“I am going to read a book”

A lot of non-retired folks I know dream of retirement. The quiet mornings, the relaxed lunches and the walks.

The retirees I know are in one of two phases.
1) Yearning to get back to work where they miss the hustle and bustle of a daily routine, and just can’t get used to the fact that nobody is expecting them at an office when the clock strikes. I call these withdrawal symptoms and hope they would get to the contentment stage without causing themselves too much harm.
2) Relaxed, like they’ve surfed the turf before. The looks on their faces tell you they’ve seen the turbulence and rode out the calm. It is now their time to sit on the beach and watch the waves idly lapping the shores. Contentment poring out of them in short.

I dream of retirement too. Yes, so what if I am young? The promising youth looks forward to his future does he not? Many a time, when the early morning doesn’t look enticing to me, I fantasize that I would absolutely loll in bed when I retire. I would get up and stick my tongue out at the alarm clock and tuck myself back in with glee. The rooster can retire when I retire for all I care. I might even dropthe alarm clock in a pot of oil, and cover the pot with a mattress after switching the thing off, that is. Purely from a closure point of view.

Just when my fantasies really take root, I find a disturbing article telling me that older people need less sleep. Why?! I thought old age was the second childhood and all that, and I remember being told to sleep for a solid 18 hours or a number near there.


To top this, I come back from a the retiree’s paradise – Garden Island of Hawaii, Kauai. The whole island is full of migratory retirees, who spend the harsh Winter months in the warmenvirons of Hawaii. One couple stayed next door, and they gave me a dose of my paati and thaatha in shorts on the beach.

After the usual courtesies have been done with, I ask the thaatha, “So what are your plans for today?”

I should probably tell you at this point that our plans included, among other things a 5 hour round trip drive to a Canyon, with 3 trails to see, 5 different waterfalls, a trip to the beach, some serene walks in the forest followed by a Hawaiian dance performance Luau or something. In other words, packed is the word. If we’d had another half an hour, we’d have thrown in a coral reef exploration program alongwith Scuba diving or snorkeling. But we were firm, we were going there to relax, and relax we shall. No Coral reef explorations. Just relax!

Bear me while I give you a feeling of a no interruption narrative, I’ll ask the Thaatha again,
“So what are your plans for today?”
“Oh, I am going to read a book.”

I have that look on my face where I am waiting for the sentence to finish. I am leaning my neck forward and waiting for the remaining, and then realise that good ol’ thaatha has finished his plans. There is nothing more to the day. He does not plan to save the planet today or crack his back overcoming some imaginary roadblock. He just plans to read a book.Β  Lovely!

12 thoughts on ““I am going to read a book””

  1. Hillarious blog! ROFL funny. (May be I was right in middle of that scene)

    “I would get up and stick my tongue out at the alarm clock and tuck myself back in with glee”

    In the world of relentless nagging of iPhone’s, it is funny to see your enemity towards the poor old fashioned “Alaarum time piece” πŸ™‚

    BTW, unlike you, I know how to relax.

  2. Sigh!! I long for such a holiday/retirement.. ‘just read a book’

    I guess to have such a time is why we have to slog now :–(

  3. Nice post Saumya πŸ™‚

    I long for such a holiday too. I guess it is human nature to always yearn for what we don’t have. When I have work I want a holiday and when I have all the time in the world I miss the hustle-bustle…

  4. You should have squeezed in some snorkeling…tut…tut…relax! phfff.. πŸ™‚
    You can read a book anytime, rather all the time in your case. πŸ™‚

  5. Yes. Snorkeling! I tried my best to convince her to use the 1 hour slot between canyon drive and luau to do snorkeling. All I got was that “morai” (rolling of the eyes) 😦

  6. Shoba, you know what Sri did? He thrust a book in my hand and insisted on taking a picture, just so he could show me that he had granted my wish of sitting by the beach and reading! I was given 3 minutes of reading time!

    Sri, I wouldn’t take my “morais” so lightly if I were you!

  7. Lovely post – like a quote-unquote of my own thought process every single week day!!I spend the whole week dreaming about the weekend where I could ‘ stay in bed and read a book’!!The precious weekend dawns and I wake up to 6 people coming in for lunch, daughter to be dropped (and picked up) at a bday party, son to be dropped off at the movies with a car load of friends, shelves to be rearranged, nothing in the fridge to keep us all alive till the next weekend….groan!! I have 3 new books my wonderful husband gifted and I haven’t even read the reviews on the paperback!!! I have no answer to why on earth we live like this!! Maybe so that we can get to Hawai some day and ‘read a book’ FULLSTOP!!

  8. Great blog you have here. Loved your style and sense of humour. Am subscribing to your posts, so ull see me around.

    I have to make a conscious effort to relax on holidays too, its an Indian thing I guess. And I had this long-term desire of reading by water too. Have done it only twice – once on a beach in Isle of Skye (southern England) and the other time by the pool where we lived. Not as often or as long as I would have liked, still its something.

    And… brace yourself… I drink milk. Yes you got it right, no coffee and no tea either. Just milk. :))

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