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Monday, March 21, 2005

Trivandrum Diaries - 03/21/2005

Hello from God's own country !

I arrived in Trivandrum on Saturday night (19th). The flight was good, though I always feel why technological development has been done to reduce the flying time. A flying time of more than 24 hours is simply too much and it actually leaves you so very exhausted and jet-lagged. In order to make my journey more eventful, I normally spice it up by doing interesting things along the way - take a refreshing shower during my stay in S'Pore, have a sumptuous Indian lunch and of course, have a nice foot massage. After doing all this, I was ready to arrive in Trivandrum.

An interesting incident happened at the Trivandrum airport. The customs officer asked me what I had in the computer - I told him that I had a CPU and I told him that the value was < 30000 Rs. He said that I would have to pay the duty if it was more than 25000 Rs. Then I acted as if I was in thought and then told him that it was probably less than 25000 Rs now. On hearing this, he said that I was free to go. I KNEW that I was in India right at that time !!!

The Vitalect India gang, headed by KPN Kutty was there at the airport to receive me. Kutty extended his hospitality by giving me a room to stay in his house. Of course, along with the stay came the wonderful and delicious dinner and breakfast and lunch and _you_name_what. So far, I have felt that I have arrived at home. Only difference is that in this home, I have to work and not relax.

Work has been good so far. I have had my usual share of Indian infrastructure vagaries. BSNL had a strike yesterday and to make sure that everyone knows that they are on strike, they simply switched off our Internet connection at the office. Apparently, this is very common - seeing my frustration at this, my colleagues just smiled and somehow they managed to talk to the Support guys and told them to bring back our connection :). It is amazing indeed how some of the things work here. It is not the talent that is lacking here - it is the lack of infrastructure and in general, the people's attoitude towards the work that needs to be improved. That is why I felt that Swades was such a good movie - it never said that the solution was easy - it has to come from within.

One key aspect of this trip is that Susmita is not with me and that is quite tough. People say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, which is good indeed. The only thing is that we were both looking towards our 2 weeks off from classes but those 2 weeks were exactly when I came to India. Life is strange indeed.

Signing off,
Thyaga

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