Of Distractions and Addictions

More than an hour and a half has gone by since I started making notes about what to write here.

For inspiration, I searched for some soothing music on google. I remembered I used to enjoy Mike Oldfeld’s Tubular Bells and I started listening to it. I got engrossed in it and after the track got over, I started watching the video version of the same music. That’s why there is nothing much to show for my 90 minutes in front of my computer screen.

Music is a good distraction to have. It doesn’t cause any harm and uplifts the spirits.

Yet, the mood-lifting music managed to swing me away from my focus – writing this post. There is a saying in Tamil, which translates as – a winning horse does not pay attention to the grass.

I am blessed to have worthy goals at this stage of my life. They keep me alive and give me the courage to keep walking.

Sadly, I trip and fall all over my goals because of my many distractions. Lately, the distractions have transformed into addictions.

For more than two years, Trump and CNN along with NDTV have together robbed hundreds of hours of my time. I used to consume CNN news with my breakfast, lunch and dinner, apart from at the dawn of day and right till midnight. My mobile phone and remote were my accomplices in finding my solace.

I convinced myself that I was trying to understand how a nation which used to be a crucible of ideas and ideals now resembles Shakespeare’s imaginary country Messina in Much Ado about Nothing where people are at once adept at deceiving others and all too willing to be gullible.

The news addiction depleted my energy levels and took me farther away from working towards my goals. After all how do I chase anything of substance when trivia is what floats in my mind, corroding my soul’s intent?

The addiction got the better of my goals.

Now it is time to decide and choose better – acknowledging that I allowed myself to be lost in an alien world of a few bloated, fake people and their phoney issues.

My addiction to American and Indian news never satiated me – however much I watched. But a sense has been gathering within that I was becoming clueless, powerless and trapped.

Just as trapped, powerless and clueless as the drunkard in the wonderful story, The Little Prince written by Saint Exupery.

“What are you doing here,” he asked the drunkard…

“Drinking,” replied the drunkard, with a gloomy expression.

“Why are you drinking?” the little prince asked.

“To forget,” replied the drunkard.

“To forget what?” inquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.

“To forget that I’m ashamed,” confessed the drunkard, hanging his head.

“What are you ashamed of?” inquired the little prince, who wanted to help.

“Of drinking!” concluded the drunkard.

 Losing control or taking control is just a decision away. The onus is on me in either case. I am responsible.

I picture myself not scratching the itch when I look for the remote as I go to have my food. Momentarily, there is some unease at the creeping silence, but eventually the silence grows on me. I savour the food in my mouth as I take in the surroundings. In that silence, I converse with my wife in quiet understanding. It feels good to be in control.

In that state, the itch – to scratch the itch – is far from my thoughts.


Leave a Comment