I generally take pride in the fact that I can do many things at a time. I don’t claim to be a multi-tasker, because I don’t think that is possible to focus on multiple things together. I just mean that I could balance work, enjoy things in life, delve wholeheartedly into hobbies, and keep up health without much hassle.
All that belief has got shaken up in 2020 due to obvious reasons. Not only I find it considerably difficult to find time to finish given work, but I have also gone so far from my hobbies that I might resort to writing ‘Watching movies and playing Cricket’ in my resume which would be an utter lie.
When people say that they don’t have time, we often mock them that they aren’t really sincere so they are finding excuses. But the fact of the matter is that we also need to understand their state of mind. Everyone has the same 24 hours but how taxing are the 9-10 work hours, how many other responsibilities have got subsided due to workload so they are always busy catching up, and how much the will is left in the person to pursue anything else, is a thing to consider. (And how lazy they are if they really are procrastinating all the time.)
All it boils down to priorities. If someone really prioritizes family time over their work or hobbies, it is their choice and it will have its own implication and vice versa. Right now everyone has been affected in some way or the other but results originating from this time will have their impacts in the future.
At the moment, I tell myself that I really don’t have time. I mean I don’t have time to write blogs and writing gives me clarity. I seriously need to work on it. I think if we start by admitting that we need to make an effort, we are on the right track. Acting on it is next.
I know that real Bangaloreans won’t still call me a Bangalorean but today I completed a decade in Bangalore or Bengaluru or Namma, you get the drift. In 2010, I had thought that maybe I will move back home or probably NCR in the next 5 years. But here we are, still…
I remember the day clearly. Approaching Bangalore around 6 AM with a temperature of around 20 or 22 degree Celsius, the gray clouds almost hugging the greenery and a mixed sigh of relief donning my face as I said a bittersweet goodbye to a hot and sweltering Hyderabad (which is a fine city by the way), I finally reached ‘Majestic’. I was at Hyderabad from the last 3 months undergoing bloody entree level IT job training. I, along with my colleagues who had ‘chosen’ Bangalore as their preferred work location reached. I was received by a cousin who then took me in with him at his apartment which had views like these.
Neither my colleagues, nor my cousin live in Bangalore anymore.
I had arrived in Bangalore as a Software Engineer and became the part of the IT crowd.
I spent my first 6 years in BTM, the then North Indian part of the city. (Now we are everywhere). Needless to say, it was a great time there. At a time, there were almost 10 of my college-mates living in BTM. Those times, colleagues and friends were sorts of synonyms too. We earned less but enjoyed more, as they say. During those 6 years, I would have traveled to every nook and corner of the city in the quintessential BMTC and Autos. Then I am living near the CBD now and find it easy to go anywhere without any hassle. I have been here when one had to wait for a lonely Bus at Chandapura and I have been here when Uber had launched.
I have worked in the Electronic City as well the Outer Ring Road / Whitefield area. I have crossed Silk Board more number of times than the times people have called it the most conjusted area traffic wise.
It took me 8 years but I officially learned Kannada in 2018. That didn’t make much of a difference but I felt obligated to. I am yet to watch a proper Kannada movie, except a few seen in the TN buses which go from Silk Board to Hosur.
I have been a part of a movie shot in Bangalore. I have seen a Cricket Match at Chinnaswamy. I have been to Lalbagh and have taken people to Lalbagh and then Chikpet as a tourist guide. I have got stuck in rains for hours here and have driven in 2 feet deep sludge on the track which used to be a road. I have bought a Royal Enfield Electra in Bangalore and I have spent a lot of money on Idlis at breakfast, daily.
I have eaten Dosa at Vidhyarthi Bhavan or CTR just once but it is okay. I have been to Nandi Hills an uncountable number of times and switched from ‘What is this? There’s nothing here’ to ‘Let’s go to Nandi Hills! It has been ages!’.
A lot has changed as well. Many shops, restaurants, eateries opened up and got shut down. I have met so many folks who were colleagues, became friends, stayed together, left the city, went on to do great things, went on to have families, went on to different countries, took risks, succeeded, failed, lived, passed away, and so on. Some left an imprint, some left without any trace.
I became an independent person in Bangalore. I got married when I was in Bangalore. The last 2 sentences are not intended. I have had quarrels here. I have had romance.
I have enjoyed real late nights in Bangalore. I have stayed indoors for months in Bangalore.
After spending 10 years here, it has grown on me. Although now, I don’t brag about the weather or show frustration about the traffic. It is here and we know it so what’s there to say! 10 years have literally swooshed past because I still remember my first day pretty clearly.
I am here for some more. Bring it on.
Some of my older writings involving Bangalore
Q: What advice would you give to a new grad software engineer who’s moving to Bangalore from elsewhere (in India) in terms of where to live and where not to, places to hang out and not to hang out, and ways to save money?
That’s the right approach to live life in these times IMHO.
