Bench mark

The thing with being on bench (term used to describe officials not assigned to any project, hence not working) is what it does to one's self esteem. It’s like a leaky bucket, the more you are in it, the less self esteem you would be left with. You would even question yourself "why would I need to press my clothes, polish my shoes and be on time, when all I do is nothing". As much as I am hopeful and positive about my situation, living through bench is quite challenging. Its like the relationship phase that makes you wonder whether its going to break up or patch up. I am not sure what's expected out of me and to be honest I rather be jobless than paid for doing nothing.

If you need a free mud face pack, all you need to do is drive without helmet in one of Chennai roads. Of all the transportation problems we face, the worst one is dust. Not only it creates eye irritation and dirty clothes, it also creates breathing issues and numerous allergy related diseases. The next one is honking. You would be honked even if you are driving perfectly fine. It means the driver is in hurry (for what is a million dollar question) and may run over you if you don’t give way. Others honk for different reason, either because they like their horn or it has become their habit to do so.

In the place I live, the ground water is polluted by nearby factory of Ponds. The effect is so much that our water heater broke due to the saline quality of it. The lake near my house has become a garbage dumping ground. I can even spot buffaloes, pigs and scavengers wandering around. The stray dogs are most troublesome though, for they chase me while I drive in the night, when the area has become their "territory". This is why I don’t suggest foreigners to visit India, for I am not convinced by its tourism. We surely have great monumental temples and sites (I am sure every country has their own stuff to show case) but we are not ready for visitors yet. What 5 star hotel tourists see is not the real India. For we live amongst slums, chased by stray dogs, honked to deaf, covered by mud pack and drink polluted water.

It’s almost a month since I landed in Chennai, but I felt nostalgic only recently. When I visited the place where we used to live (before I went to Singapore), the neighbors, store owner and even the milk maid was so happy to see me. These people really know me, to the point they can even say what I am allergic to. One ex-neighbor offered me lunch and I couldn’t say no. For the records we don’t owe each other money or anything. In India people ask you "saptacha" (have you had meals?), for we believe in feeding, even the stranger who turns up during the meal time. These are people of India and I am proud of them. Anyone who is been invited with a smile and offered a meal would feel so.

Image courtsy Google
I would like to accept all these things as part of my life. It’s definitely not perfect, and given the choice I would change 100 things about it. But there are 1000 things to be grateful too. For I still have job and friends who can offer a free meal, a vehicle and helmet to drive through mud and mind that’s capable of handling such challenges. I need to deal with "Now", and that’s what I should use to create a better tomorrow.
"Accept, what you resist persists"
Srivats

Comments

Geli said…
I love this post of yours :)

I'm happy that you saw a point of view that makes you appreciate it as it is. :D
nice...i know how it feels like to be home where almost everyone in the neighbourhood recognises u..
the traffic situation- the less said the better.. but its heartening to know u look at that too in a positive manner.
hope u get back to action from bench sooner.. ur positivity will help u hold on to it then..
neeraj said…
Being on bench is a state of absolute bliss for people like me. It is the time I get real time for myself - to sharpen my skills, do something creative and last but not the least - write! Last year, being on beach had become a nightmare for many! Hope the situation comes back to normal this year! :-)

Cheers
neeraj
Ramesh said…
Great post Sri. Very good perspective having come back after a while away. Your perspective on tourism is so right.
Anonymous said…
dei foreign return..overa pesitada...nee invite panna maateenu solra antha so called tourists live in countries which are the worst polluters of the world..agreed inga vehicle population jaasthi and roads are not exactly F1 track..entha oorla thaan dog ila. india has the least number of these 4 legged strays compared any other country..inga atleast u knw which is stray and which one isnt..veli oorla athu kuda teriathu..honking is something which is taught even in our (or rather is shd say mine..since u feel so ashamed of it) driving classes..for that has become a way of driving here. roadla yarumay ilatiyum left turn vara cornerla honk panitu thaan ponumgarathu almost has become a norm. oru oorukum oru flavor...nt tht it has to be perfect..but there definitely is a reason behind everything. kandipa lot of scope to improve. but nothing to feel ashamed of i believe. My place. my people. Right or wrong.
Prats said…
I can totally relate to what you said about being on bench and feeling nostalgic about people who know us from our childhood.
Kayni said…
i was just thinking of the same thing. lately, i've been focusing more on the negative things surrounding me, but now that i realize it, instead of hanging unto the negative, i'll try very hard to be thankful of the good things in life.

