Some of us have anxiety. No scratch that, a lot of us have anxiety. It may not be something we have all the time, every day but it comes and goes. I guess anxiety is just something we have to live with. It is bound to happen considering the kind of lifestyles that living in cities brings. If you wanted a fast-paced life, you couldn’t have asked for a better place than Mumbai to have it. I like to call it Bombay. Lets call it Bombay.
Bombay is one of those places where you get crushed if you don’t keep moving. No, literally. Here, days start with a bang. Come live in Dadar and enjoy the never ending crowds around the Plaza Theatre locality. Come to any of the northern suburbs and you won’t find a single stretch of road that isn’t filled with people. We’re like ants, we just find every empty space and fill it with ourselves.
Your home is literally the calmest place you might find in all of Bombay. Once you step out of it, be ready for a hell of a day.
Its the same with your life when you’re living in Bombay. You have to wake up at 8, get dressed, go to the gym maybe, finish that report once you get back (body soreness is no excuse), then grab a bite or two, get that printout, go buy some groceries as fast as you can, travel for 2 hours to your workplace, travel back for 2 hours in the evening, the traffic doesn’t move, but you’re used to it by now. Bombay is a unique experience.
But then when you’re moving this fast, your mind can’t always keep up. There’s a lot of pressure when you’re in places like this. Sometimes it gets to you. Okay, a lot of times, it gets to you. And then you shrivel up into a ball for a little bit just contemplating where your life is going. Then your pressure cooker goes off, or your dog knocks himself into a table or something so you have to get up and see what all the bawling is about. But you catch my drift right? Sometimes you don’t even have time to think.
You know what I do when stuff like this happens? I imagine a storm. A really violent one. Think up a really big storm, swirling around. Now see what its swirling around exactly. It swirls around the eye of the storm, right? And the eye of the storm is calm, serene, unfazed by the shit that’s going down all around it.
You’re the eye of the storm. Imagine you’re in it. Imagine, for a moment, there’s no cars honking around you, no hustle and bustle of people, no constant noises, you have no deadlines, neither the kind your control-freaky mind has made up, nor the office-work kind and there’s nothing bogging you down. Just you, your mind, and what you really, really need to do. See, when you live in such times, and places, some people say you need to be good at multi-tasking. I think that’s bullshit. Plus, multi-tasking just reduces your net productivity at whatever you’re doing so just stay away from that pseudo crap. What you really need to be good at is prioritizing. Do the most important shit first. Sometimes you gotta be selfish though. I, for example, am sometimes too helpful. Sometimes I help people even when I’m pressed for time, but if I think I can help them, I’ll try to do it. So what happens is, when they need help again, some of them ask me because I helped them last time. Now if this happens to you and this time you’ve learnt prioritising, cause I just told you about it, you gotta see if you really have the time for pro bono. If not, then know that you don’t owe that person any help. They’ll just have to ask somebody else this time.
You’re the eye of the storm. Because above the rat race, the summit of it all, its a quiet place.