Tuesday, March 03, 2009

ITPL. Traffic. Politicians.

The company I work for happens to be located in ITPL (International Tech Park Limited). It’s actually ITPB (International Tech Park Bangalore) and this is how you will find it on the web. ITPL is a huge place and with an aura of regality around it. But don’t let that deceive you. It’s almost like a city on the outskirts of a city. ITPL is home to many IT people in more ways than one – in addition to working , the people live here from morning to late evening, doing all their stuff in ITPL and returning to their ‘room’ or home only to sleep at night. If there were enough bunkers or cheap accommodation available, there would be a group of people who wouldn’t see the outside of ITPL gate for weeks on end.

The main pain in the backside about working at ITPL is the commute. This is especially severe if you stay out of a 5 km radius from ITPL, and it varies acc to the square (or cube ?) of the distance of your dwelling from ITPL. The two big factors exacerbating the pain in the pain in the backside are peak hour traffic (figurative pain ) and the bumpy roads (literal pain).

Peak hour traffic: traveling a great distance up and down to ITPL teaches you a great deal about time management (or conversely teaches you what a mega disaster can await you if DON’T practice time management). It’s a little like water surfing, only instead of trying to ride the crest of a wave; you try like hell to avoid the crest of the traffic. You need to time yourself just right. There’s a fine line between getting caught in a maddening peak hour traffic jam, and sailing through greeny traffic signals one after the other in a smooth flow. Like all other lessons of life this comes only with practice and experience. For example if I leave my home at JP Nagar at 7:30 am or earlier (on my bike), I can comfortably reach office in 45 minutes, worst case. But leave at 8:15 am, and I’ll take at least an hour and a half. Missing the time window has severe consequences, the time taken to reach ITPL leaving home at 9:00 am can easily be upto two and a quarter hours.

Bumpy Roads: Ah bumpy roads of Bangalore! No dearth of words can describe the wrath you unleash on the poor Bangalorean soul. The basic funda is : Don’t sit on the last few seats in the ITPL bus, unless you cant afford Dashing Cars at WonderLa (at least in dashing cars you can get down in 5 minutes). Also you are screwed at both ends because sitting too front near the engine will make your eardrums scream for mercy. But of course the option of the middle seats first goes to the traffically handicapped. These are the people who wear collars around the neck or carry special pillows to sit on.

Not too early to coin the word Traffic Related Injuries or TRI? Remember you heard about it here first. The unemployed youth can organize mass ergonomics classes with themes like

  • Best Practices while travelling in the Bus
  • Traffic Yoga – Calm yourself and make three hours of traffic a pleasure
  • Rulebook of Ideal Sitting Postures while travelling (available for all vehicles)

This way we can solve unemployment and traffic related problems in the same breath.
But wait! This can give birth to a new economy too, which focuses on traffic.I can already imagine the brash young politicians talking..

Guptaji Dude “To hell with roti, kapada aur makaan ….the future is in traffic, jaan! We need to build more city outskirts and inject traffic problems into these outskirts, so that we can solve them later. ”

Mukeshji Dude “Now we’re in luck. All cities In India are built embodying the lofty goals of frugality and simplicity. So they have little or no roads at all.”

Guptaji Dude “Right … the small city will form the core of our master plan. All we need to do is to declare some fad announcements like SBZ‘s … “

Mukeshji Dude “It’s actually called Special Economics Zones (SEZ's) dude…”

Guptaji Dude “Ya Ya I know you have completed 11th standard your own, stop showing off. You know dad gifted me a MBA Degree for my birthday, so remember who you are talking too ! Anyway, we will make a lot of Special Economics Zones and similar things. And all the IT companies will fall over each other to set up companies here. While letting out this place we’ll just make sure the roads are not too big! Plan good enough? “

Mukeshji Dude “I don’t think we can build bigger roads even if we wanted to! (Polite heh hehs from the chamchas and politicians) Also we SHOULD not build bigger roads. Our forefathers have worked so hard for this; there haven’t been big roads in India since time immemorial. We may be the future, but we can’t forget where we come from! “

One chamcha gets up and starts playing “Yeh jo desh hai mera ” at the background.

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