For the ageing yuppies a time comes when the routine hassles of a large megapolis just bog you down – massive traffic jams, rising levels of dust and pollution, crowded cinemas, malls and eateries, everyone looking hassled, long working hours followed by torturous commuting and the weekend disappears in the socializing routine.
Wistfully one wonders about spending a quiet life on a nice little island where one can step off the treadmill and discard the frenetic pace of modern living.
I live on a nice little island though it is not quite the boondocks you imagine it to be. It is a rather modern place and seems to have all the advantages of a big Metro while limiting a lot of pain value that is part and parcel of the modern life.
So for the starters let me describe a few things that most people would love – a 10 minute commute to office, no traffic light lasts longer than 2 minutes, the sea face is just 500 metres from my home, and what more I have enough time to follow my hearts desire. Sounds lovely for sure, right?
Well there is more to it – the people are really nice, Indians are well-regarded and a major part of the expat community, you get all the ‘Idli-Dosas’ you want and they taste just as good as back home. You meet your friends and acquaintances all over since it is really such a small place. For the mall freaks there are enough options and all the latest electronic gizmos launch with the same fanaticism as world over. You have niche choices too – catch the Tamil movies at a single screen theatre running close to your home, explore some good ol’ books are the corner stall just down the road and visit the Temple if you want to spend a quiet hour of peace. My daughter loves to visit the nice gardens that are at a walking distance from my home.
Talk about the work culture – people like to start early and that leaves you more time later in the day. Lunch time is respected and people step out to take a break from work. Weekends are all the more precious and rarely, if ever, will you be pulled for some critical work. Staying late in office is not regarded to be ‘cool’ at all – the place looks deserted well before the sunset. None of your colleagues is a whiz on handling quantum physics but it does not seem to matter much and work does get done. Innovation is not scoffed at but all the same it is not rammed down the throats of the employees all the time. The customer is very important but not at the cost of the employee.
So these are the random thoughts that came to my mind as I sit on my desk on the start of the long weekend. Surely a great place and possibly we have forgotten to appreciate it enough since we are so used to it now. Not the place that Suresh Wadkar immortalized so well in Shahryar’s song –
सीने में जलन, आँखों में तूफ़ान-सा क्यूँ है
इस शहर में हर शख़्स परेशान-सा क्यूँ है