Monday, January 10, 2005

India Trip 1

Started work today after my trip to India. I arrived from New Delhi on the 8th and spent a day in KL before coming back to Kedah today morning.

It was a wonderful experience and I have a lot to write about. In this post, I will give a brief summary of my overall trip and write more about my experiences in the following posts.

I was there to present a paper at the Second World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement at New Delhi. My wife, who was also presenting a paper at the conference, accompanied me. In the morning of the 2nd January, I received a call from Linda at MAS who informed me that the flight was delayed by about 2 hours. Thanks Linda.

One of my colleagues and another of my wife’s colleagues who were also presenting papers there joined us at the airport. Anyway, we left KLIA around 8 pm evening. The flight to New Delhi takes around 6 hours.

When we were about to reach the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi, the pilot announced that we won’t be able to land there because of the heavy fog and we were diverted to Sahar Airport, Mumbai – a 2 hours flight.

We were put up at the InterContinental The Grand Mumbai, a five star hotel. So we were able to pay a visit to Bollywood too. Unfortunately our passports were confisticated at the airport and we were unable to venture out of the Hotel. An Indian friend in Delhi later told us that we could have gone out without any fear, as 99% of Indians don’t carry an ID card. Well it was too late by then.

We had a nice sleep. As I mentioned before, the hotel we stayed in was a 5 star hotel and it was magnificent- like something out of the Bollywood movies. When I woke up and pulled the curtains aside, I came face to face with the reality that exists in India. Just behind the hotel was a slum area. I watched the slum residents going about with their normal activities around the houses (if I can call them that), which looked like they were about to collapse. I later learnt that the largest slum area in the world is in Mumbai. India is a land of contrasts – it is home to some of the richest people on the earth and also the poorest.

We left Mumbai and finally reached New Delhi in the late afternoon on the 3rd.

More later...

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