Everything is a Dichotomy

I’m still plugging away in India. What originally was assumed to be a short trip to do some coaching and training has become a very long venture of me managing the team out here and providing a lot of executive support to the office here (e.g., recruiting, HR, business development). It has been fun though. I have a really good team and am enjoying myself in Hyderabad. It’s definitely a different world here. I’m treated like a celebrity here and yet there is extreme poverty, ignorance, extreme affluence, and rocket scientists. It’s just a bizarre place. Everything is a dichotomy. The bright billboard advertising Pepsi stands above a slum. The laborers work in mass outside the fancy “hitech city” buildings that stand out like the great pyramids. In part of my day I eat lunch for 35 rupees (about 75 cents), in the evening I may be in one of the clubs sipping 500 rupee martinis (about $11). One moment I’m with someone living in a hostel because they can’t afford an apartment on an IT professionals salary (just out of school) and the next I’m hanging out with models, movie stars and businessmen that can spend half the young IT professionals salary on dinner, drinks and the outfit they came in.
It’s a wonderful place though. It’s got an energy that is contagious. It’s difficult not to smile. While you see struggle, you also see success. You see the middle class being built right before your eyes. There are people upgrading from small motorcycles to cars that will not only give them more protection on these crazy streets but shield them from a tremendous amount of pollution that the folks in the auto-rickshaws and motos endure each day. Globalization is a good idea, and I think it can work without creating crazed capitalists like us Americans. The Indian culture is one of respect for family, community, and overall peaceful living. I don’t see that changing that much. Where an American will have a baby and be back to work in weeks, we’ll loose their Indian counterpart for much longer. Where the man may even miss the birth in the US, the new father here will be side by side days in advance.

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