Sunday, August 26, 2012

The five day migration !!!

It is 7AM on one of those Mondays..

Ravi wakes up and realizes that it is just the beginning of another week... It depresses him but he still has to reach office on time. He gets ready in a matter of 30 mins without thinking about any of the activities done during this time. It is as if a permanent software code in his brain runs at 7AM every weekday. Those who are aware of unix (software) would link it to processing a batch file!

He reaches the train station and sees that he is not the only one running for office.
The scene at the train station resembles the migration of wildebeest in the Serengeti plains of Africa. Every year, millions of wildebeest migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. On the way, they have to cross the Mara river where they are preyed by Crocodiles. There is an entire ecosystem that survives on this migration.

Ravi realizes that his run to the office daily is pretty much like the migration of Wildebeest, just that this one happens five days a week!

Just like he precisely knows which platform to board his train, the wildebeest know their annual route to the minutest detail. If he knows which bogie is closest to the staircase, the wildebeest know exactly where to get fresh water. And, the manner in which the wildebeest trample each other to cross the Mara river is exactly the way people compete in this never ending race of corporate life.

There is an ecosystem that survives on this 5 day migration of office going public. There are coffee shops (or the chai waalas), bakeries, restaurants that thrive just because of this migration. He thinks nature has so many similarities irrespective of the type of event...

By the time he finishes thinking about this underlying common essence of nature, he has already missed 2 trains. He is now late to office - he feels exactly the way a Wildebeest calf feels when it is left behind while crossing the Maara river in Kenya.  

Nevertheless, he pushes on, reaches office and opens his laptop. And, somewhere in the plains of Africa, a wildebeest calf struggles to free itself from the hold of a crocodile. It knows it cannot win, but there is this element of hope which makes it fight.

Ravi is at his desk now - it is time for the 9AM batch file run. Here is the code:

Int Main (VOID)
 /* There is a return value to every function in 'C' language. This 9AM batch run always returns void in life. */

Daily routine()
       Printf("Another day in office");
            For (i=0;until all mails are read;i=i+1)
                Printf("Respond to emails");
                Printf("Flag the ones that are to be replied later");

     Printf("Time for a coffee");
     Meetings (ZERO)  /* Function called meetings cannot return anything other than ZERO */

For(i=9AM;i<530pm i="i+1)</p">{
     Daily Routine ()  /* Runs automatically until 530 PM */

Return 0; -- This batch can never return anything meaningful !!

} /* End of Function Main - Another day lost... */

Some where between 9AM and 530PM, in the Serengeti plains of Africa, the wildebeest have entered the Maasai Mara game reserve where they will be hunted by carnivores. Those who manage to survive make their return journey back to Tanzania to complete this cycle.

Ravi realizes that everyday in his life is like the annual migration of wildebeest in Africa. Those who manage to return make this epic journey again the very next day !!

And the cycle of life continues, the wildebeest are back again the next year !!!

Author's comments:

1. If you are not comfortable with 'C' (the programming language), the points below might be helpful to understand the blog better:
   a.  /*   */ is for comments, they are not part of the code. These are supplementary comments for reader of the code to understand the author's thought process
   b. 'For' loop is a loop for running something over and over again until a specific condition is met. There is no better comparison to Ravi's daily life than this 'For' loop
   c. 'Printf' is a statement to print something on screen. In Ravi's context, it is a reminder in his brain to do certain activities
   d. 'Scanf' is used for inputs.

2. If you know 'C' and have found syntax errors in the code:
    Printf("Very Well Done !!");
    Printf("But it really does not matter!");
    Printf("It is time for you to think about your life NOW! ");

3. If you are interested in knowing about the wildebeest migration (the one that happens in Africa not the one in cities), then this link has a lot of information. I don't get paid for anything on this blog - so please feel free to click on any of the links i provide.


Brijesh said...

Nice comparison. Except that wildebeast would fare must better on chance to live to population ration that an average cubicle dweller.

As an extension to this post please do try and draw a parallel between ravi's life and that in Sonagachi or kamathipura.

Looking forward to that post.

Liked the out of box thinking on this one !!

R Athmanathan said...

Thank you! Agreed that the average wildebeest has a better chance than the average cubicle dweller..

With regards to Sonagachi/Kamathipura, yeah sure - that one should be interesting and spicy and steamy!!

Talk to you soon!