Lockdown is going to get over guys! Congratulations. It was tough, right? We had to stay indoors. We could only go outside to buy veggies and milk. We had to talk to people from School/relatives with whom we had stopped the conversations, and rightly so, a decade ago. We all came online on Zoom and took screenshots. People became cooks and fought over Youtube and Tiktok. It was something!
Didn’t we all hear all the claims about how the life is going to be in this ongoing + not really ending anytime soon + post COVID-19 world? We were told that it will never be the same again. There will be only work from homes. Schools will be just on the laptop. Masks would be the things and it will become haute couture level fashionable to have extreme and funky masks. Social Distancing would be a norm for a long long time and you will never have to tolerate those folks who hug all the time! Of course cinema halls would be a thing of the past and most restaurants would be only take-away ones.
But… I don’t get it!
Was this all a scam? Like seriously was this all a conspiracy? Like last 2 months were just some chapters out of a fictional story and now we are back to business? Even news channels are now back to usual terrorism in Kashmir news and usual debates about how my orange is more saffron than yours or how bollywood-walas are shouting Black Lives Matter but not shouting say why is the road outside my apartment dug up when monsoon is just starting and when are they going to fix it again?
From June 8th, Malls are reopening, temples will be buzzing, roads are already full of traffic and pollution. Fun! Also, you can start ordering all the foods you were avoiding as well. You haven’t become thinner by not eating the regular weekend pizzas anyway. May be golgappas around the street corner again? Bring it on.
What was all that drama for? Banging plates to lighting diyas? No, of course, I know that the economy has to restart but where are the masks? Why have we let our guards down? Or we just stayed home to avoid police sticks? Why the neck is the best place to put masks but not the nose and mouth? Why do we need Institutional Quarantine when cases are now skyrocketing with or without it? Why we have so many people back on the road when the cases in India are past China’s number already?
You must have seen the pics of Mumbai’s marine drive full of morning walkers with masks half-heartedly on. Or the pics of the airplanes rush when it has landed. Or beaches in US where there are more people than there usually were. Don’t you think the new normal isn’t the same old normal at all?
Bottom line is that we people are resilient and smarter than you think they are. You might or might not have seen the show ‘Space Force’ on Netflix because it is somewhat a mishmash of comedy and science fiction and tragedy and as someone rightly said a cross between ‘Veep’ and ‘The Office’, but there’s a quote in that which is somewhat on the lines of:
When people have forgotten the atrocities of World War, they forget what is like to be in a War. When people have had no polio cases for a long time, they forget the importance of Vaccines. When people become too arrogant, they forget things!
Not exactly verbatim but something similar by Gen. Naird
I am optimistic that the world will become normal again. I am pessimistic about the time. I thought it would take time to heal, but I miscalculated. I thought it would be months before we are back on the street in the usual way. But here we are already late for the office.
I am okay, I think. To your surprise, it was my wife today who asked me to blog. That’s because in this Lockdown Quarantines, Alien Sounds, Locust Attacks, Thunderstorms Woes, and everything else, I have been doing only 1 thing. I have been sitting on my desk from 7.30 AM till 11.30 PM in the night. So I need to be creative again. Hence, we are here. Let me share my daily routine.
I start my day by studying from 7.30.AM. Then it metamorphosis into work as Slack starts to make sounds. Then emails galore, and then through a barrage of work stuff, I study again in the evening, and again answer to emails and try to juggle things and then I give up in the evening when Eyes and the body have no battery left.
How about you?
And heh, just to break the monotony, I make it a point to clean the dishes. To have some variety.
How’s your Work-From-Home going on?
On the studying part, it is getting more and more intense and I feel I am studying less and less. The work is becoming more and more, and days are becoming shorter.
We didn’t plan this, right? What’s happening? Moreover, did you see that mostly everyone is back on the road, with masks.
So, what was all that drama?
Are we done with this? Was it even a thing? How come we fell prey to this? And going by the increased traffic, will the healed nature going to turn back to its way on actually ruin itself with Climate Change?
Learning new skills and mastering a zen-like personality
Creativity reaching great heights, higher than heaven
Daily Blogging of Lockdown Chronicles and becoming Seth Godin
Working from Home and being super relaxed and chilled
Productivity Gold Standard
Working Out and having a toned physique
Above are the things which are not working for me and I haven’t done any of them. Heh! I mean, oh no!
So by now, you might have already heard and seen people doing great things in these times of lockdown. They have not only gained mastery in all the culinary, but they have also lost weight. People have read 15 books in 1 month and become meditation experts. They have not only turned their lives upside down but then turned it up again, reached Nirvana, wrote the process of reaching Nirvana, and finally attained a perfectly balanced lifestyle that everyone craved for before some bat/pangolin/secret lab failed experiment/sheer luck ruined it for everyone.
