Posted this on intentblog to an overseas visiting friend who carried back home fond memories and some bitter ones too....
Give us one more chance dear!
India lives concurrently in multiple ages starting from dark to 64nm chip design one. Dare I say, you may have had a taste of it all in a very short time.
Personally, I feel mentally numb after a few weeks when I travel to US or other 1st world countries. The systems work so smooth that you stop noticing them after some time! (running potable water, right out from your tap!). The systems let you focus on your chosen vocation and keeps you free, as long as you conform to certain behavior. You can get complacent quite quickly if you aren't in love with your chosen vocation.
Life out here is a continuum of challenge! I am on my toes mentally, all the time! Crossing a busy street is a task, driving , parking, buying, selling, eating, sleeping.. all of it! You need to be smart to even survive , because the rules of interactions/interplay keep changing. The diversity of this country itself it overwhelming. Most friends have chosen to move to US or Canada to pursue their dreams of a “better life”, while we chose to thrive on this chaos! The India that I see right now is that of chaos and opportunity! A million opportunities at every corner! From an amateurish media to a speculative stock market, from rural employment schemes to socially sensitive corporates, the place is throbbing with opportunities. As they say in the MacD ad “I am loving it!”.
We need imaginative dreamers; we need young novelists like Rahul Pandita, missionaries like Anouradha, rugby players like Rahul Bose and of course, our ambassadors like you and Gotham (happy birthday pal, wish you stronger knees!). We are breaking through thousands of years of cultural continuum and adopting a new consumerist model. Ashok Khosla is worrying about its sustainability and we are thinking about it too. We are experimenting, please bear with us while we fix our Airports, roads, water works..
I watched the 35 probables of India's under 19 women soccer team practicing at the local stadium. I didn't even know that India had a women soccer team! I saw kids of all shades, shapes and colour, kind of full spectrum flag of India. Chinky kids from North East, huge girls from Punjab/Haryana, petite Keralites and dusky southerners. I spoke to the coach and he informed me that the Football association budgets about Rs 50 ($1) a day for diet of each of these kids! That brought a lump in my throat, I do “high end” technology consultancy for my organization and get paid by hour. The contrast. I offered a juice “treat” for these kids and was shyly avoiding their gaze when I heard them shout in one go “1,2,3..Thank you sir”...
I haven't exactly recovered from that. Our national team doesn't have a sponsor; most don't have proper gear, but can they kick a ball! We are learning to bend it..please bear with us...