There are times when Specky suddenly asks, ‘What are you thinking?’ I want to tell her that I wasn’t thinking at all. Do I really need to think? Thinking is such a hazardous task. I will then need to question. Decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Take sides. Be a bully for a frail one. Or submit to a thought that bulldozes into my being. My life will be pulled in directions that I haven’t been taught at all. I mean, thoughts don’t necessarily always adopt an orderly north, south, east, or west direction. They make complex calculations before taking even a single step. It is quite a strange thing… all this business of thinking. The first step in that complex calculated direction isn’t the one that the next step will want to go to. Right? Yes, that’s right. These steps of thoughts have a mind of their own and following them is rather insane. So I prefer not to think most of the time. I prefer to read. But then reading also has this stupid habit of pushing you towards thinking. You then start off with simple questions like… Why did this happen the way it happened? Or What was the real intent there? Be careful… these simple looking questions are massive traps and the answers are never straight. You are welcomed into the catacombs of wordy subterfuges and those who walk on never come back. Yes, bright minds enter these catacombs never to re-emerge. They must still be there opening up the millions of knots that thoughts really are. I know it is quite addictive and those who remain there must actually be in some sort of a cognitive heaven… but most of us beat a hasty retreat and so we are always in an over-populated state really. Specky looked up in surprise and murmured in a low voice, ‘All I asked was what is it that you were thinking about?’ I told her I consider subjects and topics… all of them. I take them in my hands, feel them, toss them from one hand to another and decide if I like the experience. I mean, just look at a word like sex. Take it in your hands, cuddle it, toss it from hand to another and see it perspire in fear. After all, even sex wouldn’t want to fall off from any height. But then it isn’t the fall that these words and topics are afraid of… one of them once told me, ‘We don’t like to roll under chairs and remain hidden forever.’ ‘Ah!’ I said, ‘Neither do I.’ So I just let that word drop under the table and went straight to my Facebook & Twitter page to make sure that I remain in circulation. I mean, getting tossed from here to there is by far better than rolling snuggly into oblivion, isn’t it? ‘What do you think when you’re not thinking?’ asked Specky again. This time she was looking at me like a trainee nurse about to try all her amateur skills of controlling a wayward patient. But I calmed her by repeating her question. Repetition always tends to take the focus away from complex questions like thinking or not thinking. But then, as I was saying, the one way of not getting lost in the catacombs of deliberate thinking is to think a lot. I mean, look at a girl and think of what she would do in a park sitting all by herself… then look at the smartphone lying near you and think of all the bizarre ways you can garnish your blog post… then let your eyes wander to the open window and look at the clear blue sky and begin to think of how photographers make the dull blue sky look so vibrant… I mean, the world has as many thought topics as there are moments given to you. Do this and you’ll find this just as addictive as running after a single thought and entering the catacombs. I don’t think most of the time. I just float around on thought clouds that seem to cuddle or bang against other thought clouds and I just wonder if this is how clouds, I mean, thought clouds breed. Now someone please ask me if this is the right way of thinking. Arvind Passey 06 October 2013 Note: Featured image drawn by me.