My profile on the professional front would not be very different from the rest of them in the "IT Generation". Studied in a good engineering college, scored average marks, made it to one of the Indian IT firms, so on and on cliched continuation... so forth. What sets me apart is the geographic footprint that I've worked out.. or to be more specific... haven't worked out. I have never been outside the country, be it the non-visa countries of Nepal, Bhutan et al or the more exotic ones like the Iceland like some of my friends have.
Introductions apart, I pride myself 'coz I have seen a large swathe of our own country, and am sure that there isn't much that the world has to offer than the diversity that we have back home. Dialects changing every 400 km - tough to beat! Nearer home and yet the elusive one in my list was Kerala. And now, thanks to Manappuram Finance, I now have a chance to be in Kerala.
I thought its not such a bad idea to talk about a first-timer's view of God's own country.
For starter's, the sobriquet is inappropriate. Flying into Cochin's airport with a sharp turn, in an aircraft that doesn't give one much confidence (its about the size of a minivan and let's out exhaust like one too), if I were God (pretty close... I'm a consultant), I would remark "That's my own 18 hole Greg Norman designed golf course!". The view is fantastic - trees everywhere... and green the color of the state. Too bad the reds have their strongholds there I thought, after realizing I'm not God.
So the place I'm working at is called Valappad. Thrissur was the name initially suggested and in a quick during-the-flight trick from the project manager, the location was moved about 25 kms (rougly 35 mins of death-defying driving by maniac lungi-toting drivers) from there. Interesting none the less, with a client who promises to not be to aggressive (you meet the ded-loins, no mayter au you do it) and a project manager who promises to be more entertaining with conversations than pressuring. A long walk in the evening to discover the local fanfare led to this - Naaz Bakery, Byju Wine Stores, Another_Naaz Bakery, Another_Byju Wine Stores.... it goes on! There's just one road throughout the town and life pretty much settles around it. What also surprised us (me and project manager referred to earlier) was the continuity in the small towns. There's no no-man's land in between two towns. Seamless Integration at its best.
We finished off with some very pleasant dinner, sea food being the priority on the table thanks to the squid loving manager. Desserts was picked up at one of Naaz' Bakeries - coconut oil based Bombay Halwa. Seamless Integration to National Integrity was an easy jump.
Looking forward to exploring a bit of Kerala for myself, probably ride down the next time I'm on a flyback on the Bullet.