It’s been long that I have travelled a long distance for work. I am blessed to be working close to home so it leaves me with just 15 minutes of drive to work and back home. I don’t remember what made me reflect about my previous journeys all the way to Hinjewadi and back home when I was working way back in 2008. 8 long years down the line and I see tremendous change in the city, the roads, people, climate, traffic and so much more.
Mum’s home is the suburbs of Pune which is a good 24 to 26 Km to Hinjewadi, now its reduced to some 22 kms thanks to the shorter routes that have opened up, better connectivity. Having made a significant decision to work, initially I wasn’t very sure I would stick on my job considering the distance; however my journey though short was a memorable one. And there began my daily stint of 2.5 hours of travel – 1 hour to and 1.5 hour fro – not to mention this involved travelling through the most crowded parts of city in the peak hours of traffic.
The first thing this travel taught me is discipline. No matter what, there is cab that will pick you up at sharp 11.30 am. If you don’t come on time, the cab doesn’t wait.. those were strict instructions. There is no room for lazy mornings unless you want to drive 25 km one side. And back then I had no bike or car. And it was 2 hour ordeal to reach office from where I stayed if I were to take public transport coz that time there was no ‘Uberization or Ola’ for that matter!
I looked forward to this time in the cab. It was the only ‘my time’ of the day where I could connect best with my thoughts. It was the best place to seeking solitude, to plan my day and think upon what next…? or simply sleep (which today I feel is the most laziest thing to do)
In this ‘My time’ I have seen the city in all its grace and glory. Be it the endless traffic jams during the monsoon or during the festive season. The lush greenery of Khadki, Aundh Road, Bremen circle is something that I would never forget. Today when I happen to pass through the same roads it gives me a warm feeling of nostalgia. Perhaps today the roads are much better, with a lot of better infrastructure and yes I mustn’t forget the number of eateries that have come up. Nobody goes hungry now.
With time on hand, I have read books and listened to music perhaps which I would not have got time otherwise. Thanks to mom who got me books from the library every week and a big thank you to Agatha Christie, Dan Brown and many more who kept me entertained. God bless Radio Mirchi for all the traffic updates and the non stop jabbering of those RJ’s.
With the fellow travelers you make a bond over the endless conversations ranging on topics, right from weather to assembly elections,the malls to the food joints in the city. The songs which keep playing on the radio add an interesting flavor to the conversations. Most of the songs when I hear them today churn up different memories of the times and the people associated with them. Perhaps that is the power of perspectives. Those conversations not only filled the up the void space and silence but developed into very good friendships over the time. The perks of having such bonds lead to an occasional treat to hot wada pav thrown in by the one who is too hungry or simply stop the car on the way home and stand at a local tea stall and sip in ‘cutting wali chai’.
This so called ‘My time’ has also been the time for contemplations. Looking out of the window, I have pondered endlessly over the whether I should study further or no, what’s the next course of life, some highs and lows of life and reflection of the good things that happened. I have found my peace amidst traffic jams.
I have travelled on the same road for almost two years in the hot roasting summers or wet soggy rains followed by the biting cold winters. No matter what, the seasons followed one after the other. Perhaps the best lesson I kept learning from these changing patterns is that nothing in life is permanent. Be it the sorrows that cloud our life or the bouts of joy and happiness. They keep following each other and teach you to the best lessons of life.