It was a warm winter afternoon. I was wandering through a bushy trail along the coast of south Goa, feeling as ecstatic and warm as a reptile lazing under the sun. I had been creeping through the narrow trail for long, heading towards a small, rocky hill which a fellow hiker from England had said was a beautiful spot to admire the sea. He had been returning from the hill, shirtless and tanned, beer bottle in a hand, and a petite backpack resting at one side of his shoulders. He looked happy, and intoxicated—less from the effect of beer, more from the amazement of discovering something spellbinding. I had to find out the source of his exhilaration.
Further up the trail I realized I have left humanity a bit behind. I could hear rattle-snakes buzz all around me—in those intense bushes I am sure would have been a colony of them. Such a fearless association of snakes is possible only in places where human trespassing is rare. Then I started conjuring fantastic thoughts about being chased by an army of rattle-snakes!
When I reached the top of the hill, my head started spinning with excitement as if I were in a reverie. What a spectacular feeling it was—the roaring winds beating against my ears, the gurgle of mischievous sea waves breaking at the base of the hill, the balmy sun smiling above my head, and not mention, the army of rattle snakes spying from the bushes around.
I settled on a rock and fell into a meditative stance, reflecting on the nature of leisure. And it was at that moment that I remembered a quote of Karl Marx:
“Work is external to the worker…it is not part of his nature; consequently he doesn’t fulfill himself in work but denies himself…The worker therefore feels at home only during his leisure time, whereas at work he feels homeless.” 🙂