A chance meeting at half past twelve

It was half past twelve. I had half a dozen to-do-things in my basket to be completed before 3:30 o’clock. I was rushing towards the university canteen for the lunch which had to be finished by next ten minutes. Obviously these ten minutes included the time needed to reach the third floor canteen, reaching  the counter after hustling in the pick hour traffic of equally hungry and busy people and finding a suitable corner before stuffing myself with the fuel for next quarter of the day. There was no time for usual pleasantries and I avoided the known faces scattered here and there. It would be good if I could finish the list within 3 as then I can let myself present some spare time or would be even better if couple of works scheduled for tomorrow can be wrapped up today itself. I felt motivated. It’s good to plan beforehand indeed. I assumed my daily practice was helping me to think clearly. I could feel that my head was pretty cool even in the moments of stress.

Wait. Something is wrong.

Something was going terribly wrong. I was oblivious of which at that half past twelve which was identical to thousands of half past twelve.

However running through the shortcut between two long buildings I did the last thing I planned to do at that super hectic hour.

I stopped before the rebellious green patch of grass in the middle of the cemented squared tiles. A busy squirrel was absorbed in its lunch. The alert steps were amusing enough to observe even without knowing what it was really up to. A tiny creature. As busy as me. May be even more. It was hopping and running and scrutinizing tiny things before munching and was moving around the tiles again and again just to reach the same point.

I waited there for next couple of minutes before it ran away as the footsteps of a small group of students made their presence felt on the ground.

I resumed my walk towards the canteen. This time in a normal, calmer pace.  Vipassana does not teach to run to grab the extra time after finishing the race. Neither has it taught to avoid the eye contact with people I know to save the time. And there is certainly no room for feeling complacent.

I waited for my turn to reach the counter peacefully. After thanking the person for providing the food I headed towards the table in the corner for a peaceful lunch. I would finish all the to do things in their own time and I would do them peacefully.

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