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)


Anonymous said...

Heya Angel!!!
What an awesome coincidence. Just opened your blog and found a new post posted minutes ago.. :D
Hope you are having a great time (escaping :P).
Nice post on a great activity!! However, you forgot one of the most common way of escaping, the Internet. :)
Escaping my true self,

Mahima said...

You are seriously amazing! :D
Thank you. The reason I didn't include the internet in my list, is because it serves many more important purposes to most people than just being an escape route. Besides, I was being more sarcastic than realitic with the techniques I've listed. So kept that one out. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry!! I guess I was not in my senses when I posted the first comment. :P
I feel this was a bit confusing post. I am still not clear about the point of this post. Content-wise, this was not the sort of post expected from you. There was nothing naive or refreshing. Even if the intention was of being sarcastic, it was bad and doesn't appear in the post.
Escapism is a less discussed but widely studied concept. Everyone feels (s)he is a master at it. But when you have to present your thoughts in front of others, you'll find that you share most of them with everyone out there.

Mahima said...

Well...I admit, this was a somewhat poorly researched post on my part. It was just something I had wanted to write about since very long. I didn't even Google the topic once. My bad! I got a little criticism for its original draft. I edited it then and posted finally. Guess it didn't bring out well, what I wanted it to. Too bad. :(
But never mind! Setbacks show one the better things one is capable of in life. I really appreciate your honest criticism. Thank you so much! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the way you accept negative feedback. That's the sign of a true winner. :)
I am sure you'll think about it again. It's a good topic and I'd like to read what you feel about it in more clear words. :)

Mahima said...

Sure I will pursue the topic further. Next time just hope not to disappoint anyone with my attempt at it. :) Thank you!

Gyan Central said...

Have a great time reading your the way, inviting you to visit and like our page.

Mahima said...

Gyan Central,
Thank you. :)
I visited your page. Must say it is quite informative, especially given that am in the engineering field too. Liked it!


Its rlly feeling nyc while reading your post ...
By d way inviting you to visit our site

Mahima said...

Thank you Shashank!
I visited your website. It's got some good stuff! Keep up the good job..

Amar said...

You wrote that you didn't research about it well enough, thank God you didn't! There're some things which are better not researched on the internet and learnt and observed from the real instances in life! It keeps the simplicity and the originality intact! Basically I loved your post!It's what you feel and what you observed and just wrote it down!That's the primary reason we all write, isn't it? to express! I myself have thought many times to write about the subject, but never made it! Glad you did! :) :)
Keep up the good work girl! :)

Mahima said...

Thank you!!!
Appreciation for this post, especially from you, made me feel so good, really! I was a bit dejected after this post didn't come out as expected. I did get some criticism for it too, though I feel it was entirely justified. It's just that I had something else in mind when I came up with the idea, but there came a time lapse between conceptualization and writing it down, which took away the feel from this post. :)
Am glad someone liked it..:D
I'd surely like to read YOUR take on this subject. Do write about it!!