Friday, March 18, 2005

ergonomics revisited - II

yes, life is sure a cake walk here in the US. but like a friend mentioned, how can one possibly walk on cake and make an easy task out of it!? what about the slippery cream and all the cleaning that one has to do later? bottomline, every attempt here is a conscientious effort at giving life a comforter. you dont need a cushion to break your fall 'cos everything is a cushion! ever wondered why it takes a show like fear factor to inflict yourself with hardship!? try a trip on the 5:43 virar fast in mumbai. will bet your adrenalin would have given you more thrills than you could have prayed for! (purists from a more rustic existence argue that the virar local is a pleasure trip)

walk into the nearest walmart to be submerged under a plethora of do-it-yourself tools. you might find anything from the odd tool-kit to a whole barbeque grill sitting there calling your attention. the kind of stuff you might find elsewhere in specialized stores, you find it here in your neighbourhood walmart. and no, i am not walmart's brand ambassador. come weekend and it is very common to find boats being hauled onto dollys and trailers and families(?) headed towards the nearest shore/river/lake. its just a part of your life! duh! do you need to be a goliath to handle all these!? excuse me no! you have tools to help you out! (nothing would stop you from doing what you would want to) probably this approach emanates from the freedom-gene code thats engrained into the american DNA. mammoth sized vehicles with power drives, power windows, power doors, intelligent sensors everywhere to allow the most immobile to be well, mobile. oh yes, nothing in this can go wrong. poka-yoke extreme! nothing is left to chance. why! you are even told that hot coffee is... er... hot :-) (just in case your tactile senses fail you, the lady at the counter will be there to remind you so)

vehicles of all sizes just abound this place. and thats another point worth looking at. the roads, if not anything else, are out to impress any newbie. with endless stretches of freeways, you could practically scout all of america on a set of wheels. i am told this mammoth network was an outcome of the US administration's plan to get the country out of the great depression. must be! seems to have worked! what further strikes me is the cost of fuel and how they manage to keep it that way!

sample this. if i were to reach houston from lafayette, LA (where i currently am) and back, a flight would cost me $800 upwrads. or, i rent a car for $150 (insurance and rental inclusive - a free estimation), fill in a lavish 20gallons ($40) and some misc expenses that would total to a reasonable $200 - mind you, for a round trip. An hour's flight with its essentials totals to 3hrs and the road trip lasts about 4.5hrs. in effect, 1.5hrs of my trip is valued at $300. 1.5hrs that i would save by letting myself be stuffed in a 20-seater jet; which i might otherwise spend crusing peacefully on the road admiring the lush landscape that abounds the freeways. i wonder which option an individual who respects his senses would take.

is it any wonder why this land behaves like a permanent magnet?


  1. Smitha7:41 AM

    Hmm… interesting read as usual. But the fact of it being , that as usual I’m also confused or pushed into deep thot. Till the end of the write up , I failed to figure , whether you were FOR the US of A luxuries …or were u going to come up with something harsh to be thrown at them , after listing out all the comforts of the Magnet land! But I guess the effect of the very well put “magnet land” has Mr. Wooster also in its waves, swept by the lovely drives, do it urself kits , set of wheels and anything n everything at your service, services !

    Well , not too bad for a guy who , was in tears(almost ) when he was first told abt the extended stay for the project (uh oh…..that wasn’t for everyone to know rite!!?? Sorry abt that !:D )… then moving on and going down in tears again in a few weeks....But this time coz the project is done ..n he needs to go back to the Indian land!!

    Putting all that there… I must say , I myself wud not for a moment think twice and grab the opportunity , if I were to be offered a trip to the luxury rosy world!! Might sound like a freako with a muddled up mind…but on a second thought , this might just be what runs through every mind on this part of the world! Is it the Greener grass on the other side syndrome , or is the Magnet land really all that magnetic , to catch every wanderer in its clutches , and not let go , till their identity is lost in the wilderness !? After all that’s what you come across there too rite ….the big bad world!!?

    Makes ne sense??!:-/

  2. Sachin Somaiya11:35 AM

    Well said Ms. Smitha...remind me to connect with you again on :)
    about Pradeep's entry...sirjee...
    a strange coincidence...hearing the Swades song...Yun hi chala chal..."kitni haseen hai yeh duniya" the song goes...this world is a beautiful sorry I dont agree with Smitha when she says its a big bad world...ofcourse you might consider me a silly idealist looking at things with rose tinted glasses, not in touch with the reality...but then thats ok...:)
    anyways...Pradeep bhai...a question...why does a man travel by the 5:43 Virar local you mentioned??? why does he take that journey, long and tiring and sometimes even body breaking every single day to work and back...isnt it the very same reason as to why an American would go at lengths to make his life a lil bit more comfortable???
    he knows that come Sunday evening, he will be able to take his wife and kids out to Juhu beach and treat them to a wonderful treat of the sea and bhel puri and golas...
    just because we dont have all the new and automatic tools to make our lives easier and comfortable doesnt mean that we too dont strive for the very same thing...
    so we may not have the do-it-yourself tools and kits, but we certainly have the same mentality...
    thats all I have to say right now...maybe not all that related...thoda tangent mara rahega...too sleepy to think straight anyways...hehehe :P
    keep writing and talk to you soon...