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Crowds and Solitude

There are times when you can walk for an hour on the road and meet perhaps two or three people. Then there are times when you can walk for 10 minutes and perhaps walk across 200 people.

Crowds are the eternal moving specks in the city. They regularly wander in the sea of humanity, following the laws of Brownian motion. Looking from the top of a tall building, I am sure this is the feeling that Spiderman or the Dark Knight get in their respective metropolis.

I think there are basically two types of crowds. One is the sort that you encounter, say in Disneyland, in a fair or a fête. The other is one that you find in an airport, especially when some calamity such as a vomiting volcano. The latter one is the one that make me throw up as well.

I am tempted to add a third one as well. That is the office party. A random gathering of people and all because someone has invited them with no thought. It usually happens when you land up in a new office and you are invited to the same. You do not know anybody yet close enough to even a say a Hi! You probably have to introduce yourself some 29 times. At the end of the party you probably feel more like the red crested parrot with classic symptoms of stuttering.

Increasingly the rare commodity that I perceive is the solitude, a time for oneself -the so-called quality time. It is often required to catch up on the unfinished tasks such as reading a book, arranging things in your workshop or your garage. It is the reason why I like the e-book reader being branded by Barnes and Noble as Nook.

We all need time to ourselves to ruminate over what we have done so far and what to do next. A time to decide what you will do in the next few years. If you hope to live to 75 and you are say 50, there are 1300 weekends in the intervening period. To do this you must take time out away from the crowds. Crowds that demand your time, crowds that want to see you active in FB and crowds that want replies to their questions, can you get away from them?

You may be watching the most interesting cabaret or making your special sales pitch but if some shouts ‘snake’ in the room you can forget the cabaret or the pitch. Attention span is one of the most scare commodities. Eyeballs, footfalls, walk-ins, enquiry ratio, percentage response are some of the recurring themes in the corporate world.

Are you going to take the time out now?




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