Thursday, August 25, 2011

Work work work!

When you start working after a long gap… you realise that there are so many things that happen in an office that you had forgotten when you were sitting at home. A time when you were being envied as that one lucky creature that doesn’t have to hear the rants of your boss, hear the bitching of colleagues and a finish the never-ending pile of work.

Same happened with me. After a year of ‘blissfully not working’ (that’s what most of my working friends would say), I realised that there is so much stuff that is so common between all offices in India and possibly, in the world too.

When I was trekking in the green layered and scenic places of my state, my colleagues here, in my current organisation and my ex-organisation, (after listening to their conversation) were slogging hard to please the boss, meet their deadlines (whoever thought of this word was a genius!) and hurry to finish their work and catch that 7.20 local!

Office conversations, I think, are the same everywhere- be it Angola, Ethiopia or the United States of America! When you enter an office as a new joinee, you are told, suggested, hinted about three important things:

  1. How you should be careful from X, Y and Z
  2. How boring and useless the work is, which the people here are doing
  3. How the boss is a dumb-a**, and yet how he/she is in such a prominent position

Most of the times, I avoid getting into bitchy and sensational conversations, to the extent that many of my colleagues in my previous organisation thought that I was mute! The obsession of the working types with the coffee machines and the time-passing chats dates to, probably, Stone Age, when the Stone Age man cribbed (don’t know verbally or non- verbally) about his group leader to his fellows over a meal of freshly burnt meat!

Boss is a person whose status and character is highly abused by the n number of employees under him/her. That’s why, many a times, I fear, am apprehensive of being a boss to someone in the future. Most of the times, people see more wrong than right, in this creature and it may or may not be his/her fault!

This may seem easier said than done, but making the workplace fun lies in the boss’ and the employees’ hands. Bitching should give way to healthy discussions and a more productive work environment!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A refreshing break!

Living in a concrete jungle has its pros and cons. Tired of the rains- which are otherwise so beautiful and such a welcome change- in the city of Mumbai, where only mirth and filth define the term rains, we ventured out to Rajmachi.

Located roughly around 16kms from the city of Lonavla, is a nature lover's haven called Rajmachi. Lonavla, a hill station situated between the cities of Pune and Mumbai, is a monsoon haunt for civilised urban families as well as uncivilised young hooligans who love to get wet almost naked under the waterfalls under the influence of alcohol carried in plastic bottles.

But Rajmachi is a quaint village far away from this mockery of the modern city world- after all, it is better to be urbane than being urban! Miles away from the towns where electricity and flowing water are taken as granted, is a remote village which uses only solar power to light the bulbs and other devices, which understandably are at rest during the monsoons.

Houses with thatched roofs, some modern too, with floors layered with cow dung adorn this village. With two forts- Manranjan and Shriwardhan- this place is a must explore for adventure lovers. Our walk started from Kunegaon phata near Lonavla. The road to Rajmachi is full of greenery, rocky patches, mud, valleys, snow white waterfalls and flowing streams. This walk is not for the oh-my-foot-got-stuck-in-the-mud and look-how-dirty-I've-got crowd! You need to let your urban self which is pampered with comfort and luxury make way to the side you have never explored.

The only way to get closer to the nature is to be with it! And when you are here, you forget all the tiredness by just looking at the lush greenery, rustic remains of a temple, the hospitality of the villagers and the oh-so-delicious desi meal. After a hectic walk, we got fresh and headed towards the Manranjan fort, a small but interesting one. At night, after returning, we had a candle light dinner (there was no other option!) and loved eating the rice bhakaris and rassa bhaji!

As this was the first ever trek my husband had taken part in, we had to skip the Shriwardhan fort, as he sprained his leg! But later on we explored the Shiv Mandir in the vicinity, nestled in greenery and fog. There was a lake nearby and we walked along the banks to witness the most intriguing scene of our life- a deep valley with waterfalls and rock cut in a peculiar way! We thought we had landed in a postcard of scenery!

While leaving Rajmachi and its simple ways- yes, there were no bathrooms and we had to do 'it' in the open, eat a simple chulha cooked meal and sleep on a chatai without a fan or an AC- my heart wasn't ready to go! In the monotony of my city life, this was the most refreshing change.

The walk back to Lonavla seemed to have been covered faster as we had now got a hang of the way and the walking! At regular intervals, we posed for photos, stopped for chai and boiled anda, as we always do on treks. Then there is the usual look-at-other-groups-find-faults-and-laugh sessions, intra group teasing sessions, which complete your trek!

The most remembered thing during this trek would be living the fact that- yes we can live with bare minimum necessities, what if only for a couple of days!

The refreshing trek persuaded me to make a comeback to my dear blog :-)

(Pics by my friend Shriniwas Pawar)