Indecision

Going back in time, I ponder over the last hour. I begin by reading ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ because that’s what I am reading presently. At the back of my mind, I’m thinking about what an overrated book ‘Paper Towns’ is. After 18 minutes gone and I know it’s 18 and not 20 or 25 because I am wearing a digital watch. So it is 18 minutes 31 seconds precisely. I realise I’m on page 7. Bam! That’s where I started. I’ve read this sentence more than a dozen times now.

I am the man who comes and goes between the bar and the telephone booth. Or, rather: that man is called “I” and you know nothing else about him, just as this station is called only “station” and beyond it there exists nothing except the unanswered signal of a telephone ringing in a dark room of a distant city.

I read it once more to see if it means anything different. Nothing. I must be out of my mind. Lacking interest instantly, I shut the book. Stare at its cover for few seconds; the title with its letters tumbling over makes no sense either.

It doesn’t take a detective’s mind to figure that I am in no mood to read, which to my surprise, I don’t find surprising. I’m suddenly gripped with an urge to scribble down things. Picking up a pen, I search for my diary. One word down and my mind goes – where’s my black pen? I start hunting for my black pen because that’s who I am – The Black Ink Writer. When I’ve found the pen, I don’t want to write anymore. Half-fuming, half-exhausted, I am at a loss of things to do.

For no particular reason, I decide to call mum. But mum’s inquisitive as ever; she’ll ask exactly what I don’t want to talk about – life. Life that’s so screwed up. Shrinking a bit over the oddity of the situation, I feel terribly lonely.

I want to go hide under a rock. Fly off a roof and disappear in thin air. I bite hard into my knuckles and then peer at the bite marks. The imprints are just as obscure as are my thoughts. Like the dreams that ring a bell, but are hazy in the mind. Caffeine, I’ve heard, sets mood right. So I brew a cup of dark coffee. Sugarless. Dark. Just how I like. No sooner I’ve poured myself a cup, I let it rest on the table. And soon forget about it.

A rush of breeze with a whiff of freshly baked bread ushers in. I peek out the window, staring into nothingness. Minutes pass unnoticed. Oblivion is bliss. A loud call breaks the reverie. Men scurry to the mosque, like ants rushing to a mound of sweet.

With a blank mind and an empty satchel, I leave the house.

Indecision is deeply rooted in our inability to conclude. The reluctance to accept the obvious outcomes of circumstances. But courtesy of these indecisive moments,  even the most trivial matters become cumbersome.

I’d love to hear about your moments of indecision. What do you do? Are you also just as lost? Do write to me.

-Asha Seth

64 thoughts on “Indecision

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  1. Yes Asha, I feel quite lost when I’m indecisive. Especially about matters of consequence, like romance or setting boundaries with my now grown children. I pray for help with making these important decisions, and that always helps to an extent.

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  2. I could completely relate with you. Rereading the same line but actually being lost in your own world. Happens sometimes and it’s irritating when you know you are a reader but the book just can’t keep you hooked because your mind obviously has a lot going on. Great post. Walking for at least twenty minutes is my therapy! 🙂

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  3. Everytime I write a poem and think about sharing it, there is indecision which shows its head! Should I or should I not, because what I share comes from the heart, and might touch someone, and I hope not in a negative way. What I try to share is what my spirit has experience in this life whether with the One whom God chose for me to love for life, or for the One (God) who first loved me. We make what is hidden within become an open book. You are such a great and awesome writer Asha, you inspire me always and you also inspire many happy spiritual smiles! Keep writing and sharing your gems my sister!

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  4. It happens many times, not just one! Like you I too try everything. Call my bestie or sis and then I find I’m not even listening to them half of the time….solution varies as sometimes its music other times sleeping or watching TV but to be true its never easy for me…
    You penned it so well I guess this is what helps us sometimes.

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  5. I had already read this writing of yours through Twitter but held onto my comment for some reason (which even I don’t know). See ‘Indecision’ lies even in commenting.
    But what I do in most of the cases of Indecision is ‘Sleep’. An escape from all the problems, temporarily. 😀

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    1. What an incredible idea that is, Maureen! I love working out. But running, more than indoors workout. So when I left the house, I may have hit the road in a pair of sneakers. 🙂

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  6. I’d say just let yourself feel for an hour or so and then write a bit. Even if you don’t feel like it. It’s just my personal experience, but writing helps me figure out things that I just can’t without putting pen to paper.

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  7. Ah the games the mind plays on us. I have a family situation that I must address yet the more I think about it the more frustrated I get, the more angry I get the more silent I become….

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  8. Hahaha, I laughed at the moments and especially that man at the telephone booth. When I am indecisive I usually don’t do anything. I go out in the balcony play with joy a little (thus works only if he is interested.) and then come around. If still I don’t have anything decisive I leave it for the day. And do anything else. Doing something is good but making it worse won’t be good. 😅

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    1. I miss having Alfey around. He’s my stress-buster. The quote is a part in the starting of the book. Thinking of it now, I feel it wouldn’t be wrong to guess that maybe Calvino was in a state of Indecision himself. 😛

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  9. Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight. ..Indecision a dull one that hacks and tears leaving ragged edges behind it . A wonderful thought by Gordon Graham

    Whenever I come across such a situation where I can’t decide myself…first thing what I do is I don’t think so much about the issue …I just place my problems before my parents and ask for a solution as I trust them most …I think it’s better to speak with others whom we trust and love the most..other way till if it’s not so critical like Radhika Di I would prefer to listen to soothing music or watch a comedy film of Govinda.

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    1. I find myself perennially lost with not an ounce of energy to tax my brain for some real thinking. So these ideas are fun engagements. Thank you. I’m not into Bollywood but most times Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda or Despicable Me work the trick for me. 🙂

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          1. I can relate this to a situation two years ago …when had not got enough merit in AIPMT exams nor in MHTCET medical exams on the other hand I got well qualified in the I IT JEE mains with 70 percentile score .I was really not knowing what to do…I felt like taking a gap …but my father told me if take a gap and not qualify with a good score? Have you thought about it ?
            I just stayed silent …Looking at my silence my father suggested why waste one more year if you have qualified for admission in engineering course ….I just went with his decision and today I never regret it 😊

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“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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