It began almost 3 weeks ago. I joined a new workplace. My new office is in Whitefiled, east bangalore. It is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from my home. So now I travel almost 40 kilometers a day. My previous workplace was very closely located. May be, 1/10th of what it is now. You must be wondering, how could I quit a job that was at a distance of 10 minutes from my house? Reason? Simple, a better opportunity (I miss my old workplace, though). And thus began the pain of traveling for 3 hours a day. To be honest, I was not prepared for this. But when opportunity knocks, you have to get up and open the door. And that’s exactly what I did.
It took me a week to adjust to this new routine. I was getting exposed to the traffic filled roads of Bangalore. There was a thin layer of carbon gas all around. I am sure I was inhaling carbon monoxide, to say the least. My chauffeur knew his job well. He was making his way through uneven and dug up roads. It usually took us 90 minutes to reach office. And with no surprises, the ride to my office, was exactly what I had thought of.
Now,I was left with two options. One, I could complain about my traveling woes. Two, I could utilize this time to do something that made me happy. And what better than putting my thoughts on paper. I chose the latter.
Today as the journey begins I am getting ready. I tune in to my favorite radio station and plug my ear phones. I pull out my diary and pen. There is lovely music in the background and my thoughts start pouring out. I am at the back seat of the cab. My first encounter is a Montessori school. It has a very lovely name, “Roots to Wings”. What I see is a delight to my eyes. Tiny little angels, with tiny little school bags. They all look curious, happy and naughty. I can not take my eyes off them. They have round cheeks, lovely little eyes, and a mesmerizing smile. The cab is moving ahead, oblivious to these angels but I am completely lost in the exuberance of these tiny tots. Oh, I miss my childhood.
As we make our way through countless vehicles, I can see a small patch of beautiful forested area. I believe it must have been a thriving jungle, once upon a time. However, now it stands with deep composure amidst a concrete jungle. It almost looks like a helpless little child surrounded by merciless monsters . It is an evidence of mankind’s ungrateful gesture to Mother Nature. On my right hand side, stands a huge statue of Lord Hanuman. Tall, sturdy and determined is how I can best describe it. It is painted in vibrant colors. It looks brilliant.
We are stuck in traffic. The queue is huge ( as long as hanuman's tail). There is a metro construction going on. It leads to a lot of inconvenience to commuters. The roads are also dug up. I hope this work is completed by the year end. Am I being too optimistic?
We finally move ahead and I can see a small book shop. It looks old. It must be at least 2 decades old. Of course with the advent of malls and retail book chains, such shops rarely witness visitors. Yet, it looks strong. Well this reminds me, I am reading,“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma. And with each page I unfold wonderful ways of leading a fulfilling life. Last week I read, “Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy. The book moved me beyond words. It talks about a neurological disorder, Bipolar Disorder. I wonder how I picked this book exactly at the same time when someone in the family was diagnosed with it. May be, God wanted me to know something.
Dan, is sitting next to me. He is an American with a strong will to settle in India. He is married to an Indian.It is true, love knows no borders. Its been 3 weeks that I know him. But I have never heard him cribbing about India or Bangalore. He is trying his best to adjust here. Last evening he was talking about his passion for road-side food here. “I never fall sick, you see”, he chuckled. This reminds me of something that Shakespeare has written,”For where thou art, there is the world itself, and where thou are not, desolation”. When you have abundant love in your life, nothing else matters.
Well, I have almost reached my destination. I look at my colleagues and I can see a reflection of me in each one of them. They are all running the same race as I. It is popularly called the “Rat Race”. In the pursuit of the worldly ambitions, all of us are on the same page. We come with fancy degrees and some amount of pedigree. This is what makes us more like rats. All of us are chasing something, on, this Road To Whitefield.
Oh, while I hang my identity card around my neck, I hear a famous song on the radio,"Bhag Bhag DK Bose".