Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Beginner's Guide to Escapism

Escapism, n.
Merriam-Webster define it succinctly as "habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine."
Wikipedia defines it more vividly as "mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an escape from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life. It can also be used as a term to define the actions people take to help relieve persisting feelings of depression or general sadness."

We've got the picture quite clearly by now, haven't we? Escapism, as defined above, is an art in its own right. And an awesome art it is, I tell you! There are a thousand and one ways to practice it, and yet you can never be sure you've done it all. Habitual escapists follow a very simple rule – escape what you can’t change. No matter what the problem, there are always multiple ways to escape it.
I’m referring here to those lords of escapism who have a perfect escapist solution to every problem under the sun. Be it an irksome beau or a hard break-up, bad scores or heavy debt, they can escape it all.

I believe I've never had such an apt idea to write about - something that is so ingrained into most people's existence, and yet hardly ever goes noticed or spoken about. So here’s a beginner’s guide to the most basic of all escapist techniques, compiled and issued in public interest by yours truly - the biggest escapist of all time.

1. Music – the antidote to every ailment of the mind.
Plug yours ears and pretend the world does not exist. That’s what earphones and headphones were made for, weren’t they? To keep out undesired frequencies? Put that to use. Block out all noise, all thoughts. (And all unwanted texts and phone calls too)

2. The Pan Indian Movie Marathon
Drown yourself into an ocean of movies. English, Hindi, Tamil, Korean, Bhojpuri – leave not a single one unwatched. Watch movies as if your life depended upon them. Feast on a movie each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And before you even realize, you’d be a house of such gross ailments as would literally make you forget what you were trying to escape. Voila! Mission accomplished!

3. Shop, shop, till you drop!
Well, this one’s certainly not for those who are trying to figure out how to settle their infinite debts. Quite the contrary actually. This technique says, shop your way through all troubles. Spend all you have. Spend more than you earn, and more than you’ve saved. Man, will you reap multiple benefits! Your house will be filled with all those items you have always wanted but never needed, and soon you’ll find yourself neck-deep in such shitty debt that all your sorrows would just slink in a corner, feeling dwarfed.

4. Sleep your way through life.
This one’s my personal favorite. Sleep your way through classes; sleep your way through work. Put your phone on silent, keep the landlines away. Once you learn to sleep all day, evidently, you’ll start staying awake at night. And that’s when you can implement #2. Talk about burning the midnight oil. You can even be a daredevil and take a step forward. Sleep through your exams/board meetings/interviews and screw up big time. What better form of destructive escapism!

5. Play the Junkie.
Now this one’s what you’ve dreamed of doing ever since you heard that song Dum Maro Dum. Grab the chance now (not literally though)! Play it up on the impression, while playing it down on the reality factor (that’s what everyone anyway does with the reality these days). Wear hippie attire; don’t comb your hair for what’s like an eon and use those sleepless nights practiced in #4 above, in perfecting that “doped” expression. And then go about telling everyone you’re on dope. Trust me, it’s gonna give you the ultimate kick in life (albeit in the ass, if you’re not careful enough to exclude your parents and the 'Interpol sibling' from that “everyone”)

I think I'm gonna go on and write a book on The 1001 Techniques of Escapism someday. Till then, just keep practicing these simple yet powerful techniques with dedication and you’ll have a guaranteed bright future in the delusional world of escapism.

(Images courtesy - Google)
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