Much About Nothing

It’s been three whole months since I went anywhere. Can you imagine that? Three months of Bangalore, Bangalore, and Bangalore. Now, you know I love this city. But three months without getting on a bus or train (or, at worst a plane) to somewhere, is just too much!

On the last weekend of this month, Amit and I will go to Kabini (yes, again!) in another vain attempt to spot a tiger. I believe it is simpler to go to Bannerghatta National Park (success assured) but then, you see, that’s in Bangalore.

At one point in my working life, I used to want to travel to get away from the horror of work. Yes, in the KF days. Nowadays, I no longer need to escape from work. In fact, sometimes I need to escape to work just to get away from the tension of life. Specially after a hectic weekend. My favourite day has now officially been declared Tuesday, which is work-from-home day. Since everyone else is in office (that is, Amit), this is a day I can really just relax and catch up with myself. And after the hectic weekends (two or three sessions of tennis, two half-day sessions of German and all the weekly housework that usually piles up for the weekend) I really do need a break!

Of course, I am supposed to be “working” from home, but it’s not too difficult. I leave the laptop on to collect mail while I wander around talking to parents on the phone, washing and putting out the laundry and picking up the previous installment, getting sundry other errands up to date, cooking something interesting for lunch, and reading a book. Sometimes I even take a short nap in the afternoon!!!

Periodically I return to the laptop (which makes an obliging ‘ping’ sound whenever mail arrives; wish you could program it to make different sorts of ‘ping’ sounds depending on who the mail is from) to read and respond to the mail. Usually (see earlier blogs Official Communication and Status Update for details) a response skillfully worded is enough to put the opposition in a spin for a few hours, at least.

Sometimes I wonder how long this state of grace can last. Surely something must happen to break the spell? But what could that possibly be? In my small team of 5, two people have recently moved on. We are now down to 3. And there’s a recruitment freeze in effect. Reason enough to be tearing our collective hair out? One would think so, but no. Projects get pushed back, management is sternly told that all deals are off unless we can get more people and everybody goes back to long lunch breaks, surfing the net, leaving early and “working” from home!

If nothing else, I think the boredom of not having any work to do is going to finally get to me. I might even do something stupid like looking for more work, or trying to change job within (or – heaven forbid – outside) the company! Hopefully sheer laziness will prevent me from doing anything like that.

So anyway, nowadays I don’t have to travel to get away from stress: I have to travel to get away from boredom! And I have to do it on non-weekend hours, becuase I wouldn’t want to miss German class. Which is why we leave for Kabini on a Thursday and return on Saturday. I only hope the tigers or panthers or whatever are obliging enough to show themselves to us this time.

Meanwhile, it’s back to my book of the month, Prince of Ayodhya, by Ashok Banker. It is the story of the Ramayana in the tradition of Harry Potter (though the writing style is quite different). So far, so good, but I’m only on page 27 .

I also seem to have attracted three copies of The World is Flat. “Attracted” because all three were somehow given to me. I’m not even sure by whom. The three of them are standing at the top of the bookshelf in front of me and staring down at me reproachfully, demanding their birthrights –  that is, to be read.

Enough about nothing.  I better go and check my mail, just in case somebody dodged the last googly I sent their way and boomeranged it back to me.

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