August 18th, 2008

boy with dog

Chase Away the Travel Blues

Until recently, short travel (a distance which would at most be equal to the approximate diameter of Bangalore city), if done on a continuous basis was quite a pain, especially due to traffic as well as due to the fact that if the same route was travelled upon repeatedly, there was no novelty associated with that particular route.

This was particularly more so on the office bus commute, where one is unable to read books or newspapers because trying to do so will definitely damage one's eyesight (since the jerky movements on the bus would require the eyes to continuously keep changing focus), and listening to music is the only option given the fact that the outside 'scenery' is something that one has been privy to ad nauseum.

However, I have recently come up with a new way of kicking commute's butt and this method has two possible outcomes, both of which are win-win, should you choose to take it up. Of course, this method assumes that you are not the one in the driver's seat, in which case, such a move is ill-advised.

On the bus, close your eyes and visualise the entire route as you keep travelling along it and get acquainted with the noises, the wait times at traffic signals as well as the bumps and miscellaneous intentional and unintentional speed breakers so that when you do end up opening your eyes and finding yourself at a place that you'd expected, you will laud yourself at having been able to discern correctly your location based on movement rather than on sight.

The other thing that might happen to you is that you end up falling asleep in the process, which is also not such a bad thing. The important thing is to keep your eyes closed, in order for this to take effect.

Sure, your prediction skills don't really amount to much on a city bus where the bus conductor keeps shouting out the name of the next stop that the bus is approaching, but in the circumstances that you would manage to make it work, it is a really super way of killing time.
boy with dog

Work Life Balance

Whoever invented the term work-life balance sure spared no expense in trying to highlight how the two are different. While it has been something I've heard off and on during four years of work (yes, its been that long, although - you can take harithekid out of college, but you can't take the college out of harithekid unless you want to perform some surgery and dig into the contents of his stomach), it really hasn't been one of my favourite expressions.

Its true that being in the IT industry for so long ensures that one embraces jargon or learns to abhor it from the very core of her / his existence, and falling in the latter category, I am no exception either. This subject is definitely material for another post, in due time.

Nevertheless, work-life balance is something some of my BSchool buddies have also used in order to convey the balance between academics and extra curricular activities.

Now, the very essence of the term and its subsequent usage denotes that it is an oxymoron, which thus implies that work and life are two different mutually exclusive entities. Hence, applying the regular tenets of logic would lead one to conclude that if you have a life, you can't work and vice versa, which is why both of them need to be balanced out.

The implications are that work is not a part of your life, and this in turn makes even those who are 'meh' about their work to end up despising it merely because they now see it as something necessary but invasive.

I think the Indian IT industry is seeing a trend where the new poster boys are those that are able to juggle multiple things aside from work in their daily lives. It is a far cry from the times of old when the guy who'd spend ages in front of his comp working away was considered as a model employee.

Personally, I think the entire hoopla around the said term is stupid. If you can't make time for something, it isn't important enough.
boy with dog

Avial at Independence Rock

Avial is a band whose music I have recently fallen in love with, despite not understanding their lyrics. I wish I knew enough Malayalam to comprehend what Anand Raj Benjamin Paul is singing, but regretfully, I have to be content with listening to his amazing voice belt out songs such as 'Nada Nada', 'Karakura' and 'Njaan Aara' (which I know means 'Who Am I' and is probably a song about existential dilemmas, but sounds cooler because its in a different language).

I am currently listening to 'Ettam Pattu' which has a distinctive RHCP-ish feel to it, but then gets transformed into something else altogether as the song progresses.

I heard from my friend Prasad just a while ago that Anand Raj is not in the country, and hence their DJ / turntable Tony John will be at the helm of the vocals instead. Their myspace page also doesn't mention Anand in it. Funny.

Edit: Turns out, Benjamin has left the band. So much for being up to date on the music scene. I think I should retire.

Well, nevertheless, Avial will be performing live at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore on 24th August 2008 as part of the Independence Rock's Bangalore finale. I hope to be there, time and circumstances permitting.

If you think they're your cup of tea (stew, rather), check them out. For more information, visit - http://www.independencerock.in

PS - Yours truly is in the process of writing a review for Avial's music on Gigpad. Links will be provided, watch this space.