I've finally found an appropriate place to use this lyric ('Silence is Easy' by Starsailor). No, I did not spend a week at the Vipasana Ashram or take a vow of silence. I had laryngitis.
A rather dreadful cough coupled with the flu (the one I got on my Mum's happy birthday) turned into an inability to flex any of my vocal cords.I was reduced to gesturing, glaring and grunting. Moreover, I'd just taken up a ridiculous prepaid scheme which reduced my balance to zilch so I couldn't message anyone. Perfect timing.
So, like any self-respecting nerd, I turned to Harry Potter. Now, I'm not one of those who write obsessive fan fictions or live on Harry Potter fansites and know the Patronus of each character. (Okay, I might know THAT) But I like Harry Potter and I always have, right from the time I read the first book and before it was anything of a universal craze.
But this time, I got hooked. I started re reading the series backwards and fell in love all over again. Man, J.K. Rowling must've done LOADS of research- mythology, esotericism and whatnot. It's not like she just invented everything out of thin air. It is nearly convincingly true. And oh, how I wish it was.
Most of all, it's the pure human values that draw you. Friendship, bravery, sacrifice, honesty and purity of heart. I think that's what hit me the hardest about the books.
Anyway, so I was curled up in bed for nearly a week after the submissions, devouring the world of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and the rest. (Sirius used to be my favourite character but I think Snape has become the most intriguing. Okay, I'll stop now. An apology to my non-Harry Potter reading readers!)
Apart from being immersed in the dialogue of the characters and snatches of movies ('The Trail of the Pink Panther', 'Music and Lyrics', bits of 'Meet Joe Black' and 'The Pelican Brief'), I was totally silent. Much to the fury of my friends (whose calls and messages I couldn't answer. I'm honestly sorry about that!) and the boredom of my Mum, I retreated to my own private cellar of a mind. I faced my loneliness, my solitude, what have you. And you know what? I think it was for the good.
I realised that I can be alone and it's nothing to fear. It's not the greatest feeling but it's not rock bottom either. You can survive it. All that matters is that you be true to yourself.
I realised I can be bored and that doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Books and TV can be good company. But the best company can be your close ones whom you can just sit beside and not say a word.
I realised that I can dream a little dream and enjoy it . I don't have to kill myself into desperation by trying to make that dream come true.
So, at the end of my involuntary 'retreat', I find myself a little stronger, a little wiser, a lot more patient, a little friendless (ahem!) but a whole lot more peaceful. I'm no guru. I'm still the crabby old part-Cancerian. But I like silence. It just becomes me. And I kinda like what I become.