I sit hunched;my spine partly coiled in an unnatural arch.My eyes are glued to an LCD screen as I warm my feet to the buzz of a machine.I decide that I need to be kind to my back and pull my feet off the ground.I sit in a near-yogic pose,making good use of the back rest.The sun streams in,acting as a substitute for artificial light during the day, and I wonder how it all added up.
Let me take you back in time to the decade of the dotcom boom;when every middle class Indian kid either aspired to be a 'software engineer' or had parents nursing such aspirations.I was a high school student ,preparing for the board exams,watching all these people in their twenties looking rather affluent and working weird hours.I used to live in a place in Bangalore called Jeevan Bima Nagar.It was close enough to the then international airport and there was also easy access to the upcoming IT hub.The International Technology Park was all that people talked about back then.A workplace with a coffee shop and an oxygen bar was quite a novelty.The buildings in the park looked interesting,the lights were always on and they had names like 'Innovator' (there was a time in India when innovation wasn't a buzzword).The hype was pervasive to an extent that it inspired Bangalore University to organize a field trip for teachers to the tech park as part of a 'refresher course'.
There were a lot of new faces in the street where we lived. A new creed of people known as 'IT professionals' started to move in.There was nothing better for a teenager who needed a break from the monotony of public service employees and their 'stable' lives.These new folks woke up at 11 am to the sound of music blaring from a stereo system,drove to work in the latest car,came back at 11 pm and partied every weekend.
I recall a particularly memorable drive to the tech park that probably lead to all the things in the first paragraph.I needed a break from all the studying for the board exams, so my dad thought that it would be a nice idea if he took me for a long drive.We also took our car-crazy dog Jojo along.The drive from Jeevan Bima Nagar to ITPL was scenic.There were lush expanses of land,no flyovers and barely any traffic.There were two things that struck us about ITPL; the way the buildings looked like a patchwork of neon across the dark sky, and the scowl of a wizened security guard.We decided to leave as it was getting late.I took one look at the place and started to imagine myself working there.
I can sit no longer.I need to take a walk down the corridor and take a look outside.The drive from Jeevan Bima Nagar is no longer scenic, one is inevitably caught in a jam of traffic despite a criss cross of flyovers,the international airport has moved to a place far away from ITPL and I no longer live in Jeevan Bima Nagar. All the lush expanses of land are now occupied by various IT companies.I just happen to work in one of them.