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Nothing counts

By Nickunj Malik - Mar 23,2016 - Last updated at Mar 23,2016

I have often been told that at certain moments, while a million thoughts are buzzing in an average woman’s mind, an ordinary man can be thinking of “nothing”. Nothing? That’s right. Absolutely nothing, like: zilch, nil, zero, naught. 

This is not to say that their brains are vacant or that their thoughts do not amount to something. I am just saying, and this is their own assessment, that periodically, men are capable of blanking out everything and not think of anything. It is as simple as that. 

Not being a man, I do not know how much of it is true and I have to eventually take their word for it. But in case it is correct, I cannot even begin to comprehend what a euphoric state of being that must be and the peace, even if it is for a miniscule minute, from the persistent barrage of endless thinking that we women have to endure. 

Nature has not destined the female of the species to be so blessed, therefore I decide to deliberately train myself to un-think. In other words, empty my head of all thought. It is an uphill task let me tell you. It is not as if one can press a pause button or even use an eraser in sort of physically obliterating the mental musings. There is no definitive filtering or blocking procedure either. So the entire process is filled with trial and error, mostly error. 

I start with looking at a blank computer screen hoping that my thoughts will mirror it. The result unfortunately is a complete disaster as my fingers itch to type on the keyboard and articulate the thoughts zipping across my mind. Ditto with a blank sheet of paper, which I also end up filling with words, echoing my feverish imagination. 

Next I walk out and look at the clear blue sky. “Here I can start practicing thinking of nothing,” says the voice in my head. I drag my favourite rocking chair out in the open lawn and sit on it with my eyes closed. I can now hear the birds chirping in an incessant chatter. I focus on that melodious sound and let it permeate my senses. I feel the cool breeze threatening to blow my hair across my face but I do not change my posture. There is a cat mewing at a distance and a car door slams somewhere further away. 

As I concentrate on my surroundings I feel completely at peace with myself. Soon I realise with a start, that my head is completely blank of all thought, positive, negative or even neutral. I quickly understand that this is what thinking like a man is all about and the methodical blankness gives their brains a deliberate mental rest. I am shortly called indoors and my nothingness comes to an abrupt halt. Still I am glad that I manage to discover it. 

The next time I am in that state my good friend walks into the room. 

“Hey! What’s up”, she greets me. 

“Hello”, I respond. 

“What are you doing?” she asks. 

“Nothing,” I say. 

“What are you thinking?” she persists. 

“Nothing”, I repeat. 

“Listen, are you mad at me?” she comes straight to the point. 

“Not at all,” I reply. 

“So tell me then”, she probes. 

“What?” I am confused. 

“Your thoughts”, she queries. 

“Oh that! Nothing”, I say truthfully. 

“Fine”, she snaps, walking away. 

 

“Wait, let me explain”, I hurry to make amends. 

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