Rhythms of Life

3 min read · Posted on: Dec 5, 2005 · Print this page

In the claustrophobic confines of an underground train, heavenly music fills my ear canals. Feet rhythmically tapping to those familiar pulsating beats. Fingers playing a salsa to the playful guitar strings. Lips curled to a blissful smile. I’m in a cocoon of music. Creating a small discontinuity from the surrounding space, a familiar microcosm from hundreds of miles across has suddenly surrounded me.

There must be, of course, a quiet rumble of the train outside. An odd stranger’s lips are also moving without a sound. But most of them are in a trance in their own cocoons. Sporting earphones with the classic white wires or simple black ones or sometimes ridiculously large headphones; they can be easily spotted. Mine is a white one. Easily mistaken to be an iPod, but it is in fact a Creative Micro Zen. Nicknamed him ‘Rave’, less technical and much less mouthful. My sole companion for routine soulless commuting. A chore that occupies about one and a half hours of mine everyday. I prefer music to reading. Reading is engaging, but music is both engaging and uplifting. I have come to terms with the weird disorientation I had blogged about earlier. Now, I revel and relish in the pleasure of my musical cocoon.

Unlike well planned officers-goers with a fixed commuting schedule, I have travelled to office at different times of the day. Every time-slot brings up a different set of people. For eg: at the 8:30 slot you will spot the cool-but-busy-business-women, 9:30 slot is for too-late-to-wait-office-goer, 11:00 slot are for casual slackers. Add to this varying traffic patterns, school children, helmet wearing cyclists, road construction workers, windows glass cleaners and the illusion is complete. To revisit the illusion of that particular slot one would have to wait for an entire day to pass. That’s London for you. Never hustle and bustle, never noisy, but a kaleidoscope of life with diurnal patterns.

Once one gets used to the music-induced deafness, your visual faculties grow keener and sharper. The familiar sights would now bring memories and unfurl curious patterns. A study of daily life is more interesting than it seems. But soon this would be a bore and my mind would wander to a different idle pursuit. I hate commuting!

They say there is always a calm before a storm. My inactivity in the blogosphere has worried many and excited some. Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not going to pull out a bunny from my top hat. My excuse is the lamest and perhaps most overused one - Been saddled with work.

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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