In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is what everyone strives for.

“Do me a favour please, just get dinner from the nearby pizza outlet? I will be reaching home late,” says Sowmya N., an HR professional and colleague riding home with me on a Tuesday evening. As I look at her wondering if it is difficult to go back home and cook for just two, she defends herself. “Yaar, it is convenient and that’s what is important to me to keep me sane.”

Come to think of it, what is it that most urban dwellers want for good living? Money and a host of smaller wants. But what is increasingly dominating urban minds is the desire for convenience.

People do not mind digging deeper into their pockets to achieve a stress-free life. From what weekend shopping trends indicate in malls and food stores, we like to go to a place where everything is stocked under one roof and we can get out faster. Why? Because it is convenient. When it comes to holidays, many of us want travel schedules that suit our preferences and offer relaxation.

Obviously affordability, rising incomes and glimpses into how people are living in developed countries are making us opt for services or products that bring us closer to that kind of life. Adding to this perception is the idea that convenience is saving time and helping us to multitask. We have technological innovations that offer services through mobiles, PDAs and laptops. Firms such as At My Doorsteps, Rentoys.in and AyurShop offer groceries, toys or even ayurvedic products at our homes.

Books online

A similar initiative started over a decade ago is an online library that picks up and drops off books that you want to borrow. Says Vani Mahesh, Proprietor, Easylib.com, “Starting an online library way back in 2001 was only to cater to an audience that understands convenience using technology. In our case getting books delivered home using technology or as part of premium service is only because Internet is no longer expensive and highly reliable. Moreover, that’s exactly what our customers look for–convenience at their doorstep.”

So is convenience so important that we look for it everywhere? Says Saraswathi Rao, a homemaker and mom of teenage children, “I believe people have grown up from the struggling economy and most living in cities want to lead a good life and achieve things faster. Moreover, they are very much aware of what makes them happy. So you have people going beyond boundaries and taking help of resources and technology to save time, multitask and attain more, even if comes at a higher cost, because that is what we strive for in our lives.”

Global exposure is making people see what it means to live life smartly rather than live life on hard terms. One phase of life that has offered convenience on various levels is motherhood. Says young mother Shruthi Tripathi, “With women returning to work faster post motherhood, this stage of life has embraced many things to make the role of mother easier right from bottles to pacifiers and prams amongst host of other utility items. You even have professional nannies who come to your home at a fee to make you feel motherhood is meant to be as stress free as possible.”

The social fabric of society too has changed and it could well be one of the reasons why people are looking for comfort in every aspect of life. Perhaps 30 years ago joint families helped take some of the pressure off. With nuclear families and multi-tasking being the order of the day, urbanites are now continually looking for that comfort zone in as many services as possible.