When you are self employed it takes a lot of self discipline to prioritize work over entertainment. But the converse is also true. Self employed persons sometimes become obsessed with work (and money-making) to an unhealthy degree; to the exclusion of everything else, including the occasional day out to unwind. Achieving a satisfactory work life balance is difficult when you don’t have a boss behind you, to tell you when to work or to when to take a day off. Besides there is also the financial aspect involved. When you are like me and have chosen to prioritize a day out with friends over working, there is always the thought in the back of the mind, a little voice saying, that the time spent having fun involves not only the money you are spending currently but also the money you are not earning by skipping work and ultimately it will all reflect on your monthly balance sheet (read it and weep).
Plus being in a responsible job where patients sometimes turn up 24/7 and expect to be taken care of immediately means arranging for proper substitutes even when you are not there. This is usually achieved by advising your juniors that when you were at their age (and career-stage) you used to work day and night including all weekends and only went home to shower/change and get back to work. And now that you are the consultant you expect your assistants to keep up the standards you established before. To say all this straight faced and then to skip out for a Saturday night out with your buddies, leaving your assistants behind to work on your behalf can only be done infrequently and on the days you pull off such a feat, you should maximize the fun you can have leaving no stone unturned in the search for ways to enjoy. Now after this lengthy explanation given to offer a peek into why I do what I do, I will go on to describe my latest weekend riot at the Indi-blogger meet 2012.
The venue for the meet was at the newest hotel in town, ITC, Grand Chola at Guindy and I had to hurry home from the hospital, get changed and be on my way without a pause to make it there on time. Once I had registered I looked around for my fellow bloggers to meet and greet. For after all this was bloggers meet and what else were we their but to network with other bloggers? The first person I met was someone I had heard about a lot from other people in the blogging circle – GB as she terms herself or Ganga Bharani to give her full name. She is a published author and has a number of books to her credit. Most bloggers dont make the grade from blogging to publishing but this girl had done the jump and I was anxious to pick her brain to see how she had done that and learn from her experience.
The next person I met was someone who I had never met before but had had been following through her blog for a year and more and who had been a great source of inspiration to me. This girl Bhushavalli Natrajan or 3-B (Biker Babe Bhushavalli) as she is known in the blogger world (quite famously) has half a dozen blogs to her credit in many different genres– travelogue, fashion, poetry etal and unbelievably she updates every single one of them almost daily. And here I am unable to update my single blog weekly and blaming writers’ block as an excuse. Its people like Bhusha who shame me into stop looking for pathetic excuses and start writing more, whatever just pops into my head instead of sitting around staring at the ceiling waiting for that “perfect” inspiration to strike me out of the blue and make the words flow.
And then I met someone whose work I admired a lot- the food stylist Sanjeeta KK. I had followed her design work avidly online and here was a rare chance to watch her in action as she went around shooting pictures to grasp how she looked differently at the things which we gloss over as mundane but which ultimately turn out so beautiful when shot by an expert. Long, long ago someone had told me that surgery cannot be taught, but can learn by watching the experts do it. I find that to be equally true to all creative things including photography.
Which is the reason that I haunt the footsteps of my photography mentor Ramasamy N or Ram Anna (yes, he of the famous ChennaiDailyFoto site) as he is affectionately known in the blogger world, whenever we go around shooting urbanscapes as part of photo-walks around the city. By hanging out with him as he selects his subjects, frames his shots and then decides what to retain or not, I have learnt more about photography than I would have attending half a dozen workshops. And here was a chance to study with yet another master photographer, a specialist in shooting set pieces, Sanjeeta KK and I jumped at the chance to learn from her shoots.
Now after reading the above, if you get an idea that all did was work, then you got the wrong impression. I also did quite a few of my regular (crazy in others language) things, like suggesting that I would use an i-Pad to break on someone’s heads (to a question on what I would do if I won an i-pad) , continuosly engaged in a flame war on twitter with my frenemy Sylvian Patrick as he tweet-asked why I was engaging in conversation only with the ladies and not the gents (quite obvious, if you know me) and also kissed and made up..err…just made-up and called a truce- with my most recent blog war opponent Gitanjali as we suddenly came up face-to-face after blowing hot and cold online. The person I really kissed was Prason Chris who had dared me earlier to do it. It was pure competitive spirit which drove me to do it as I have never been known to back down from a dare. Or so I told Prason’s wife later.
I also chugged around in a train with the guys and girls, got lost following Sanjeeta as she went shooting photographs and had to call people up to find out just where the heck I was and had a thoroughly exhilarating time hitting up on all the pretty girls I happened to meet that day, which was pretty much every single girl. I also happened to win a dinner pass for two at a restaurant (now who will be THAT lucky lady?) and also assorted small gifts and complimentary presents from the organizers of the meet. All in all a thoroughly satisfying way to spend the weekend, as I met plenty of girls, got plenty of stuff and pretty much squeezed every bit of fun out of the evening as I needed. And worth every penny I didn’t earn that day.