I had been hearing of the Bangalore traffic whilst I was away from home in the last 5 years. Of course, I had tastes of this traffic during my vacation trips. But, now that I am back home for good, I have to negotiate this traffic on a war-footing, everyday! Its a mix of a nightmare, test of skill and indeed the ability to stay focused on achieving a goal i.e. reaching office in the morning and returning home in the evening!:)
In the first fortnight of my sojourn from home to office & back, I have learnt the variety of ways to tackle this 24 km stretch. And there are variations to the duration that I spent on the road to office i.e. morning is quite easy to negotiate in a span of 45 minutes, but ht evenings seem to behave in sync with the stock market fluctuations - at times taking 45 minutes and on other days going anywhere between 2-2.5 hours!
Now that I have so much of time on my hands, all to myself - with complete disconnect with the world (save for the wi-fi on my comp & my mobile - bad enough, I guess!), I see a good opportunity to spend things on myself during these trips.
There are a bunch of things that I think I can do during these long drives to the office. Some of the things that readily occur to my mind (and already have been implemented!) include reading books (finished a Jeffrey Archer novel recently & started on a Chetan Bhagat book - light reading you see! Of course, my new iPod is a very handy companion on these rides everyday - listening to songs that transport me to a different zone, prepare me mentally to gear up for a long day at the office, not to mention, make me forget all the worries in the world. So, music and books are a good starting point on these long rides everyday.
And I am getting newer and newer ideas as to how this can be remembered as "time well spent". One option is possibly professional development - you know, registering for yet another professional course and equipping myself to face the future! But, that needs some serious motivation, which, in the honeymoon period of a new job is not very forthcoming!
Other options (which seem more appealing!) include, engaging in an active dialogue with comrades who accompany me on these rides. There are a couple of interesting faces in these shuttles, and maybe, just maybe, they are wondering who is going to make the first move as well. I have however noticed, that these interesting faces have the same interests as I do - reading a book, listening to music!:)So, that's a good starting point maybe i.e. asking them first about what they are reading, what the story in the book is about, before getting on to more interesting stories!:). Who knows, a duet may be right around the bump that our shuttle negotiates!:)
And given that I usually drive down to office on Fridays, rather than using the shuttle, maybe I could administer some “car-pooling”, based on the “negotiations” of these shuttle rides in the rest of the week!
So much for thoughts on using transit time...!:)