Realm Of Randomness

September 29, 2007

Winds of change: Indian edition

Filed under: Current events,India — Randomizer @ 5:22 pm

Sure, blogging has been dead for all practical purposes, but hey, I was on vacation :). I’m wrapping up a superb month of vacationing in India, and heading back to the land of freedom fries soon. Somehow after this trip, and definitely over the last 2 years, I’ve become a lot more patriotic. I guess the true sense of patriotism arises only when one has to leave one’s country and defend it in a foreign land to foreign people and their pre-conceived notions about it … there’s no doubt that I’m not as cynical about India as I used to be, and am extremely proud of my nationality.

Save for the horrible state of the roads near home, which I expect to be improved pretty soon, there seemed to be very little to be critical about. I found progress at each and every corner that I visited, and what’s more, I finally got myself to watch Gandhi, a movie that had forever been on my to-watch list. Add to this a splendid world-cup victory in the Twenty20 series, and you leave behind a very very proud NRI.

Some of things that I was real happy about:

Mumbai domestic airport

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Need I say more ? The architecture was that of a new hi-tech company, with a curvy futuristic glass structure as its walls. The entire airport was so spic and span, and the employees so organized by their duties that I was wondering how long I’d actually been away ! The logos and designs in the airport were fantastic, and entire sections of the interior walls were made of marble. Of course, the Rs.330 breakfast buffet that was being offered in Coffee day gave me a total shock, but I was surprised to see so many people actually dining there in spite of the outrageous costs.

Bangalore Metro rail project

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The Bangalore metro rail is on its way ! And I have the photos to prove it. MG road has been split down the middle by construction work for this project, and its exciting to know that at some point in the future, we are going to have an underground railroad system connecting different parts of Bangalore. :)

Rickshaw drivers beware

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The raj of the exorbitant fares and endless haggling by rickshaw drivers seems to have come to an end. The power has returned rightfully to the hands of the customer, with the entire details of the driver and the police station to complain to displayed to the passenger. There were plenty of pre-paid rickshaw stands, (Forum and MG road, to name two) where the fare to be paid is written in a receipt and handed over to us even before we enter the ric ! From then on, the driver gains nothing by taking you for a convoluted ride, the fare has been decided long, long ago and he would merely be wasting his time.

Bicycles for school girls

I really don’t care too much about how much money went to waste by corruption, if any, but the Karnataka government has been providing girls below the poverty line with free bicycles to ride to school . Not only is the girl child being given preference here, she is being encouraged to get an education and free herself of the chains of patriarchal society. Rs. 25 crore has apparently been sanctioned in the budget for this project. Worth every paisa, if you ask me.

—–

I’ve witnessed many more encouraging sights, like the completion of the Airport road flyovers in Bangalore which troubled us for nearly 2 years as an incomplete project left standing in probably the densest region of traffic in the city. India’s definitely changing … and the middle-aged lethargic, bribe-seeking uncles seem to be giving way to young, fresh, and an energetic crowd of empowered youth … be it at cash counters in malls, security checks in airports or any other service oriented industry.

India’s on a roll, alright… and I just can’t wait to see where we are by year 2015.

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6 Comments »

  1. Loved this post. Glad to have you back blogging. Hope to see more india-centric posts.

    Comment by Sharath Rao — October 1, 2007 @ 6:55 am | Reply

  2. …uh..before 2015 :-)

    Comment by Sharath Rao — October 1, 2007 @ 6:55 am | Reply

  3. me waiting for another decade :)
    One of the most read article of the day on bbcnew.co.uk :)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6294409.stm

    And imagining how we would look like by 2050 ;)

    Salman

    Comment by salman — October 2, 2007 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  4. @Sharath: Glad to be back ! Have tons to say, so I hope to be busy on this as well as the school blog .. Shall catch up on your blog soon as well :)

    @Salman: The way we’re going, I expect progress till 2015 to be exponential … and then sort of stabilize once the outsourcing trend to India either dies due to the rising value of the rupee .. or some other third world nation gains attention. 2050 is simply impossible to predict :)

    Comment by Randomizer — October 3, 2007 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  5. […] in nearly a 36 hour day beginning in Mumbai and ending back in Texas. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I finally watched the movie ‘Gandhi’ this time in India, and it opened my eyes to so […]

    Pingback by 36 hours of Gandhi Jayanthi « Realm Of Randomness — October 3, 2007 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  6. I seem to have missed out on a lot of reading.

    As for the rickshaw meters, I’m just waiting for the rickshaws meter to make their debut in Manipal and of course, Chennai. :)

    Comment by Joy — October 25, 2007 @ 12:22 am | Reply


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