Saturday, October 14, 2006

Working from...


They say that working from home is becoming a rage. But there are those of us whose forty percent of working hours are spent in moving vehicles (the word "moving" becomes a misnomer at times, especially if Mumbai roads are the medium to "move" on). In the early days I used to look out the car window trying to enjoy the scenery. This continued till I realized that the city being Mumbai, there was no scenery really and I had therefore not been enjoying anything. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment about the futility of everything, under a Banyan tree. I achieved the same under a metallic roof.

In Mumbai, even if you have to visit a place which is a stone's throw away from yours, you will take a stone age to reach there. There are folk lores in every Indian village. Most people are not aware that in Mumbai too, there are songs which old women sing at 4 in the morning mourning lost stones and pesticides. This particular song claims that a jilted lover tried throwing a stone from Malad towards his beloved who was sipping Coke by herself in Andheri on a calm Wednesday evening. But the stone got stuck in a traffic jam and the beloved died of pesticides.

And it is for this reason that I am not left with a choice but to type meeting minutes while inside the car. Amidst the horns and the slowly creeping trucks it is a remarkable experience. It is believed that your surroundings affect your thoughts and that in turn affects what you write. The readers of those meeting minutes have frequently commented that they almost heard a noise as the email opened up, like the desperate blare of an autorickshaw who has placed his vehicle perpendicular to the traffic. It has also been observed that the words seem to be somewhat cramped, like a biker squeezing between a cement truck and a BEST bus. And that the general undertones in "Action Items" are very similar to those that pedestrians on Mumbai roads can be heard mumbling -- a delicate mixture of prayers and abuses, both said at the same time...

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