hang in there...things will get better soon.
That's life - bittersweet as it is. But I'm glad that eventhough you're surrounded by bad things, you don't thrive in it's negativity. I truly admire your optimism.

Lots of people wish to visit India. I know because I'm one of them. You said India is not yet ready for that, I totally disagree. While it's nice to see the beauty of the surroundings, it's not the main reason why people wish to visit there. What draws us is your culture, the history we learned from school as a kid, the heritage, and the wonderful people.

And lastly, do you know I have thing long running dream of getting paid while doing nothing?
TheUncanny said…
/// Its like the relationship phase that makes you wonder whether its going to break up or patch up//

ROFL..I cant beleive ur comparing bench with relationship..hahaha...But both are "cat on the wall" situations where the cat is not responsible being on the wall...hehe....

I do understand,every IT guy goes through this insecure phase. But know wat..Its the best time to concentrate on things u always wanted to do..Like going for a muvi during office hours and sorts..go wild..Njoy being on bench...
Srivats said…
@ Geli
Thanks much my friend :)

@AJCL
When I wrote those lines I know who is gonna empathise with that feeling :) Thanks for ur wishes

@ Neeraj
haha I wish I could see it the way you see it, quite enjoyable huh :)

@Ramesh
Thanks my friend :) just some ramblings I would say

@ Anynomous,
Ada rama, if you have read it fully I am trying to say the same thing you are saying :)

@Prats
Amazing isnt, I was so glad to see them again, the way I have been treat,, wah!

@Kayni
Thats the key Kayni, but often we get dissolved into the negative thoughts , the key is to stand up, dust off and keep going. Thanks for the wishes

@Mybittersweetkoreanlife
Spellbound on your words about visiting India :) humbled for myself and for my people. Thanks for those words!
Getting paid for nothing haha, be housewife :) not exactly pay but u get to spend from ur hubby's LOL

@Theuncanny
LOL very true, I can do so much as you say, thanks for the bigger perspective here :))
Swaram said…
Glad that u r enjoying this warmth and love :)

But there are 1000 things to be grateful too. - Wonderful :) Luved the ending :)

Well, I don't think any place is perfect rt .. may be the imperfections differ :) and the foreigners do find something worthwhile here and look beyond trash, traffic n stuff :)
Annam said…
படிச்சுட்டு வர்றேன் :))
Annam said…
If you need a free mud face pack, all you need to do is drive without helmet in one of Chennai roads
////////////////////////////////
டபுள் ரிப்பீட்டே :)))) gilsu avarkalaey engi irunthaalum vanthu unga oorin perumaigalai terinjukonga vatsu thella thelliva solli irukaaga:)
Thamizhmaangani said…
hey how r u dude? what's happening in ur life now? got any job in the media?
Annam said…
Benchla irukkira சிங்கத்தை தட்டி கூப்பிடுங்க!
Annam said…
எனக்கு என்ன சொல்றதுண்ணே தெரியல.. :)) :P
Annam said…
Accept, what you resist persists"
////////////////////////////////

