Saturday, 22 May 2010

India


I just got back from my annual (business) trip to India in between volcanic ash and BA strikes. We left it a little late this year and paid for it in temperatures of 40+ degrees c. Any later and we would have been in Monsoon season, always one to avoid. This was quite a hard trip, physically and mentally. I left home on Saturday night to fly out of Heathrow on Sunday morning joining a colleague at the airport. Arriving in Mumbai at 0130 on Monday morning we got 3 hours sleep before a flight to Hyderabad at 0700 . Visiting a new facility was great and meeting a new team and old colleagues was exciting but arriving on a delayed flight into our hotel at Delhi at 0100 on Tuesday not so good.

Delhi was 46 degrees and the air quality dangerous according to the BBC world news weather forecast. However managed 5 hours sleep that night and had a good day mostly keeping indoors. A formal dinner with key employees that night and further work after led to another 1am finish and unfortunately a 5.30 start on Wednesday. On the way to the airport we saw a far too common occurrence in India a motorcylist in collision with a truck. My Indian colleague said it would take an hour for the ambulance to come and by then the casualty may not survive. As he was carried to the side of the road unconscious and blood splattered I prayed.

Reaching Kanpur is always a challenge as the nearest airport is 2 hours drive from our factory. A 2 hour drive not for the faint hearted! Much investment taking place at this site which required a site tour in noon day sun where even the locals were perspiring heavily. Leaving the site at 5pm required a mad dash to the aiport to hit connecting flights in Delhi which we did just and I left India on Thursday morning at 2am arriving in London at 7am (UK time). I had meetings in London all day and finally got home to Filey at 6.30pm.

The joy of being home and with my family was wonderful but unfortunately temporary as I collapsed into my bed a few hours later.

This evening as I sat in the garden watching the sun go down, listening to the birds singing and felt the cool breeze in my face I remembered my Indian colleagues with no air conditioning in their homes, with daily power cuts for several hours and hazardous jouneys to work and I thanked God for the life I have here in this corner of England where the hardships we endure pale into insignificance to our fellow humans in other countries.

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