For the past two months I have been living in a TCS Guest House called “Trinity House” in Kakkanad Kerala. It is located just 4 km from the largest Info Park in the region. It has been an amazing experience to live here, to learn here and as Ryan (my husband) puts it to come to love cricket here. I’ve also gotten a glimpse into the relatively nomadic lifestyle of many IT workers in India. It is a simple house, 3 floors, 9 rooms at any given time up to 18 people. In the two months we have been here over two dozen people have come and gone and exactly 3 of them have been women (including me!)
There are three TVs which at any given time broadcast cricket, cricket and cricket and every once in a while Hindi or Tamil films. The guest house is run by the most professional and humble man, Vinod. He has two other young men who work for him (Praveen and Mohan). All three of them work 24-7 to ensure that the guests are cared for. The place is cleaned from top to bottom daily and full Indian breakfast and dinner cooked for all the guests. Despite the volume of work the staff all maintains amazingly positive and bright attitudes. There’s nothing particularly unique about the house, but there’s something really special about getting a chance to come in from outside the TCS community and get to be a part of life in a guest house. It is like a dorm for grown-ups and the sense of community constantly reinforced. The first time I stayed in a guest house when I traveled for work here I marveled at the contrast to traveling for work in the US and staying in a private room in a hotel. The disconnectedness of that experience v. the connectedness of this is stark.
Ryan and I have met people from all over India. From Chennai, Bangalore, Bombay, Hyderabad, Delhi, etc. On any given day you never know who is coming or going. Most TCS-ers who stay here have never been to Kerala before and are as much of a tourist as me. They get lost on the buses too, can’t read Malayalam and are equally confused by the cultural nuances in God’s Own Country. I have not been in a kitchen in two months; I wash my laundry daily in a bucket and dry it on the guest house roof. I go to the office via auto each day and the adventure of life in Kerala continues in the Info Park. Ryan has a standing cricket game with the guest house staff played on the field near the house. Generally accompanied by the neighborhood kids who can’t resist a local “pick-up cricket” game.
Living in the guest house has been such a blessing for me. I transitioned from Kerala to Bombay after the unexpected passing of my dad in early Feb. He was living abroad by was originally from Kerala and all our Indian family remains here. I was able to shift my work base from the TCS-Bombay Office to the TCS-Kochi Office to take care of my father’s affairs here in Kerala. But I was also given the blessing of living simply, in peace and community plus cricket!