கவுஜ நல்லாயிருக்கு.... :)
Annam said…
Its like the relationship phase that makes you wonder whether its going to break up or patch up
//////////////////////////
நடுவிலே சிந்தனையை அப்படியே அள்ளி எறச்சிட்டீங்களே :)
Annam said…
These are people of India and I am proud of them/////////////////////
படிக்கிறப்பவே மனசுக்கு நிறைவா தோனுதுப்பா!!:)
Annam said…
even spot buffaloes, pigs
//////////////////////
sontham pantham suthi iruka thaan seyuvaaga ithukellam aluthukitta epdi:)))))
Annam said…
I would like to accept all these things as part of my life
////////////////////////
2010ல நல்ல முடிவு!
:)
Annam said…
வாழ்க்கை'ல வரலாறு ரெம்ப முக்கியம்.. என்ன நான் சொல்லுறது
Annam said…
என்ன நான் சொல்லுறது
Annam said…
athanaala oru silver jubilee comment potturulam
Annam said…
ரீப்பிட்டேய்ய்ய்ய்ய்ய்ய்ய் :)

25 :)
RamMmm said…
This post is like a painter's brush swiped across a canvas with different colors of paint. Bench, lunch, dust, honking, pollution, garbage, street dogs, neighbors, a nice image and a philosophy, all in a single post. I like it, man. :) இதுக்கு பேர்தான் பட்டைய கெளப்புரதோ. :-)

May all your present bench-warming put you in a future "hell of a fire-fight" project. :-D
Karthik said…
from now on i'm going to stop saying 'superb post' as every one of them turning out to be one..:)

ya our roads can drive anyone crazy.. you are in nungambakkam, no? the neighbors part was awesome.. :)
Photo Cache said…
It is more rewarding to visit a place where you see both the good and the shiny and the bad and the rough side of "town" so to speak.

India is such a magical place in my head right now. I gotta save to visit.
Charissism said…
Great post! I love how you accept the realities of your new life and see it in a whole new positive way. That's a gift and it's worth sharing. Miss you!
Madhu said…
first timer here..:0 u sure have strong plans of making a diffrence eh?? thats good[read=ur profile]

tackling issues of the society has always been a menace cauz we hardly have people taking us seriously.I rememember an incident when i almost lost my voice screaming at the MCH people here in hyd not to cut trees in our colony...:)But if the pen is mightier than a sword, u sure will make a diffrence thru this..:)

Besties!
Vipul said…
hey , its good. And really the Indians r good at offering meals wid smile.Nice 1.
Hey u need to ans to my questions on my blog please.
Srivats said…
@Swaram,
I agree about the foreigner they do find something amazing thats why they come here :) thanks for ur words

@Annam
Gils ananymousla potta comments patheengala ? Yes benchla ukandhu erukkara singathai thatti ezupitaanga LOL thanks for all the kalais.

@Tamil Mango
Sariya pochu, post padikkavey ellaya ?

@Rammm
ahaa neenga solradhu wish a ellai curse annu theriyalaye.. poruthu erundu parpom :)

@ Karthik
ada ennapa orey kalai ;)
Yes I used to be in nungambakkam bro now in Chrompet :)

@Photocache
Thats crazy even after reading what I wrote u still wanna see it ? :) Welcome! Swaram's comment is nice ppl see more than the trash here.

@Charissism
Waah only today I thought about as your blog was showing cross mark, due to no updates for a long time I guess :) Good to see u write here, Miss you too :)

@ Madhu
Welcome here thats quite inspiring the way you tried to raise ur opinion for the trees, even I feel very bad when I see trees being cut down, it takes years to grow, and alas one fine day all to crumble, people if not planting more should save whats left , otherwise nothing would be left. Thanks for ur words :)

@ Vipul
Yes sure buddy would visit soon :) Tahnks for ur words :)
Bench sucks...At least i realized it so when i was...I dont see a point to be on bench..if i am , tehn definitely it ll help me in doing other things like blogging :P

Yes, people of country like India are different..

here frnds, brothers walk together hand in hand, which is a matter of affection and West thinks its gayish... Now that they call a fact which is in a way a remark on another community.

Here men are more helping than like other countries..
If i go on, my comment will lead ur post in length ;)

Do write some stories too srivats..

I am sure, you do excel in that direction too :)

Cheers
Mahesh
/The thing with being on bench is what it does to one's self esteem.It’s like a leaky bucket, the more you are in it, the less self esteem you would be left with. /

Take it this way Sri, that may be you've given your extra time or TIME more than required somewhere which has been returned to you now!

