June 03, 2007

Decision Time

With only a few weeks left on my current contract with Satyam, I now have to decide what to do next. Options include extending with Satyam, searching for a different job here in India, back in Canada, or somewhere else altogether, traveling, or pursuing further studies. No clear favourite has emerged as yet, although I am willing to continue my stay in India.

There is something special about this land and its people, that even with an exceptionally long list of interrelated problems and challenges to face, both man made (overpopulation, poverty, corruption, lack of infrastructure, communal violence, …) and otherwise (monsoon, heat waves, mosquitoes, …), I still have a desire to remain for some more time.


Some nice sayings I have stumbled upon while pondering my future:

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
- W.H. Davies, from "Leisure"

"The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness does not become apparent till it is too late." - Amitav Ghosh

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.” - Mortimer Adler

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”- Eric Hoffer

“80 percent of the problems in your life come from wanting what you don’t have. The other 20 percent come from getting it.” - Unknown

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A child leaves the womb, his hometown, his country, each time gaining greater understanding, altering his actions to some degree based on these new experiences and insights, and perhaps becoming a transforming element of society around him.” - Dan Glass

A Tale of Two Cities

My yearlong odyssey has been split between Hyderabad (~5 months) and Bangalore (~7 months). Recently I returned to Hyderabad to sort out some paperwork issues, and this allowed me to reflect on the two cities that I have called home during the past year. Both cities have their pros and cons. If the best facets of each city were taken and combined to create a new fictional city, Hydralore, and the worst parts were used to create another, Bangabad, I wonder which real world cities they would most resemble.


· Lots of events such as concerts, plays, etc (Bangalore)
· Rich cultural heritage with a blend of ancient and the modern (Hyderabad)
· Scenic hangouts (Hyderabad)
· Multicultural atmosphere (Bangalore)
· Salubrious climate (Bangalore)
· Thriving IT industry (Bangalore/Hyderabad)
· Varied shopping options (Bangalore)
· Multiple modes of public transportation (Hyderabad)
· Mixed accommodation (Hyderabad)


· Pollution and traffic congestion (Bangalore)
· Unscheduled but predictable power outages (Bangalore)
· Relatively high cost of living (Bangalore)
· Early closing times for commercial establishments (Hyderabad/Bangalore)
· Wild dogs prowling the street (Bangalore)
· Extreme heat (Hyderabad)
· Lack of infrastructure and unplanned urban sprawl (Bangalore)
· Riots (Bangalore)
· Explosions (Hyderabad)
· Unscrupulous auto rickshaw drivers (Bangalore)