It was an interesting conversation that got me started to think. So it was several decades ago (yes, I have already spent several decades on this planet, and like the wise teacher said, have consumed its resources to become from the 3 kilos I was born with to – well- let me not say it- but a slightly higher double-digit kilos of weight that I am today). Apologies for the digression, so at a point in the distant past, I used to be one busy body- and not in the sense of the aunties who had all details of everyone who was anyone in the lives that they touched- but more in the sense of the body that was literally very busy. You see, I always had a lot that I wanted to do or that I felt I was wont to do. Seems the belief which very much exists with me today, that life was very short and hence one had to make most of the time available at hand, existed in my brains from the time I can remember. There was so much to experiment, to accomplish.

But don’t get me wrong- I was not the adventurous types- much to the chagrin of the little one who would have preferred a less straight jacketed (for the times when I leave the Indian attire) parent. You see, I loved to create, and create I did with a vengeance. Pinterest had not happened in life so with whatever ideas and resources one could cull out of one’s head, busied as it was by the snippets one could gather with the few publications of the household variety that were subscribed to, I would be at it. End of exams, beginning of vacations or simply a weekend that had time to spare from the tortuous climes of convent education- I would use it to the utmost. 

To be fair, the creations were not exactly Van Gogh types. But if I know it right, it was perhaps how he would have also felt when he was getting started. However, I didn’t exactly get connoisseurs of my art work at least in that avatar of my life (much like Van I guess) and now is not the time to mull over whether much would happen thereafter. My very loving parents of course, were always there to encourage and appreciate that which only that category of parents can find amazing work! Anyways, the point of sharing all this is that I was a very busy person- and would mostly be referred to as a “busy bee”. No points for guessing that the acronyms BB, very much tied in with my name, thus making it all the more apt (and no, my parents were not thinking that far ahead to have christened me thus).

Now all this came back to me like a Bollywood move flashback, when I was referred thus by a friend who also happened to be in the Corporate world, and just about a decade older. It is funny, we got to be friends during the pandemic. And much as I feel lazy in putting the effort to make new ones (I can barely keep up with the older ones and not because there are so many, but there are always many expectations- mine, that is). So here was this person- whom I had not met physically even once (this would have sounded strange- I mean when was one expected to get ‘physical’ about a meeting!) reminding me of what a busy bee (mind you, not body) I was.  

As I chuckled at the comment and was about to get into flashback mode when she quickly retorted…and mark the words… “Queen Bee cannot be busy”. Without much ado about what a Queen bee should and should not do and whether she should be busy (I mean having to shoulder an entire generation of bees can seem arduous work) all I could think of was the “Queen” of the phrase. And my ears could not believe it! It was me- yes, the Queen Bee! Alas, why had it not seemed so thus far? And why did it come as such a surprise for me and with, another retort from my end! The Queen Been that didn’t feel like one!

Well, you see firstly, the context in which the comment was made was purely personal. But then, it had been a while since I had felt anything but ‘busy’ in my professional life. In fact, every time someone had sent a kind message checking on my status (not single or married, but more like healthy or unhealthy- or shall we say, positive or otherwise), I had found it very convenient to reply with “busy”. You see I did not want to attract the evil eye by saying that I was negative, though I felt quite positive. At the same time, it is quite obvious that folks who were checking your status, were not really into understanding the whole laundry list of ailments that were afflicting you, including that your favorite show did not seem to have its next season coming in any time soon, much as I would love to share all of it with them. And God knew my typing speed and intent (positive) on WhatsApp had become legendary only to be told that it’s better to talk. Again, it’s difficult to tell such people that I am too busy to talk! 

On the personal front, yes I am my usual busy self. The tryst with ravages of the dishwashing soap on my manicured hands continue. Not because there isn’t a willing housekeeper to oblige, but, the fact that I have envisioned viruses and all sorts of other similar creations as being in the halo or shall we say, the aura of people. So short of inventing a device for x-ray vision (much like a pair of glasses that allows the wearer) to identify the nasty virus, I have collected all sorts of annihilation devices. Now the question that Lancet needs to answer is the efficacy or shall we say the collateral damage of such annihilating devices thus manufactured by several chemical companies who have diversified into hitherto unknown streams of income- all in the name of keeping busy bodies like me- what else, busy!

But then, it is true that a busy body does a busy mind have! How else would one always find ways and means to keep one busy without the other? The skill of course lies in a busy body with a relaxed mind- maybe I should try rappelling or paragliding, for the purpose. Because only when my single-most important vocation is to save my life (coz that’s how it feels to me), will my mind give up on being busy.. And continue to be just grateful to be- what else- the Queen! After all, it’s all in the mind!