We started driving at around 5 pm, if I remember right, from the heart of Bangalore city. Our destination was 200 km away, and since it we expected rush hour traffic at that time, we decided soon as we met to get on the road. All the catching up could be done in the 4 hours that we expected we would have to drive before we made it. Little did we expect the road to be what it was. There were stretches where we literally crawled, at a speed of 20 km per hour or even less. By the time we reached, completely exhausted, it was around midnight. It is another matter that we then sat up talking until it was morning and this post is not about that.
Earlier this evening, I was reminded of that this drive because my friend chose to describe it as a ‘wonderful drive’. I was pleasantly surprised by his choice of adjective. I would have expected him to say other things, given that despite all the wonderful conversations, and the delightful company which I had, the drive itself was quite exacting.
I refer to this conversation because I have been thinking of having fun at work, that I recently wrote about in this series. I couldn’t help but wonder how the concept of ‘fun’ can some times be stereotyped, perhaps owing to the influence of those around us. Some things are deemed more ‘fun’ than others. For instance, a debate on whether or not our history textbooks are unbiased would hardly be deemed ‘fun’ by us, unless we are specifically interested in it. Or, tuning in to Hindustani classical music during a party, is unlikely to be called fun in comparison with the latest AR Rahman numbers or some extremely loud, thumping thing that people seem to love.
During one of our Annual Days, Chitra made a presentation on her journey with EZV in the last 15 years, and likened to the different moods of life. During another year, she likened the emotions associated with people & events at EZV, with the different raga while also alluding to the most popular carnatic songs as well as film numbers for each raga. While these were both highly technical, and may have been deemed ‘nerdy’ by some, the response from EZVians was tremendous. Not only did people appreciate the nuances, they loved it & were vocal about it. During another, we had the most racy songs to dance to one evening, but as would be expected on such occasions, conspicuous by its absence was alcohol. There was some with a grouse, and the uncontrollable tipplers did make it to their drink, somehow. Yet, the vast majority did have fun, and acknowledged it.
We have tried to question revisit the idea of ‘fun’ at EZV. Not only did we see interesting results, alongside we also developed the ability of critically thinking about everything. We are now comfortable questioning what may seem like the norm to many. And even though it broke my own conception of ‘fun’ and in that sense, put me in a place of initial discomfort arising from such learning, I am grateful to EZV for precisely these things.