Work From Home Woes

In today’s episode of World Famous Program: Work From Home Woes, we will discuss the arrangement of our Work Desk.

I am pretty good at directions (I think). If someone asks me the directions, I can quickly take out my phone and open Google Maps and tell them. While working from home for 6 months now, directions have become quite a distraction. Where to direct attention and how for how long has been a particularly painful problem!

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Seeing Things Live

Sanjay Mishra’s character Rajesh Bauji in the movie Aankhon Dekhi has an epiphany one day. He declares that he will believe in only those things which he would see himself. If he has not seen something, he won’t trust anyone else telling him about it. He has to see it himself to believe it.

Now, that’s one way of looking at things. Another way is to see things Live on TV and believe them to be true like we all do. (WWE can be excused! Undertaker did die and returned 7 times.)

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Create Something Daily

I don’t want to brag but I might. There was a time when I used to ship one item daily of anything, be it a blog post, or a photoshopped collage, or a minimalist poster, or just something visually appealing (to me i.e.). That leads to mostly positive results.

One: when you do anything creative, you feel productive, you imagine vividly, you sleep better, and the next day you are charged up to create more.

Two: You have absolutely no idea where will your creativity reach thanks to the Internet (and it might inspire someone to take it and do wonders with it). If done with positive intent, it might end up bringing smiles to an unknown quarter. And, after years when you realize that your creativity brought some joy to someone else, even if it is minuscule, it fills your chest with pride.

I was just going through ‘Rasode mein kaun tha’s creator Yashraj Mukhate’s Instagram. There I noticed this:

For the uninitiated, it’s from: https://minimalmovieposters.in/post/23555118591/gangs-of-wasseypur-2012-by-ab-ps-based-on

Similarly, I found this one day. It had published one Photograph I had taken:

Antilia in Making

Bottom line is, no matter you get credit or not, if you create something daily, it will be good in long run. As they say:

Perfection is the enemy of good.

p.s.: This book.


Finding Time

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.

Featured Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

10 Years A Bangalorean

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.

Iggalur
Iggalur

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?

A: https://qr.ae/pNKr2K

Featured Photo by https://unsplash.com/@nichu_avva

Optimistically Pessimist

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.

No titles given

What’s in the title?

Hi.
How are you, Blog?

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?

Seriously. What’s the new normal?

It is time to change a few things. Let’s reboot.