that.