“Making free time is culture”

By : |August 29, 2003 0

>My friend’s emails always close with the words “Making free time is culture.” The best email sign-off I have liked so far, goes like this, “There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”

I know a friend who has written a small routine to pick up one liners from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, George Orwell’s 1984 and many of Graham Greene’s works and add it in his emails. They lend character to his emails.

I would pick ” Making free time is Culture” for the absolute sense it makes. Now, this one gives legitimacy for “free time.” It tells us that it’s okay to have “free time.”

These are times when I remember my school days with almost tears in my eyes. There was no anxiety of getting caught for being free. Is it the times — then and now? Or is it the new culture?

Like they say, during those good old days, free time wasn’t a panacea. Free time was just free time. My friend’s father would disassemble his old Lambretta and assemble it again most Sundays. My cousin would spend a whole Sunday dusting his book shelves. Our landowner would enjoy preparing delicious chats, pulav and masala dosas on Sundays.

I do not use a pen anymore to write a story. I use the keyboard. When keyboards were not around we would be fussing about the fountain pen. Every weekend it would be rinsed with luke-warm water and fresh Chelpark or Brill ink would be filled in. A blotting paper would be kept handy.

Being a journalist for a Business daily, I was used to scouring about four to five newspapers every morning. I would go through all them painstakingly, to see if I had missed a story during my ‘beat’. In case, there was a big miss, I could always plan a follow-up or a different angle with enough time to spare.

I still remember the days preceding the Internet. Bulletin Board Services were in vogue and we would spend hours, connecting to the BBS. This gave way to some leisurely browsing with Lynx and the sentences would come up one by one.

Words such as ‘optimum’, ‘best’, ‘velocity’ and ‘hard’, were ones we would rarely come across, as they were not part of the common lexicon. They would be used to describe something unique.

As we moved along, technology too changed. Instead of making them our tools we made them our crutches. Making free time, is indeed culture.

(The inspiration behind this column is my friend Dr. MB. Krishna, who proclaims ‘Making Free Time Is Culture’ in all his emails)

*The views expressed in this column are those of the author and does not, reflect that of the organization.

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