September 26, 2006

MCity to MCity

I was born and brought up in Triplicane.

Upto 12th Standard, I studied at Triplicane Hindu Senior School. After that, for my UG, I joined Loyola College – hardly 20 mins by bus. Then, I did my PG at Pondicherry University, staying in the hostel. No commutes then. After education, I got a job with S. My first posting was at Alwarpet office, just 10 mins in my TVS Super XL. From there, I shifted to Teynampet. Again, just 15 mins by a vehicle. I grumbled for having to travel up to Chamiers Road to pick up my wife, because it took 20 minutes then to reach home. I fought with HR, when they posted me to Tidel Park. I rejected applying in companies like W, iG, V and all, because they were so far off at Guindy.

Talk about the irony of life. Today I travel all the way up to Chingleput for my new job.

Yes, that’s where my new work place is…from Madras City to Mahindra City, or MCity as it is called. It is just before Chingleput Toll Gate, and just after Singaperumalkoil.

I commute 4 hours daily – minimum. Consider that with 8.5 hours to clock in, excluding a 45 minute break. Throw in the 7.5 hour sleep required daily. And a 45 minutes in the morning “getting ready for office” do. All I am left with is just 3 hours. And I do not want to compromise on those 3 hours – the time I get to spend with my family.

All the tall talks about work-life balance in this IT field is bull. Consider the 3 hours I get with my family. How can I squeeze in a routine of exercise – at least a simple walk - to keep my cholesterol levels down?

Yes, at office, I get to spend only 8 hours, but the long commute given the Madras City Traffic, or the less frequent train journey, it is not very favorable. Of course, the easier solution might seem to relocate to somewhere nearer to a railway station.

So what are the choices of areas do I have for relocation?

Egmore, Central, Park – is ruled out thoroughly – given the high non-residential index (NRI) of these areas.

Chetpet – has off-late become pretty commercial and costly on the better home side, while other areas are pretty much living in water problems.

Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam, T. Nagar – apart from mosquitoes, nothing else is really comfortable. And they have legendary water problems, pollution, noise levels et al. And very heavily congested, and lot of floating population too adds to the woes.

Saidapet, Guindy – lacks proximity to good schooling or off-hand medical facilities.

From St. Thomas Mount onwards, it becomes pretty mofussil Madras, with its own problems ranging from lack of choice of schools – barring a select few, lack of abundance of hospitals, low voltage forever, bad roads, mosquitoes – epitome of Chikunguniya, lack of access to recreational places, lack of eatout places.

So, can’t really contemplate shifting. Have to bear the brunt, and grunt!

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