Surprised at that? Wondering if I am alright in the head? Well, allow me present my case. Everybody travels for a significant chunk of time everyday to get to work and back. Those hours from home to the nearest railway station, the long, crowded commute in the train, again and again, every single day can be brutal if the mind is not occupied. Even if a person is lucky enough to comfortably travel to work in a car or commutes by bus, it ain’t an easy ride; all of us know the reality of Mumbai roads. Congestion is so severe that you can end up stranded in one spot for minutes on end, with nothing to keep you company except whatever crap the mind throws at us. It does get infuriating, but people do not have any other option.
Now, all that said, I still claim what I did in this article’s title. Have you ever wondered how people spend their time while travelling? Yeah, in Mumbai, while travelling, you just see a multitude of hands holding on to something. But beyond that, people are busy with one thing or the other. And what are they busy with? No prizes for guessing; it’s their smartphones. They are glued to their screens, some completely invested in what they are watching and some just scrolling endlessly. People laughing out-of-the-blue while looking at their cell phones is now a common sight. They are consuming online content, mainly movies or TV shows and what not. And that, folks, is the answer; I am one of those as well.
What I have realized is that instead of bemoaning my unavoidable travel routes and the long commute hours, I could better utilize that time. My commute lasts for almost 2 hours daily and I promise myself every single day that I will utilize my precious time to read a book or something, but end up giving-in to the urge for watching just movies and TV shows endlessly on my phone. That is now possible thanks to the numerous content streaming apps that are now available; Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime are leaders for on-demand content, along with many service providers who have also come up with their own apps like JioTV, Airtel TV and Vodafone Play etc. It is now possible to watch a program of our choice; from sitcoms, talk-shows to informative content like documentaries, news channels, biopics, travel and lifestyle docu-dramas (a dramatized television film based on real events).
Just like anyone who strictly follow a diet or a workout routine, I am consistent at consuming content this manner. I always have disagreed with the premise that this activity does not offer an enriching experience as compared to, say, reading a book. Movies, TV shows, documentaries are every bit as enlightening and influential. I always look out for the most popular and highest rated ones, to learn more and treat myself. There’s a huge collection of must-watch movies and TV series on Netflix, from genres like romance, comedies to exclusive Disney shows. Hotstar has 20+ genres like family, reality, mythology, thriller, science and sports mainly. JioTV offers 600+ channels including 100+ HD channels and 15+ languages and Jio Cinema has 20 genres to watch from. It really gets hard to choose one.
We all know that the big shots in content streaming demand a certain fee, which I am happy to pay for. But there is still the attraction that apps like JioTV and JioCinema have, simply because the range of content offered is almost endless. It is free for Jio SIM card users, with just a simple mobile recharge, which is also kind of a drawback as you wouldn’t be able to access them from a connection of any other service provider. But a thing to note, especially while travelling, is that the data and battery usage by those two apps is far less as compared to any other app, which is a huge advantage, as anyone would know.
One more important thing to look out for is the buffer time; the apps have the option to download, and hence I usually download what I wish to watch to avoid any buffering. On JioTV, I can also make use of the catch-up feature to enjoy the past program. The user interface for these apps is quite attractive as well; I can easily navigate and sort the content according to languages, genre, etc.
Now, accessing the rich content offered by those apps requires me to purchase a mobile recharge for the Jio 4G internet. While there are many online recharge offers available in the market for Jio (they do keep coming up with some recharge plan all the time), I usually prefer the Rs. 399 Jio recharge plan, which is quite affordable, offers sufficient data and for a period of 3 months. And luckily for me, my travel route does not go through any areas where there are issues with the network strength; meaning I comfortably stream content with almost zero buffer time.
As you can see, travel time is not the tiring part of the job at all. It is one of the most enjoyable times of the day, where I can simply just plug my headphones in and enjoy unlimited content of my liking. It’s basically what I do at home, so why not do it during travelling. It really has been a fun aspect of my life now, traffic jams. Cannot wait for the next one!