You might have also come across rebels who say that all this is a sham and nobody is actually doing anything good. They have just got way too free time at their hands. People might be transforming but there also exist many who are not even getting time to get up from their desks because work has stopped being morning to evening thing. Rather, the start and end time have blurred and days are going in only 2 modes:
Work when your eyes are open and
Sleep while they cannot stay open.
I have unfortunately fallen on to the latter category. This lockdown is not going the way it should have been. 2 stars out of 5 in my humble opinion. I didn’t read more than 5 pages of 4 books I tried. I did a total of 10 minutes of workout and 10 minutes of meditation in the last 30 days. I have fallen prey to incessant sneezing due to allergy which made me think, “Oh I hope I didn’t touch anything which I wasn’t supposed to” or “I shouldn’t have gone to buy milk” but then sneezing stopped in an hour. The only thing I did which comes close to creativity is to hang my old Minimal movie posters and they too fell down the next day because I didn’t stick them properly. A bit of wall paint came out as well. Sorry landlord.
Now they are finally up again but they need maintenance every 2 days apparently because my tape is made in China. And, there is nothing good on TV too. Money Heist is OKAAAAYYYY at best.
Now, to top all that morale boosting in an off direction, I took up a 2 year Masters course which would need a good 10 hours a week dedication.
This person rightly summed it up really well and anyone feeling like this should watch this I think:
Now, normal people will give up and do nothing about it. Not me, I am extra-normal. (10 years ago, I would have called myself ab-normal as in Hindi ‘ab’ but that joke is lame now.)
From what I have learned from everything in life is that when you are not feeling up, stop feeling down and start again. This blog is a “stop moping and get hands back on the steering and look straight and drive” types. Here are a few things I did and doing:
I cleaned up my room and made it completely showable-on-Zoom room now. (I didn’t do it alone. My better half helped.)
I shave almost daily. And people notice that.
I made a time table and I will be following it.
And that’s it. This is not a motivational blog, please. Maybe if I continue doing good things, I will write ways to be sane in these times. But for now, we shall strive and struggle and stay on the right track, no matter when lockdown gets over and virus gets disinfected.
In 2004, the share markets went down all across the world. They were slightly more down than usual down. They said that it was sort of a minor-recession-cycle-low which happens every 4-8 years. I was just about to start college. I thought to myself: Thankfully it is happening now… What worse would happen at the time when I would graduate after 4 years! Then in 2008, Lehmann Brothers started the worldwide meltdown. To top that, the company in which I had got a job declared its own bankruptcy of sorts. What worse could happened, happened!
There have been several instances where I thought what if that happens and that actually happened! Not that I am Naustradamus’s new avatar, but there have been occasions where the tongue has done the trick. It has gone in both negative and positive directions.
Yada yada yada…
In 2019, I thought to myself: A decade is ending. The new decade would bring some major tech changes and cultural updates along with it. There might be a day in a few years in which we would all be able to Work From Home and there won’t be any need for offices. *gulp* And here we are!
I am not Nate Silver or that Moneyball guy either and maybe many others also spoke of something which wasn’t expected but that happened or happened untimely. I have been so wrong on many levels as well, no qualms in saying as well.
Many times, what we anticipate in our minds becomes our reality. Maybe it depends on our state of mind or general perception about life. Maybe it is inverse nihilism or it is your inherent desire to see it happen. Some say that is Kaali zubaan or Saraswati’s will. So, should one stop thinking or stop saying it out loud?
Murphy’s Law says that what could happen, would happen. So, nobody is there to be blamed for all of this. Except Murphy may be.
It might be day 10 or day 13, I am not sure. I haven’t gone out since March 5th or March 13th, save 2 days in between. So, it is all blurry. Kindly excuse.
Here are some notes/thoughts:
It is tough when you have nothing to distract you. You need those honking sounds, the sounds of the ambiance, the gossips you don’t want to listen to, the unwanted noises of languages you don’t understand, and basically the things you don’t care about. You need them around to live.
When a family calamity happens, and you have no elders around, life seems directionless, and nothing you can do which can make you think that you had it under control. No matter how old one becomes, there is always something to learn. Life will give you new experiences at each and every turn. This week, I had a big personally tragedy. Like the loss of a family member big. Bloody cancer. And everything we could do to mitigate it was constrained by covid-19 issues. Fortunately, we could do something which would have sufficed for time being and yet, a lot has to be done but we are in a lockdown. Unprecedented.
When understanding others takes a back seat and ego becomes your top priority. Even if you try your best, when there is a danger hanging outside, practically just outside the safest place i.e. your home, you are bound to lose your mind in some time. Take care of your Mental health, they say, but how? You cannot meditate 24 hours a day. So the best is to keep quiet. But then go back to point 1.
There are times when positive and practical advice sounds negative.
Work is there. And everyone knows that it is tough to work like this. But your livelihood is at stake. But nobody has any clarity. That’s a challenging environment nobody mentions on their CVs.