Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Day 30: A Day in Delhi

I always feel very melancholy in Delhi. It is not like Mumbai, where the world seems to revolve around you all the time, drawing you in it all the time. The feeling in Mumbai is of getting drawn in, getting excited. I always feel an urge to return, to participate, in India's growth story. The opportunities, and better, possibilities, keep popping up everywhere. But, Delhi is different. Here, an outsider like me feels excluded, rather lonely, and is usually left to find ways on one's own. Besides, Delhi makes me feel threatened a bit, the who's-who society of India is in full display here, and being no one is not good here. It is not an insecurity in my heart; in fact, I am no one by choice, by course of my quest to be myself. And, in Delhi, your visiting card must precede you - most of the times an uneasy feeling!

But, to be honest, I may have to spend some time in Delhi in the next few months. This is one city I haven't spent time in. May be, I shall become comfortable with time. I did not take any time to love Mumbai, its rather unmissable human energy inevitably impresses. But, may be, Delhi is like that aloof girl in school who would not say Hi, till the day you came first in class and all changed. So be it.

I think the highlight of the day's news is how Toyota went from one in a million defects to more than six million defects at the same time. Bad for Toyota, but I hope they will survive. They have a responsibility to the world to save it from terrible American cars. However, this crisis will be potentially life-threatening for another American industry, the Toyota gushing management book industry which may find few takers now. Actually, it is a good thing: how many business books can one buy about just one thing - Toyota's commitment to quality.

The other news involves our Little Hitler in the neighbourhood, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the newly reelected Sri Lankan President. He has now set out to sweep the opposition out - sacking Generals, getting journalists abducted etc. I am getting confident that he will do to Sri Lankan democracy what he did to Tamils, steamroll it. He seemed to have taken some tutorials from the Burmese, and is certainly keeping cosy with his Chinese friends, and will soon be invited to join the illustrious group of Asian dictators who killed more of his own countrymen than mosquitoes.

So, I am still steadfast on my plans to do a couple of Asian years some time soon. My plans got a bit of a bounce when I made some progress in Delhi, and with some help from my company, I should be able to finally turn the tide, and get my hands free to do things that I do better than crisis management.

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt

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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

- T S Eliot

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