Submitted by Editor on Sat, 2016-08-06 18:51 We have all been alone. At some point or the other, we have just been with ourselves – perhaps lonely, perhaps not. But solitude is precious. It can bring out the best in us. We just don’t realise it. When my friend recently asked me whether I have spent time with myself, my obvious answer was yes. “Yea, I do it all the time. I make sure I have some time for myself. I sit and read by myself or watch a show all by myself,” I said. “No. When was the last time you spend time with yourself and did nothing?” she asked me. I was stumped. The question seemed ludicrous. Who actually sits and does nothing? Isn’t that quite insane? What would you do anyway? Stare into space? And why would you do it? I presumed that it was the yoga lover in my friend who was speaking to me. “It’s easy for her because she meditates,” I concluded. But a few days ago, I had a change of perspective. I was in Goa last week and soon the beach fan in me decided it was time to discard the sunscreen that I packed for the trip. It was raining cats and dogs. No beach, I realised. Spa therapy seemed like the next best thing. I called up the hotel reception and made an appointment for that evening. Till then, all I could do was sit in my pretty little balcony and stare into space. And that’s when I saw the world around me – the rain, the lush green foliage and the tiny creepy crawlies. That’s when I felt the air – cool and comforting. I must have stared into space for more than an hour or so because the reception called me and reminded me that it was time for my spa treatment. “Cancel it. I just got one,” I said. We are afraid to be alone. We worry about what we will do if we are alone. We worry about loneliness. People have written songs about the tragedy of loneliness. Some of the great classics have been about loneliness. And many artists pour out their lonely hearts onto the canvas. Being alone is something we have come to fear. True, long periods without human interaction can be devastating, but being alone needn’t always mean being lonely. In fact, we all need it sometimes. In this world of information overload, we sometimes need to let our mind 'unclutter'. So if you catch me staring into space, just know that I am on a much-needed spa appointment.