The best thing about slow life is unlearning the use of calendars and clocks. It has its own challenges.

For decades, I was driven by the calendar. There were the notorious Monday blues. The weekdays always dragged on. The weekends were awaited and somehow they flew by even before I could feel them. The clocks ! They were yet another force guiding each and every day. When to reach the office, when to meet the people, reaching late was frowned upon and overtime was happily overlooked by the HR along with the board members.

The day, I started my journey of living a slow and peaceful life, the first thing that I stopped using was the clock. The resident blue-whistling thrush, that lives outside my window, wakes me up. There’s no need for an alarm clock. In fact, now the excitement of doing something fruitful makes me get up on my own, sometimes at almost the same time as the little birdy plans to sing. I have my lunch when I feel hungry and not when the clock tells me to. When the sun goes down, it’s time to relax by the old lamp, on my favorite chair, with a good book in hand. Winter evenings are marked by the smell of hot chocolate that I get to enjoy while I read my book. Summers, it’s a chilled beer or two, sometimes in the company of friends who are yet to stop using their clocks and watches. When I feel sleepy, I go to sleep. Someone asked me about the time I usually sleep. I am usually lost when someone asks this. It depends on the book that I might be reading before bedtime and also on the amount of physical work that I might have done in the day time.

The absence of clocks and watches also has its own advantages. Last week, I went to my car’s service station. They changed the oil, did some regular checkups, and also a minor paint job. I reached the place a little early to pick up my car. Actually, a lot earlier than expected. They were supposed to hand it over at around 3 in the afternoon. I reached there at around 1. I always carry some books and a notebook (the real paper kind, and not the laptop) with me. So, I just requested a place to sit and enjoyed a nice book. It seems that they handed the car at around 6 in the evening and were apologizing for the delay. I was surprised since I did not realise that so much time had passed. In fact, I thanked them for the comfortable corner they had provided me, with an endless supply of coffee and cookies. Every once in a while someone gave me an update about what was taking time, though I never asked. Without watches and clocks, I do not have to hurry anywhere or be late for anything. If I am traveling to the hills and it gets late, I can always stop wherever I feel like and check into a homestay, or call up a friend to spend the night. After all there is no Calendar to keep.

That brings me to the second thing that I quit using. The Calendar. Now every day is a Sunday and every day is also a Monday. It does not matter. Just two things to remember are the start of the new month, when I have to pay some salaries and rentals (usually someone or the other reminds me) and the days when some guests come to stay at our homestay. I don’t buy into the tradition of avoiding non-vegetarian food on some days and eating on others. For me, either a person is a Non-vegetarian, a Vegetarian, or a Vegan, or whatever else they believe in. I am not prejudiced and I cook for our guests based on their beliefs.

Living without a calendar also has its own set of minor problems too. Last Sunday, I called up a friend in the morning. He was still in bed. From his voice I realised that he was woken up by my phone call. For him, Sunday was the day when he could sleep late, while on the other days he had to get up early to go for his work.

There are lots of other things too that now I have a very limited use of. TV channels, News, Social networking.

I can hear someone calling my name outside. Maybe some friend has come to visit me. Is it already lunch time? Maybe, I will ask him to stay back for lunch or if it’s too early, we can enjoy some tea together. I will ask him, rather than deciding based on the time of the day. My friends are actual friends whom I can directly ask and get a real helpful reply.