Culture shock

Photo from Priyanjana Ghosh

As you’ve heard, we recently had our midpoint conference. It was so nice to debrief with the other fellows, vent, hear stories, and catch up on our many adventures. Collectively, we have certainly learned and grown a lot over the past 4+ months! There is an incredible amount of passion and enthusiasm among this group, and I am truly grateful to be among them.

Toward the end of our stay in Mysore, we went to the Infosys campus, followed by a lunch, a great session on leadership and ethics, and “high tea” with the AIF board in Bangalore. I’m pretty sure I was going through culture shock the whole time (and high-calorie-delicious-food shock as well). “Is this the same India I’ve been in for nearly five months?”, I kept asking myself. Can that lawn really have no trash or men peeing on it? Where are the dogs? This taxi isn’t over 50 years old and actually has a working meter? Is that cheesecake?! Where am I???
Needless to say, it was an incredible week. I’m grateful to have been exposed to yet another side of this amazing and diverse country. Driving back into Kolkata after a week away, I realized why so many Indians refer to this as a “charming” city. I believe Kolkata is how all Indian cities were 50 years ago. Stuck in a Cuba-like time warp, coming to this city is like travelling back in time – in every amazing and frustrating way. And it’s good to be home.

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