Be yourself Sri!The world worships the original!
J said…
Excellent post and I like the picture and quote too. So true that for all the shortcomings in India, it is home and therefore has a unique ability to bring joy unlike any other place.
Smita said…
I have gone thru a similar phase in my job career!!! The business that am associated with had suspended business for some 2 years!! During that phase many a people were laid off (my bro was one of them), I somehow survived but every passing day like "I might be next". In fact when we were appraised & I got VG rating I was like, for what have i received this rating???

I guess it is a phase in which only our positive thoughts can help us, so cheers!!

And as far as India is concerned, I might rant against many things about India but I know one thing, am not leaving it :)
jehan said…
hi Sri! i've learned to be really more open and acceptable of the things going on around me and be more positive in life.. living in a new and progressive country but having backward culture and societal beliefs is taking its toll on me nowadays..i don't know why i've become such a negative thinker. a visit to your site is a must for me. it sparks that almost dead wick inside of me...

i always say this to myself when i see something offending or not acceptable to me "is this their way, so i have to accept it? can't i do something about it? or do i see it wrong because it's not the way i was brought up?"

at the end of each day, i just come to the realization that yes, i have to accept it. it's korean way and i am here in korea.. ah, a warm and comforting embrace, with a thoughtful "i am sorry" from my husband makes up for them all...
deep said…
That is the best thing to do, making perfect sense out of all the imperfections..
All the Best.. :)
RamMmm said…
cha cha. unga bench angstkku oru edhir post. saabam ellaa, kudukkalai. typically, i've seen people float into fiery projects after a lull. :-) Hope for the best, anyway.
Aaarti said…
I get knocked down,
but I get up again
You nay ever gonna keep me down

are the words that hit me the minute i finished reading your post!! :)

love ur attitude and the stay +ive mindset... kudos!! jus think of being on the bench as more time to ponder over life and get a chance to fig out where ur headed...

Also went on a nostalgic trip to tirunelveli and madurai on reading abt how ppl treat u[those who know u,etc].... warmth n care!! :D and yes, here sapad is what they associate with taking care of u and making sure u r happy..he he
Aaarti said…
Ahaa.. i used to get Chinese Japanese visitors, unga blogukku Russians varanga pola.. :P
Sudershan said…
I appreciate you Srivats, this is such superb one!
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prinsesamusang said…
i think that is quite noble, not wanting to be paid for doing nothing. there are many i know who would love to take your place. your reminiscing is beautiful. i also experience that once in a while when i go back to the place where i spent my childhood.
Srivats said…
@Mahesh

Absolutely right about the community differences and men being more helpful :) it changes from place to place, quite interesting! Thanks for the suggestion, I would write one when I feel like doing it and I am not sure whether I am good at writing one to be honest :)

@ Aruna
Be yourself, encouraging people like u always do! I look forward to your words all the time. Specially so when I am down. Thank you so much!

@ J
Hey friend! haha quite true isnt? :)and people like u make my post more interesting.

@ Smita
That must have been very challenging to go through that situation, glad you made it through! Thanks buddy for your words!

@Jehan
Brilliant and honest way you have put here. I loved your way of accepting the thing for as it is. Its is such a tricky part isnt? Glad you have a husband who makes your day. yes we need to look out for each other and inspire positive thoughts , thanks for your words :)
Karthick V said…
Are you in bench!!!!

When I was in bench…I came to know you…

Bench time is like... Sharpening the skill for next round...
Srivats said…
@ Karthick

Rightly said its the time to sharpen the claws to , if incase needed LOL
lena said…
Even though you said that India is not ready yet, I still want to visit your country the one that I always wanted to see is the Taj Majal in India, it's epic. And I had few good Indians friends too way back in Dubai. Lastly, it's a very optimistic post, it's true that we should not lets hope gone and continue to hope for a brighter future.

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