Celebration of Lyadh

Satyakam Ray

The time is 11 pm. Popcorn, snacks & coke is all set for a blithesome weekend binge-watching. You start the Netflix show on TV being comfortably set on the couch and titillate yourself by vicarious exploits. Suddenly you realize the remote is not close by and you have to increase the volume. By a cursory glance, you find out that the hiccup to your bliss lies in front of you but beyond the reach of your hands. At first, you stretch your hands to grab it, fail in the process, and topple over!

Then an ingenious “jugaad” comes to your mind and you start throwing popcorns, a nearby lying pen, pencils towards the remote aiming the volume control, hopeful of getting a hit. Rather you can just get up from your couch and simply grab the remote, instead of being busy in these frivolities. But who can persuade a procrastinating lyadhkhor?!

Further digging Into Lyadh: Lyadhkhor is the person who knows the art of doing nothing. In simple words, the term refers to laziness. But the literal meaning of the word does not justify the nuance of this levity. It connotes a certain laid-back temperament which has pretty much defined the average lazy Bengali/Calcutta. You ask a lyadhkhor friend to go to CCD, movies, or simply for a walk in the park- probably you will get the response, “na, Kal Chalte hai na.” I think the song Jaane bhi do yaaro should be the anthem of the lyadhkhor people. 

They are too easy-going or simply complacent with worldly pleasures. The calm composure and carefree attitude amid all the chaos of this fast-paced society make the life of a lyadhkhor –a tad less exciting. But who cares if a person sleeps the entire day on Sunday out of lyadh – in pure natural bliss?

Psychologically, the lyadhkhor people are more relaxed than physically active persons. Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada studied brain connections to understand this “exercise paradox”. They suggested that our brain would be attracted to sedentary behavior than an active lifestyle.

The lyadhkhor are not kaamchors- as portrayed by norms. They simply do not care about others’ opinions and do as their heart, please. They can do anything under the sun –but as mood permits or forcibly just for an obligation. The zeal to outperform everyone in the race and shine in the limelight – simply does not conjure up in lyadhkhor thinking. Backbenchers in the class, office meeting, or an auditorium may be lyadhkhors, but their work efficiency cannot be questioned; it may be greater than the “chaturs” of the rat race. 

Just because a person chooses to live a solitary lazy life, society should not level him/her as a kaamchor. They do not want to spoil their present-day by toiling hard to ensure a happy life in the unknown future.

As Inspiration: Lyadh has inspired human beings to do a lot of inventions that reduced manual labor. For example, wheels- don’t feel like dragging the legs through the woods; printing press- don’t feel like copying the text longhand again; telegraph- don’t feel like riding a horse across the country to take few messages; bomb- don’t feel like killing enemies individually and the list goes on. 

Lazy persons always find ways to do a job more easily using shortcuts. Even bill gates corroborated the idea by saying that give a lazy person a difficult thing to do, he/she would always find a way. Being a lazy person, one finds a lot of new ways to solve a problem with less effort which is more valuable than just being a copycat trying to impress the superiors or society in general.

From the History Books: Not only is today’s generation but has the past had its fair share of lyadhkhor too? In 1854 Lord Dalhousie stormed the city of Lucknow; an unconcerned Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was playing chess at that time. All his servants fled. By the time he understood the consequences of his action, it was still not too late to flee but he did not as there was no one left to put on his slippers lying beneath his bed. He was captured and imprisoned. 

English writer Charlie Brooker was watching a daytime TV show by sleeping in his bed. But he needed to sit up to see the screen orientation correctly. As any super lazy person would find the easiest way to solve the issue, he turned the TV 90 degrees and kept it on its sides!

From an Indian Perspective: As an Indian, I would say we all have our lyadhkhor sides. It is visible, sometimes it is hidden in the garb of civility. We have our brainstorming when confronted with difficult challenging problems; we come up with new enterprising means to solve those – called “jugaads.” 

Jugaads are uncanny lawful or sometimes unlawful means to get things done. The idea of successful execution of a plan sometimes forces us to conjure up with new jugaads. 

One person has summed up the Indian mentality by narrating a hypothetical scenario. Once there was a competition for the laziest person in the world; so, there were many participants from all over the world who have participated in the competition. After several rounds, the jury decided that a guy from china stood first and 2nd was an Indian. At the award ceremony when they have called the winner and runner-up to receive the award the Chinese guy started walking to take the award and the Indian asked him to get his award as well while coming.

The Conclusion: As one Bengali girl surmised: “I am born lyadhkhor, kichu Khai na Khai Lyadh khete ami chari na.” Being a lyadhkhor is not as bad as conceived by social perspectives; rather it is a perk of the privileged life. But sometimes too much lyadh makes a person’s lifestyle sedentary and unhealthy. To tackle the negative consequences of lyadh, once in a while you should follow some basic healthy active routine. You should keep a balance between Lyadh and active life. You should learn to remain lyadhkhor in heart and rarely become physically active for society, family’s sake. After all, what is the meaning of life if you cannot sleep over 10 hours on the weekends? It is all about lyadh!

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