Saturday, November 12, 2011

Solve the traffic crisis

One of my biggest nightmares about moving back was  dealing with the poor infrastructure.! This is probably the single most aspect that impacts your day to day life the most. Be it when you have an important meeting that you can't make, or when you need to get your poor child to a hospital in a jiffy -- traffic is where rich and poor alike suffer from equally! Roads are poor, traffic management is worse and the state's public works projects are just the icing on the cake. 

I don't think anyone in Bangalore is immune to it. On average the people I talked to traveled an hour each way to get to work. On bad days it could sometimes double. That's like  10% of your day disappearing or if you're like me and don’t like to compromise on sleep, it's  like  15% of your conscious day! I wasn't going to throw away 3 years  in a career of 20 or so in the Bangalore traffic! This was not a problem - this was a  huge crisis, which had to be solved

In the first 3 months of having moved back, I worked out of my dad's office  which was about 45 mins from where  we lived. Half the week I used a driver to take me to work - which allowed me to catch up with my emails during the commute  (the internet dongle is the next best thing to sliced bread - I even handled conference calls during my commute).  However that  still required you to drive for the rest of the days  - besides tiring you out during the journey.

My wife who had taken over a business had it worse - as she had a 2 hour commute each way!  After a month of this - we couldn't take it anymore and accelerated our plans to move into an office space close by - a one minute walk from where we live. We moved in on month 3  after our relocation  - and the transformation was magical. 

Suddenly I had time to go to the gym,  come home for a hot lunch, devote a lot more time to our daughter. Most importantly we maintained our sanity during the week. Although there's no empirical evidence, I even think this has a direct correlation to the number of fights that I had with my wife  :)

Our aversion towards travel also reduced. 

My simple advise to those contemplating a move back - solve the traffic crisis! Get a driver or move closer to work - there are enough problems to deal with, you don’t want traffic to be one of them.

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