Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Oscar. Sierra Hotel India Tango.

Last week, I was told to go straight to a client’s office in the morning instead of coming to my own office. Was only too happy to avoid another late-register signing. As it happens, the client’s office is a bit off-track from my office. Which basically means the road is common till a point, and then diverges.

So the next morning, I get up. Scavenge through the wardrobe for my least-casual attire. Kick start my bike. Ride for about 15 minutes. And reach the office. My office. All the while, knowing that I’m supposed to go the CLIENT’S office.


What happened, I asked myself. You were on friggin’ autopilot, that’s what. If it is a weekday, and if it is 10’o clock in the morning, the god-darned system is programmed to take me there. That’s why, whenever I am riding to the office (mine), I never have to think about where to turn, which pothole to look for, and which ‘awful-driver’ bend to be alert at. Everything happens on autopilot. Which is very different from being sub-lost in your thoughts, and hence being a dangerous driver. No, you are fully aware of the traffic situation on the outside. It’s just the route that’s being, urm, piloted for you.

And the road is not the only place you are thus.

When you come to think of it, it starts right from the beginning. Every morning, you get up from bed with the same bones making the same crackling sounds. The toothbrush goes across precisely in the same order: Maxillary premolar first, mandibular lateral incisor next, then on to the next row. Bathing follows similar pattern, body parts are soaped in the same order, and of course, wiped too in the same precise sequence. (*insert preteen carnal giggle here*). Heck, even the way you eat, shearing the roti piece in the same size, from the same corner, sitting with your lunch box opened in the same layout, everyday. The way you shave. The way you plonk your bag at the desk before turning the comp on. The way you (if you) smoke.

Yeah, you catch the drift. We have the same grind every day, so it’s only natural to be this way. It is the non-unconsciously subconscious way we go about doing it, is what stupefies. And manifests into a joke when there’s a deviation. Like going to the client’s office in the morning.

So, when we say we need a break from the routine, what we really mean is we need to go manual for a while. Which means more work, but more control too. That is what makes a geared vehicle a pleasure to drive. And a manual camera that much more appealing. A get away from the mundane. A departure from the habitual. But that’s only during a break. I wish life was manual.


kedar said...

true. though i wish it was otherwise.

agent green glass said...

strange. you and SwB wrote different yet very similar stuff.

you know, when i was doing yoga, one of the things i loved about it was the practise of awareness. so after a few classes they tell you to spend a whole day doing things with your left hand. nothing, just switching out of auto pilot for a while. realising every task you are doing...ooh, the button is tough. aah, the lift door is heavy. wow, my handwriting looks funny.

just some mundane stuff. but at some level its lovely. you spend a day completely involved in everything you do.

slash\\ said...

Left-hand day sounds interesting. Didn't know yoga had that aspect too. That would surely jolt you out of auto.

mnraj said...

i agree to your point saying that life should be manual.

Jandy said...

it's not called auto-pilot. it's called day-dreaming. and it's something i'm a black-belt at.

Jandy said...

love the blog post title tho :)

Anonymous said...

But lunch what you eat won't be same everyday isn't it. :))

slash\\ said...

@jandy: yeah i keep on hoping its day-dreaming, except it's never dream like. but that's probably cause i don't have a belt.

@Anon: thankfully my better half isn't on autopilot when she cooks for me. so yeah what i eat is always 'manual' but how i eat is still auto.

mentalie said...

ah yes, auto pilot, i know all about that. what i can't understand is why i can't pay my bills, switch off the fan, put away the mountain of clothes i am collecting on auto pilot. that's something my brain's just not gotten lulled into.
strange, how it works to your advantage sometimes...:)

slash\\ said...

@mentalie. yeah, i guess in those cases, your auto pilot is set to NOT notice the pile of clothes, fan etc. but i know a few almost-OCD'ed people who work their autopilots to their advantage. They would switch off the fan while leaving it, even if there's someone else in the room.