Posted by: Madhavi CN | September 13, 2013

Pause to Applause

Paused the ride Pause for a moment, close your eyes and try answering some questions: Did you hear a bird today? Have you heard the trees swishing in the breeze? Which direction was the wind blowing? What was the shape of the cloud that you last noticed? I do not know how many of these you have answered, but if you had asked me the same last week, I would have smiled at you, rolled my eyes and commented how thoughtful you were in bringing up a relevant topic in this fast paced e-world.

One week back, when I came with my daughter to Vizag – my childhood city, all I wanted to do was take my daughter to the beach while continuing with my consulting assignments. Though it was not the right summer destination (Oops! This blog got delayed by a Quarter when it came to posting it! The relevance though, remains the same), I was more or less set to take the sweaty experience for the love of the sea and the city and the slow-pace and the million memories…and the list goes on. With some cool cotton wear, my laptop and MBS Broadband plug-in safely tucked into my baggage, I was pretty much covered for. Who knew what was in store! MBS has withdrawn its services in AP and so here I was completely e-solated (electronically isolated) from my active universe of email, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google et al. This was the world where most of my interactions happened and it temporarily closed.

Instead of getting into an Internet café, I chose to stand by myself and explore my dormant world, or so it seemed! I started noticing animals, birds, caterpillars, trees, wild flowers, breeze, dust, clouds and even strangers. I talked, smiled, grumbled, giggled and shared in the real world – the more beautiful, spontaneous, long forgotten but familiar territory that was away from internet, smart phones, Wi-Fi and  where ‘connected’ had a far more meaningful usage.
20130529_133002In spite of this shift, I realized I was observing far less than the kids. I needed to revise on my seeing-the-world skills. Though I have all the goodness of the real world close to me, I cannot be much fascinated or feel the wonder until I humbly accept the fact that I needed to relearn observation skills. The distinct desire to explore the most mundane and find something ‘awesome’ to talk about has been numbed with age. The butterfly I see fluttering in the garden is just a butterfly that sometimes misses my senses completely. But when I tell myself that it is time for me to perceive things I start noticing the color of the butterfly, the pattern on its wings, the wave like motion and even the little movement of the leaf that it sits on. I feel the fascination again. Rather than anticipate and assume, I rediscovered to see and feel things as they happen. When I used to see something, I labeled it and put it in a category based on the knowledge I have gained with experience and reading. So all further observation stopped as I labeled a plant a cactus the moment my eyes mapped the data to my mind. Since I stopped labeling, I started noticing the fleshy leaf, its shape, the length and style of thorns and so on.

Destination never mattered to me. It was the journey that I always loved. With the new awareness, I am finding surprises, joy, learning and my long gone childhood. In the absence of ‘connectivity’, I gained the wisdom to connect to myself and to the world around. I found time; and with it, myself!

I am not ultra-orthodox to look down on today’s technology with disdain. But I certainly suggest a pause to applause the brilliance in the real world.

Can you dare unplug for a while, today?



  1. […] when you are up on the roller-coaster (the moment of contradiction to the good intentions set on Pause to Applause…and that is what I call is life). I focus on enjoying the ride – the highs, the lows and the […]

  2. Wonderful thought – unplug and observe. Would give it a go on the weekend ☺

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