Week 2 and Week 3
Couldn’t have found a better location to travel to as a business traveler. Gurgaon is probably the most modern city/town that India can offer to Western business travelers (as a complete package). So much so, that I heard one of my drivers mention that there are no places for common men to shop for their daily needs such as groceries, etc. Malls, Malls and more malls.
In fact, there are so many malls in Gurgaon within a 10-15 kilometer radius that you wonder, if there is any other city in the world that can boast of that kind of mall density. Henceforth, I coin a new statistical measure – MDI (Mall Density Index). The MDI for Gurgaon is somewhere close to 1.0 (Malls within a kilometer radius).
Domestic air travel has become so common that Indian metro airports on weekend mornings look like Walmart on a Black Friday…and on week day mornings, look like Walmart on a Saturday. But in spite of the continuous growth that the air industry has witnessed over the years and the increase in air passenger traffic, some of the airports too have gotten better – overall. Hyderabad airport apparently is ranked No. 1 in some list and am not surprised why. To me it is simply the best airport in India and probably in the top 5 of my favorite airports list.
Business Travelers some time get to see a part of India (specially if they are in Gurgaon), that is experienced by only a very small percentage of the country’s population. Yet, there are certain aspects of everyday normal Indian life they cannot avoid experiencing. Like, calling a cab company to make a reservation and getting a confirmation (with the cab number, driver’s phone number, etc.) on one’s cell phone within a couple of minutes, only to realize after 30 minutes that the cab driver was not even informed about your reservation. Or driving through the inner roads to beat the traffic based on the driver’s recommendations, only to realize that you would be late by an hour for your appointment. Time seems to be perceived as a commodity that is available in abundant supplies for normal Indians, yet the reality is that there are only 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and no one could change that. Yet, it is amusing how people take other’s time for granted. As someone who is providing services to a client in a professional set up, there is not a single day so far, when everything I planned went as per my plans on time.
A weekend in Chennai is not enough to reconnect with my roots, yet, I got some taste of it through a concert, a movie (Thamizh Padam – an audacious attempt and is worth every penny) and some family get togethers. What I didn’t have time to do was to connect with friends. Oh well, that’s the best part — Having friends who can understand why you couldn’t spend time with them. With family, it is not easy to stray away from their expectations.