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A lonely digital world

<This article was published by The Hindu on September 11, 2007>

If you look at the traffic on MG Road on any given evening, it seems that all of us are in a rush to get somewhere. But where are we running? What do we hope to find at the end of this journey called life? I still haven’t figured it out, but mo st software engineers in Bangalore seem to have and I have to congratulate them for it!

We live in the “Silicon Valley of India” and anyone who lives here must live fast to survive. There are thousands of software geeks in the city who have not the least idea why they are in a hurry all day long . The software world seems pitiless in its exhortation to work. Software engineers are driven like horses until they drop. Many lives are ruined by the break neck pace but there are always more people willing to take their place. In fact, many marriages are also broken, due to lack of time from either partner.

I find that most of my software engineer friends these days are so much in the pursuit of money that they crib about having no time for anything else. No time for family, no time for loved ones, and no time even for themselves. They say, “If we don’t earn now, when will we? Look at so and so, and look at me.”

But I ask them, what is this money for? Who is this money for? If it is only for yourself to enjoy, good enough. But if it is for you to enjoy with those you want to enjoy it with, are you sure they will still be around when you have all those things? Isn’t every moment that you can have and share with your dear ones, worth having?In this project deadline-driven world, we never give the people we love enough of our time and attention, when they are there with us.

We never realize that at the end of the day, it is “our” people who matter. It is they who bring moments of joy and happiness in our lives. It is they who pull us up when we have lost all hope.

It’s all about priorities and choices and the decisions are ours to make.

When we have no time for loved ones, for friends, or for self renewal, we are making a choice about our priorities. If work takes all of our time, it is only because we choose to let it do so.

To conclude, my two cents worth to all software engineers who are slogging for their companies: Do pursue your dream. Do succeed. Earn so much recognition and wealth that your loved ones are proud of you, but don’t run so fast that you do not have the time to catch your breath and tell the people who mean something to you, that you’re still with them.