Road Warriors: Amit Chawla

Amit Chawla with his wife Pooja.

TEXT OF COMMENTARY

Kai Ryssdal: There are songs that put you in a good mood. There are songs you listen to when you're blue, songs you work out to. And songs you put on just to get by. That's the idea behind our series, Road Warriors from producer Michael Raphael. The soundtracks that business travelers use to get through those long hours away from home.

Today's installment is a song of marriage and home and love.


Amit Chawla: Hi, my name is Amit Chawla, and I'm an independent software consultant.

When I'm on the road and I have to travel, one thing that brings me home is "Tere Bin" by Rabbi Shergill.

"Tere Bin" by Rabbi Shergill

The singer is Punjabi, the lyrics are in Punjabi, which is a north Indian language. It means "without you." In the song, he's talking about his wife, or a significant other, and how much he's come to respect her and how he can't live without her, actually. It really struck a resonant chord with me, especially on the road -- you're away from your family, and we have a young family, we have two kids. It's tough being away from 'em, even though while I'm with them, I'll complain that they won't go to sleep, they won't eat properly, you know, they run into my office and reboot my computer at will. As much as I complain about them, I can't sleep in a hotel room soundly.

At the beginning, it was an adventure. I felt kind of like a hobbit going out on adventures, like Bilbo Baggins, the first time he stepped out of the Shire. But after I'd say the first month or so of business travel, the charm sort of wears off. It sort of becomes the grind. But I've sort accepted it as a part of the business -- I've chosen this line of work, and for better or for worse, it's afforded us a great lifestyle. But that means I'm on the road, and on the road means having to deal with security lines, airports, rental cars, shuttles, weather delays, bad food, good food -- all of it. It's like complaining about the heat in Texas in August; can't really do anything about it.

Rabbi talks about traveling the world; you know, he says he's been to America, he's been to Russia, to Malaysia, all over the world. And everybody's asking him to do different things, or ask different things of him. He says, "Everybody wants something from me, but they only want the good things from me. No one wants everything from me, like all my good and my bad, except you." It strikes a chord with me, because you know, we can talk about all the romantic notions of a relationship or marriage and stuff like that, and everybody would like to think it's perfect. But sometimes, it's not perfect and it takes effort, and at the end of the day -- at the end of every day -- I'd say it's absolutely worth it, but you sometimes you have to remind yourself of that. When he talks about travel, it hits home with me. It's almost an emotional response.

Ryssdal: We've got a new music section on our website. That's the place to check out Amit's other favorites and offer up your own playlist.

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