mental health

A stranger in someone else’s paradise

I ache for solitude. A few minutes of uninterrupted silence. I want it so badly that I can taste it under the roof of my mouth. I can smell it in the air that I breathe out. And I want to make a dash for it. Kneel before its fountain, and tongue its sweet nectar; wincing as I feel it on my skin.

Because solitude is not a rash. I cannot scratch it, and make the itching go away. It travels through my small intestines. Finds a home wherever the human soul is supposed to be hiding. It is my ticketless passenger. By now, it has hitched a ride so frequently that I am not sure who is giving directions anymore.

And it is not a disease I carry around. It is a beautiful scar. A pivotal part of my psyche. A bar graph that precariously body-surfs on the totem pole of my actualized needs. It comes in different shapes and sizes.

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Bird-watching vs people-watching: The sanity defense

When I am not bird-watching, I indulge in people-watching. I am captivated by our nonverbal behavior. Gestures such as shoulder shrugs, head nods, and hand movements. They are significant parts of human interactions. Our inner whistle-blowers. They leak information about our personalities. Subconsciously, they present a more honest picture of who we are. Rather than sell the idea of the person we want to be.

Whenever emotions run high, in places such as airports, hospitals, and funeral halls, the body language of people is mesmeric. No matter how restless or torn they may be, their actions are always fluid. It’s as though they are acting out unfinished haikus. I am connected to them in an incongruous yet satisfying way.

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