Been a little scarce here and you noticed.
To be fair, it has nothing to do with any OS. I won’t go down that road now, so ease up.
It has to do with work. With distances. Dented buses. With Bombay. With time. With Phtooey.
But first lets rewind about 8 years so we get a better perspective of things.
When I landed in Mumbai 8 years ago from S7 of Gujarat Mail with big overawed eyes, gaping mouth, two small bags and an empty wallet, it took me two days to conclude why this city was very different from other cities I had visited.
The enormous distances and therefore the time taken to cover them, the cost of renting a place – regardless of whether it’s a hotel or a flat.
After 8 calendar years here, not much has changed. I have the same overawed eyes, gaping mouth. For, as I found, that’s more about defect than effect – manufacturing defect more than the city’s effect.
And my wallet is still empty.
But I can tell you without a smirk or a flinch , that it has taken me 15 years to live those 8 years in this city.
And as the days go by, it’s taking a lot more to complete one year.
Longer, in time. Farther in distances. Higher in expenses. More in rent. Harder on comfort.
Yes. It takes more energy, money and time to live a year now than before.
Consider: Santa Cruz to Airoli is about 32 km and that is about 45 min to an hours’ distance in free flowing traffic. Today it takes nothing less than 1½ to about 2½ hours.
Consider: A mediocre 2bhk flat in Santa Cruz is today nothing short of 35k a month
Consider: The crowd on a Churchgate local from Santa Cruz station at anytime is at least two times more crowded today than about 8 years ago.
Consider: The Queue at the railway ticket counter winds out and over the years the last man in the queue is going farther and father away from the counter. In Bandra, the last man in the queue few years back stood in the building. Today he stands on the road. Near Khar Station.
Of course, I am exagerrating, but I’ve been there myself in the ‘Q’and I can tell you it is a very unsettling experience. The queue gets about 50 m long at times. One has to be awfully alert about line-cutters and smart asses who whistle their way into the queue ahead of you when no one is paying attention. You will hear annoyed ‘excuse me’ ‘excuse me’ ‘excuse me’ ‘excuse me’ from people with railway Season Tickets who have to cut through the line to get in the station. As they wind their way past you under your nose, you have to search their faces to see if they are genuine or are they about to pull a fast one on you and take your place. Its an awful emotionally draining experience not to mention physical torture and trauma.
But let me give you my analysis. Some basic math on our regular weekday.30 min read Newspaper 30 min shower, get ready 1 hour travel to office 10 hours at work (9 am to 7 pm) 2 hour travel back home 30 min unwind and shower 30 min TV 7 hours sleep Total:22 hours
And that leaves 2 hours for you to do other things. The things which define you. The very reason you need that job.
That still leaves the weekends – making them ever so sacrosanct. Making you cherish it and devise meaningful ways to spend it – even if it means deliberating on it the whole weekend!
Life is really not what it used to be before. We are making it more and more outlandish and disconnected from the things that we are really looking for, the things we really need.
And it really is not fair on mankind to be handed a life that is spent looking forward to the 6th and 7th day of every week. Ah. What Trauma.
Wish I was a well fed cat.
Life can really be more than what we are making out of it. Wish we could wake up soon.