Was leisurely walking behind a group of golfers on a golf course, when I heard a putter shout, “Shut Up!” I stopped startled, as startled and surprised as the others were. After all you don’t hear, such exclamations coming in the playing of such dignified a game do you? Maybe gilly-danda, but certainly not golf, and I thought maybe it was a one off spurt of frustration and carried on walking, when I heard the shout again, and found very soon, the person, yelled thus, before each shot.
I wondered how Tiger Woods or others who putted with droves of spectators milling behind, reacted to any noise? After all, a wrong shot could cost a million dollars!
I remember this uncle of mine, principal of a very prestigious college during my childhood. I spent most of my holidays in the college house, delving into his huge library, but what I remember about him, was not the collection of books he had, but something I had heard about him, “he can shut off any disturbance and concentrate on the task at hand!”
Many years later I realized he had the ability of the ‘inner shut-up!’
As I ponder on this unique ability, I remember a scene on a busy road in the city. I noticed that all traffic ahead of me was suddenly taking a sharp left turn and traffic towards me, a right, and knew there was some obstruction in the middle, that made the traffic deviate so suddenly,
Getting closer, I found a cow, happily lying on its haunches in the middle of one of the most crowded roads, oblivious to the honking and braking around it, happily going about its business of chewing it’s cud.
The expression on her face made me grin, it was a half- smile, as if saying, “Honk away, I am not disturbed!”
As I studied that cow, what I found from its relaxed body language was that it was at peace with itself. And when at peace with it’s own self, the outside world wasn’t a bit disturbing.
And that’s the same peace I found very often in my uncle. Even in the midst of great thought, before delivering a lecture, he would stop, see me reading in some corner and have a long discussion about book and author.
He and that cow had an ‘inner shut up’ mechanism that sprang from a core area of stillness!
As a writer I strive for it, and even as I write this piece find any disturbance bothers me, just as much as the golfer on the course was disturbed, and in my mind I look at that cow, who gives a long moo, and looks up, pointing me to the One who can instill and install an ‘inner shut up mechanism,’ within me..!
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