DAILY DOSE By Bikram Vohra
However, in recent years, I noticed a marked craving for relaxation. It’s almost a fetish. Visualise the hurried executive at work. He looks at his watch, “I’m off”, he says, leaping up. “I have 90 minutes relaxation period now”. “Come on”, he exhorts body, “ree-lax, hurry up”. “I’ve got to be at the meeting at 4.30, haven’t got time for you whims”.
Finally, he gets so wound up trying to relax, his nerves get more taut by the minute. He’s doing breathing exercises. He’s forcing his shoulder muscles to turn to jello. He’s trying to make his mind go blank, except the proposal he’s going to present at the meeting keeps intruding. By the time he’s back to work, he’s so hung-up about his failed attempt he’s more hyper than when he went in.
People go on holiday to relax. They lose passports, get robbed, suffer second rate lodgings, the insults of stewards serving sloppy food, ride in ghastly public transport and mark eons at airports, returning home frazzled in nerve and totally exhausted in the mind.
Let’s face it. You can’t relax. It’s no longer valid. To feel guilty about it is fast becoming a waste of time. Where can you go? Home, try it. Thursday afternoon nap time, guarantee a phone call or a visitor. Take phone off hook. Now worry about who may be trying to get through, what if it’s important. Go to the pool or to the beach, children, ants, noise, fights, end up harangued. Go for a trip. Car has a flat, heats up, breaks a fan belt. Take up yoga. Get bill for yoga lessons.
Suddenly the calm transcendental meditation plonks back to reality. Ah! the weekly off. Stay home, one happy family, isn’t this nice, daddy, mummy and darling progeny, warmth and well being. Chance remark starts debate, deteriorates into full scale argument, becomes slanging match, kids begin to cry, parents tell them to “shut up, go to your room”, television adds to cacophony, doors are slammed, so much for bliss and elevenses.
Go to work. Enter the office, hear top level has decided on staff reorientation for maximum manpower resource allocation which means someone is getting the heave ho… Could be you. Worry yourself sick. Are grateful to discover you’re in the 200 Dhs. raise list, acknowledgment for 5 years’ hard work. Grovel with gratitude. On the way home, realise you’ve been duped.
Where’s the chance to relax? At home, guests you don’t want to know are coming. The kettle’s burnt an element because the house-boy put water only half way, the insurance instalment has arrived, who’s shouting, not me, I love stress. I dote on it.
It’s the relaxation that gets me down.