Simplify and breathe…read”
The first time I uttered “I’m bored” was the last time I said it. My parents, particularly my mum, wouldn’t have any of it. She looked at me wryly and said, “Read”, and that I did and have been doing ever since. Reading has been my panacea for the ennui that would drape its arms around my shoulders; it pulls me out of the rut I find myself wallowing in every now and then. Let’s get something straight. When I talk about ennui, it’s not the general tedium experienced by others, which, more often than not, refers to the lack of doing anything exciting or being caught in a routinely life, which I don’t really mind (I like routines to a certain degree), but the restlessness that would settle within and hurl me into the abyss of discontent. Reading gets me out of that abyss because the wheels of logic and deep thoughts start churning, crushing the waves of senselessness.
If reading books literally were a strain to the eyes, I’d read other texts by looking around me. People- watching is one form of reading that I’ve learned to engage in whenever I find myself in Starbucks Coffee Bean Tealeaf, or Cold Stone. I’ve picked up fashion tips at Plaza Senayan just by looking at the women sashaying down the floors of the mall. It’s been ingrained in my mind that no matter how posh the brand is, orange shoes will never go well with a purple bag and a green dress unless you’re auditioning as a clown’s assistant in some show. As for men’s fashion, skinny jeans only look good on Zac Efron; unkempt hair only works for Robert Pattinson; and only the late Michael Jackson is allowed to wear white socks with leather shoes.
Fashion aside, the behaviour and facial expressions of people make for an interesting read. It hones my skills in reading people, making me feel like I am a part of the team of Dr. Cal Lightman, the undisputed human polygraph machine, and his partner, Dr. Gillian Foster, the very talented psychologist in the American TV show “Lie to Me”. For example, according to Dr. Lightman, a slight upward tug of the lips suggest a feeling of dislike while a crinkling within the eye area suggests very strong emotions of fear or abject horror. And that automatic shrug of the shoulder stands for outright lying. Of course, reading people isn’t as easy as reading the written pages of a book, but it does help even for a bit in uncovering the lies that lie beneath the surface – white lie or otherwise.
Boredom will always be there if you let the mind come to a standstill. I turn to reading, my wizard’s staff of invincibility, to stay the onslaught of complacency, impatience and a head-on plunge into hell.