The Great Escape

I do not have any illusions of a grand escape. It doesn’t have to be great, is what I mean. The smaller instances qualify equally well in my opinion, if not more.

The surprise of not running into a maddening traffic jam on my daily commute, getting through a tiring yet strong run on a lethargic morning, the satisfaction in typing out an elegantly worded e-mail, watching a sudden shower paint the dusty trees green, running into an old friend in an unexpected fashion – or even an impromptu WhatsApp conversation with someone I haven’t heard from in a while. There are a multitude of these tiny windows of ‘escape’ that grace your day more often than you think. The trick is in being able to recognize one as it unfurls.

There is an inherent need for escape that keeps surfacing in all of us. Why else would you think the whole world today reaches for their phones every few minutes? A quick glance through the WhatsApp groups, a sneak peek into the Facebook feed, a few tittering minutes spent on Twitter, or an instant of Instagram. Technology has made it easier than ever to ‘get away’ today.

This is more of an interruption though, the way I see it. A distraction is not quite the same as an escape – one will interrupt your chain of thought and leave you a little confused, while the other will pop a productive thought into your head, and allow you to come back enthused. One will tear you away from what you’re doing, while the other may not. Despite the connotations of the word, an escape need not be always be detached from what you’re doing otherwise.

I feel it all the time. Not having to constantly worry about what I’m saying or doing, in light of what someone else might construe it to be, having a conversation in which I’m being understood exactly the way I want to be, being silent just because, well, I can be – In a way, just the simple act of being able to be myself. That possibly would count as the most welcome escape today – being able to let down your guard and rid yourself of those ‘societal’ garbs that you don all the time, not knowing when you’ll be able to slip out of them and relax in your own skin.

Escape, in that sense, is just like effort – it is the little bits that matter. My grand plans of taking a mammoth swing at the task at hand when I’m ‘ready for it’ almost always fail to materialize. However, taking little stabs at it as and when possible, keeping the ball moving whenever I can, ensuring continuity in the form of small ‘packages’ of effort that eventually add up, seems to work pretty well. That way, one doesn’t even truly realize how something got done. The magic just adds up.

The value of small is vastly underrated. A much awaited coffee break in the middle of a grueling work-day makes so much more of a difference than you may credit it with. Of course, I’m sure a two week Euro trip is not without merit either. But for that, there’s MasterCard.



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