- Ideal occupation for idle days.
The most difficult thing for youths is not to be able to do anything. Youth is a time for activity-good, bad or indifferent. And in the course of life there come days in which there is little or no scope for any activity. It is at such periods that youths will grumble, rebel and generally become mischievous. An idle mind is proverbially the Devil’s own workshop. And idle days are forced on the youths in many ways: Holidays, strike, rainy days and others.
What would I do on rainy day I do on rainy days? Well, I will do many things. I will cite here a few of the ways in which I will use my forced idleness. For idleness is forced on me when I cannot move out of my house. There are many such days in Pakistan. Our rainy season offers several opportunities for being idle. I say, opportunities advisedly. For many friends of mine grumble at such days. They tell me that they are bored on such days. The list of their complaints is quite a long one. They cannot go out they cannot play; they cannot work either; they cannot visit the cinema, the theater, the gymnasium or the bathing pools.
But I have no such complaints. On the other hand, I welcome a rainy day. It gives me opportunities for realizing some of my dreams.
To begin with, I will start a sanitation campaign in my own house. There are cobwebs blackened with smoke over our hearth in the kitchen. Mother is too old and busy to attend to these. I will help her; I will take a broom, tie it to a long pole and start cleaning. The ceiling is covered with sooty webs and spiders. Often soot falls down in the cooking pots. This is very dangerous. I am told soot is poisonous. Well, even if it is not, soot is ugly, black and disgusting. I must remove it, and I will on a rainy day.
You will perhaps say I am doing a woman’s work. Yes, I get joy to do so. Nothing gives me so much delight as to see a kitchen cleaned to perfection. I do not think that women have a monopoly of cleaning the kitchen. So I work in our kitchen without shame or tears.
I will then enter my father’s office room. This is forbidden room for me, for father does not like his pens and pencils to leave their rack and disappear. But I will seek his permission to enter and I am sure I will get it. With that I begin my second period in house cleaning. Father is very busy, like mother, and cannot attend to this part of house-hold work. So I step in. I will start emptying the waste paper basket of tin, first filing it with all the bits of waste paper. I will rearrange the books on the shelves. I will remove ink-pots on the table cloth and the dust on the cabinet. I will polish the flower pots and mirrors and I will end with putting everything in its proper place. I am sure father will be delightfully surprised when he re-enters his office. He will no longer refuse permission enter his room.
The craving for thoughtless leisure elands us in restlessness. We do not get real rest if we do not properly use our days of rest. our desires become unlimited. They will rule us if we do not rule them. And thus we will be ceaselessly desiring for this and that if we want more holidays than are good for us.
The place of holidays in our lives is a very important one. Only they must really be days of holy thoughts and holy living. They are there because men want leisure and rest form labour. They are useful for giving us rest so that we can resume our work with more vigour. So the end and aim of holidays is not really rest and leisure. This is only incidental. The real aim of holidays is not really rest and leisure. This is only incidental. The real aim of holidays is to renew ourselves for more work. For life is a ceaselessly struggle and holidays give freshness to our tired spirits. Let us have holidays by all means but let us be careful that we don’t get them by bad means. We know that in modern times we, the students, often agitate for holidays most stupidly. Let us stop this and be careful in the utilization of our holidays. Holidays are good servants but bad masters. We should not be slaves to holidays. That is to say we should not be demand more holidays than are good for our physical, mental and moral health.