With all the articles out there on the differences between work-from-office and work-from-home, it was time that the owner of this blog, BlogOwner (“BO”) emerged and settled the matter (for herself). Working from home has two components – the working bit, and the home bit. Lets see how the average REAL day pans out in the world of this photographer trying to stay on top of shoots, production schedules, accounts, social media and a ton of other stuff.

The day usually starts with the husband (“TH”) making squirrel like noises (read: scrambling around making his breakfast, scurrying around trying to find socks that match, spraying truckloads of Davidoff on self), which serves as BO’s alarm clock (sidenote: best alarm clock ever). Gone are her days of waking up to a start at 8 am, wondering if it was worth it to workout today or sleep for half an hour extra, then trying to press and wear a clean shirt, black trousers and head to type out Section 4, Chapter 7 of due diligence #49542538. Now, it’s all about waking up to a start at suddenly inhaling copious amount of citrusy-beachy fragrance, extending arm out to pull iPhone towards self, gaze obsessively with one-eye open (the right eye is the better one, you know) at the likes & loves on instagram, facebook, vaguely see list of new emails for the day, get the gist of what’s happening of MLL whatsapp group (group comprising V,M,A & BO herself) and figure out that it is indeed a good time to get the day started.

After hurriedly consuming some toast+eggs and get a cup of masala chai ready to go (to the work station you know – the other room – commute time is now 30 seconds y’all), BO starts her day. Need to check whatsapp first – priorities, you know? Hey, she did save the 45 odd minutes on commute so 10 minutes soaking up the latest in Bombay Times & Midday (M & A share the choicest of articles on MLL – you’ve to see it to believe it) is totally justified right?

Moving on, after whatsapp-engagement and chai consumption, starts a day of email-responding, content curating, production work, shoot planning. If the light is good, BO ventures out and shoots pretty objects that delight her, getting back to her laptop and spending hours on the Dreaded, the Revered, the Beastly – Photoshop CS (“DRBP”).

A slight digression is necessary to introduce the DRBP here. This marvel of a piece of code is so fantastic that it allows an unsuspecting user to create art pieces out of measly photographs, but at the same time, it is capable of driving said unsuspecting user NUTS. We’ve all heard about, joked about “photoshopping various things” and as K (my beloved fellow lawyer-turned-entrepreneur) very astutely pointed out – “Dude, everyone keeps saying “Photoshop it, Photoshop it *giggle* *laugh as if its like spreading butter on a toast*” but this darned Photoshop is SOOO tough and annoying?!?!?!“. It is not uncommon for photographers to hear “photoshop my hips away please!!!” or from a sweet but naive guest at a party “photoshop the 50 billion people standing behind me at this crowded party please so I can hang this on my wall – PLEASE?!“. Let me tell you, sweet readers and gullible photoshop-requesters, DRBP is NOTHING like that. It takes HOURS and DAYS to get an effect you desire – if at all, that is, without making the piece look like utter nonsense or something right out of that Facebook-Troll-Page (you know what I’m talking about). The sheer nerve, patience and tact (literally) that it requires to even make ONE slight modification makes it Dreaded. The sheer number of possibilities that emerge from this wonderful (but dreaded software) make it Revered. The amount of SPACE it takes on my poor PC and the BEAUTY of a final artwork post very many nights of head-breaking, tea-drinking, tutorial following, and sister-bugging (S, the sister, is mentor, graphic designer, successful entrepreneur, pretty girl and Photoshop Handler Extraordinaire), makes it Beastly. But I love you dear DRBP, you make my work purty. Please don’t change too much each year forcing me to learn crazy new skills at a crazy pace. Thank you.

Any time spent on DRBP is much like that last paragraph – long, gruelling, sometimes funny, mostly takes tons of patience and not-giving-up.

By mid-afternoon, BO’s computer has 3 softwares, 1 Chrome window (with 20 different tabs open of course, because we don’t believe in shutting down tabs after their job is done, because you know? what if we need to go back to that page in the next 5 minutes and the History function on Chrome has suddenly vanished?), 1 excel sheet, 2 word documents open and a LOT of lag. 4 pm Chai break is looked forward to – a welcome break just when you couldn’t look at that screen any further.

Chai break is often accompanied with a fair amount of web-browsing (lusting after beautiful floral centre-pieces on Pintrest counts as inspiration right?). BO then tackles items off her to-do list for the day. BO’s day is often disrupted by vegetable vendors selling veggies (they’ve figured out she is THE target client for them – given her lack of enthusiasm to go out and spend half an hour wading through fake-fresh vegetables,  trying to spot non-rotten ones for consumption, and then lugging 5 kilos up 3 floors), maids, couriers, random teenagers selling charities and asking for “Aunty” of the house and refusing to believe when BO proclaims she IS the Aunty of the house (side note: BO has now resorted to responding to all in-person marketeers with “Mummy ghar pe nahin hai, baad mein aana“). 7 pm beckons exercise time – or the time which is now a MUST replacement for what used to be “paratha-for-snack-time” all through winter. Yes. True Story. This is what working-at-home does to you guys, don’t do it. You’ll eat parathas as snack (because you can), wear yoga pants all day (because who needs to put on real pants if you don’t have to meet any one today?!), consider grocery-shopping and laundry as “break” from work.

Through the many self-created and world-imposed distractions, BO finds a way (somehow, magically) to finish tasks on that day or the next (insert musical notes of: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you’re always a day away“). Working-from-home entails the working bit and also the taking care of and tending to the bits that could easily be avoided/ procrastinated/ hope-somebody-else-is-doing-it away while working-from-office. It is not for the weak of heart, or the weak-willed (results in gaining multiple kilos over short period of time). You’ve got to be okay with distractions, and got to have the motivation of getting back on track (otherwise DRBP can crash and take away 5 hours worth of work any.time.now.) and keeping yourself and the lovely folks who work with you every day happy (through the various channels, media, telepathically, etc.), and ability to resist strong-everlasting temptations that you can really go watch 10 episodes of Friends back-to-back and no one will know or care (except you). You’re working for the best boss ever – you! So you’ve also got to be the best employee ever. Except on days when DRBP decides to not cooperate, in which case, it’s perfectly okay to spend the day in a nap-watch Friends-eat-nap- watch Friends-eat cycle (true story).

At the end of the day (or sometimes, the next morning, hello 6 am corporate lawyer TH) TH returns, he tells me stories about his day, I tell him that “I worked” and what I ate and we call it a day, and all is happy and lovely and beautiful in the world – how DRBP behaved that day notwithstanding. BO enjoys watching (read: ODing) on Friends and Shark Tank at the end of the day, may be read a book later (non-fiction mostly) and then.. oh then, the WORST happens. BO gets ideas, inspiration, thoughts, to-do-list topics at 11:53 pm. Yes, she will go back, turn that computer on, do whatever crazy idea she got at that time of the night and pursue it until her bad eye starts troubling her (with strange aches and noises coming from eyeballs – has any one else felt this?) and she must switch her computer off, then continue with ideas and to-do-lists on her iPhone, get into bed, but continue with that phone with that one good eye open.