Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a long drive.

Working for a software company in chennai, does sometimes entitle you to a long and arduous bus journey to and from offices. Sometime, it can be equated to cattle... you arrive in office and you will see all busses coming, dropping employees off and leaving.. so they swarm... colorful clothes filling hallways through the campus.

Well, once in a while you want to break out of that mould- and you decide to drive to office.

last night, my wife tells me that she has a meeting at 9Am, which is INSANITY. Considering her office is about 55 Km from home. So, in order to get there at that time, i would have to drop her at the railway station by about 640. Which was insane. So I said, why not i drop you???
Little did I think- she said "ok!"

anyways, i decided to give my good'ol lancer a run on the highway. We left home at 640, and started driving. Being this early, we managed to beat all the office/college/usual traffic and covered the 55kms in about 1 hr.

It was an awesome drive, wind blowing, crusing at 100, bliss... wish I could just drive on and on. We reached her office and I had to then drive over to mine, which is on the other side of town, another 50+kms. This route is however not on the highway but through a reserved forest region.

I guess, one of the most relaxing drives, is when you can see the road, not a soul and forests on both sides, and you know you are in the city.

It was bliss, RadioCity was cranking some nice rock numbers, put the windows down, and was cruising...untill i reached the "IT Highway"
to put the frustration in a nut shell, it took me over an hour to complete a 11km stretch. In which I think i banged the undeside of my car, went through about hub-cap deep water, got frustrated because of STUPID drivers and basically threw a wet blanket over the state of mind I was in.

Made me want to think, why are people so impatient? there was kilometer long pileup of traffic, and some jackass decides that he can go, and goes... blocking the traffic even more. And if there is an empty stretch, vehicles will go.

To complicate things, the IT highway is under construction, so various parts are either filled with gravel (to increase height) or with gravel dust, to add a foundation. Junta tries driving and vehicles are getting stuck,. Busses, trucks, sumos, bikes...everyone, but they still keep coming. Each thinkgin that they can get out of it better than the previous person.

The best picture- there is a big mess of traffic stuck in this mud and a tractor(HMT type) driver is laughing and driving slowly.. put put put puput puput puput put... I could feel his joy - like the tortoise in the race between the hare.

I finally rolled into office at 920, after completing nearly 120 kms. but it was fun.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diaspora Dilemma- Taking credit!

Many a times, I wonder, what is it that makes people adapt? to surroundings, to people and most importantly to situations? The whole - bandwagon concept- jumping on when the wagon gets going, is nice, but how much can the bandwagon actually take? the latest of the series- and something that has always intrigued me- our "IndianNess". What makes us Indian, is it our culture, our heritage, is it our skin color or the way we think?

OR - is it simply what the society makes us out to be?

Bobby Jindal's win as the governor or Louisiana has a very large part of the country jumping for joy. but the question is why? Is he Indian? well, I dont know him personally, but from spending 40 years there, I think not. The again, it comes back to the question, what is indian?
He's been born there- so tat makes him an american citizen. His parents "immigrated" there 40 years ago - that in effect is a statement that says that they wanted out of this country, hence the move. Now that he is the good ol' gov' - the people are extatic. I wonder if the poles, or brazillians or even mexicans jump around. Did they - when Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales was appointed? I dont think so.

That's the way we have been. As a nation, we are unique in terms of our appearances and mannerisms. I guess we might be the only society that prides our roots even after we immigrate to a new culture. Or, I might just be fantasizing.

We are a great society. And thats one thing that I am proud of. I know, that below all the bickering and squwabling, we as a society are eons ahead of our time.
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