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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

escape routes

Houdini mastered the art of engineering his escape from chains; he displayed his powers on a number of occasions. Born on 24/3/1874, he expired on 31/10/1926.

However, everyone is not the magician that Houdini was and, escape from the chains of life is not an easy affair. In spite of the hurdles, when we get tired of routine and mundane activities, we do plan an escape on weekends, to relieve the boredom - this is especially true for those of us who are compelled to stay in cities for the sake of earning a decent living and fulfilling the aspirations of those near and dear to us. If unmarried, they are our parents or guardians; if married, they mean our family and children. An outing in the countryside does wonders to ones outlook on life, it rejuvenates him – a weekend in a village, with no access to modern amenities is an ideal retreat for tired minds. Alas, there are very few villages that fit the bill: in the remotest of villages, you will be bombarded with ads of bubbly cold drinks or toothpaste that impart a unique identity to make you irresistible to the opposite sex or a toffee that gives a new dimension and strength to your breath. If visuals are to be believed, it has the power to ring a bell from a distance – it changes the very concept of ‘who is the boss’, it results in a mass movement of sorts when the mass literally changes loyalties!

City folks plan their escapes into the mountains or the sea shores – it is a common practice in the Western culture. With five-day working, it is expected that people occupy their weekends in search of recouping their energy from their surroundings. Unfortunately, many of us here do not know how to enjoy our weekends – the more ambitious ones put in extra hours of work and keep their bosses informed about it, or they arrange teeny-weeny parties where the boss is the center of attraction or they sit in the company of friends and nurse drinks while commenting against any and every thing under the sun. These are our greatest assets – we praise someone sky-high or criticise him to his doom, depending on whether he is useful to our way of thinking or not.

It seems that large American employers arrange for paid annual vacations for their staff – it is a compulsion. The company ensures that you really and truly take time off not only for your sake but for the sake of your family and the Organisation. In contrast, we keep on accumulating our entitled leave and slog day in and day out to create an impression that we are indispensable to the organization. This accounts for premature aging. Some of us may reap dividends via this route but, at what cost? It has to be understood that regular escapes add years to your life and are more useful for survival.


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