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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.

Log in to post7 Comments

Parit, you are publicly stating that a man's wife is beneath him. If it's none of your business, we call that rude. If it is your business, and you are somehow related, we call that embarrassing.

Besides every man, at some (every?) point in time, is made to realize that they are the one who married up. ;)

I think you wife married UP… you should remind her every day of how lucky she is.

Thanks for reminding about Rabbi song. I have heard many time but did not understood meaning.

Amit,
I love your piece. Thought I did not understand the lyrics of the song. it was your words and thoughts that made the piece so interesting. I am sharing it with many others.

When I heard Amit talked I thought about my son and his constant traveling and absence from his own family. There are so many young professionals who have to travel. It really add stress to all members of the family. Thank you. Only on public radio, your public radio such an heartwarming and therapeutic program is possible.

Chawla,
Your interview made me relive ditto moments. I travel frequently for my work. We have two small childern. After being away from home for a week, I often drive through the Bluridge mountains listening to the very same lyrics by Rabi.

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