COVID call: Staring at the ceiling and mastering art of wasting time

A habit is said to be made in 22 days. That means, if one does something consistently for 22 days it becomes a habit and will take you some time to break. Waking up at six in the morning was a habit I had cultivated through the years. As my school started at 7.45 in the morning, I had to wake up at six every day. I thought it would be impossible to break such a habit. How naive of me to think so. It was only after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic that I realised the joy of waking up late. Now, 9.30 am is not considered late by most teenagers, including my friends who wake up around 11.30 am. 

That said, the COVID lockdown has made people choose a variety of avocations. Some have become culinary experts, grade-A photographers, amateur card magicians, fitness buffs, or all of these. Cooking is probably the most common hobby. It is, after all, one of the easiest to pick up. Most of my friends are now Michelin star-rated chefs who can cook lava cakes and dosas. While my friends all became Gordon Ramseys, I have learned how to put together a sandwich. 

Sandwiches are probably a lazy man’s burger. It takes the least amount of work required to make a dish. You just take two pieces of bread and put anything you want in between and boom! You have some edible matter in hand. After watching the movie 'Now You See Me', I also learned a few card tricks and now I have the amazing talent of making a Queen of Hearts disappear.

During the lockdown, if there is one art that I have gained complete mastery over is the peculiar art of wasting time. This is not something that can be mastered in a short span of time. This ancient art has one main rule and that is one must always be doing nothing. Most people will be visibly confused as they try to decipher how one can do something without doing anything. It is like moving and staying still at the same time. 

Well, that is basically what wasting one’s time is. It appears that you’re doing something when, in reality, you are just walking around aimlessly or hindering others. While other children are learning coding and robotics, I’ll be in my room staring at the ceiling and making a mental list of a whole lot of things I should be doing instead of lying down in my room. I was so effective in wasting time that I have almost forgotten how to be productive.

One of the many things which teenagers dream of is getting six packs (of beer and abs, but we’re talking about the latter). Now, while examining the white hue of the ceiling, it is only natural for a boy to think that he should be in the gym, pumping some iron, and doing one hand push-ups. Unfortunately, very few work on this impulse. Instead, they sit around and eat the lava and cupcakes which they had made and start looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. We eat and eat and then we have a broccoli one day and claim to be dieting. 

There is one ‘time-waster’ which looms large over the rest, especially in the case of teenagers. That thing is videogames. Video games are always the easy suspect of parents — if the grades are bad, it is obviously the video game; someone’s an introvert, got to be video games; if a kid is depressed, what else but this confounded console game. 

But video games don’t actually deserve any of the disrespect they actually get. They are actually very fun and provide a great way for friends to communicate and spend time together when they can’t do it in real life. As for the violence in them, well, the only thing I can say is, “Have you read the papers?” 

A study has found that playing video games can make one more creative

Violence is everywhere and it clearly can’t be attributed to video games. World War II wasn’t started because Hitler loved to play Call of Duty. Today, one can even make a career out of playing video games and earn well too. Lockdown has made video games very popular and parents have come to hate it even more. Children sit around and play these games for at least around 3-4 hours a day. Incidentally, the term ‘couch potato’ was coined by a time traveller who saw teenagers during lockdown. That’s literally what we are, blobby fat potato-looking things sitting on a couch. 

The lockdown has definitely changed everyone’s day-to-day life a lot — just that the largely 'productive' lifestyles have been turned into a lot of time-wasting art forms strung together. But it’s all worth it because you end up having fun.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.