Thursday, January 2, 2014

Smew: India, Google here, Growing World University and School contacts, India is very socially-enwebbed in so many facets of life ... unusually for me, who has been going solo for many years in a sense. In addition, it's also somehow very connected, culturally and thinking-wise

Hi M,

Thanks for your nice birthday greetings.

The Majumders saw me off at Howrah Train Station in Chennai, Inida, about an hour ago, and I'm now on the train to the town of Bodhgaya and Ravgir (with hot springs mentioned in the Mahabarata, now a pilgrimage site, I'm told), in the next state over, Bihar, I think. There's a Hindu woman with bindi and sari sitting across from me in 6 person compartment, caddy corner, next to her husband whose only son works for Google in Dehli (with 500 people under one roof - and where the only other Google workplace in India is in Hyderabad). She's the school supervisor at a K-12 Christian School, the Nazareth School, originating from Kentucky. I told her a little about World University and School, like Wikipedia with MIT OCW, and after the three of us trying to exchange emails which didn't seem to go through from our smart phones, she promptly called her son, I think, and told him about WUaS almost like a kind of telephone relay getting the word out about WUaS. (The Google email just came through from Pallav, her husband, 30 minutes or so after sending). Her son is thinking about getting a MBA possibly in the US. I'm really appreciating Hindu culture and Hindu women such as Rinku who speaks excellent English can be both very kind and kind of symbolically all seeing.

India is very socially en-webbed in so many facets of life ... unusually for me, who has been going solo for many years, in a sense. The Majumders' world here in Kolkata, where they grew up until they were around 27 years' old, is very different from the US where they live 3 blocks from my M's home in Pennsylvania, and are retired academics. In addition, India is also somehow very connected, culturally and thinking-wise, - and understanding-wise, in some respects only - perhaps due to philosophies of India.

The Majumders were wonderful particularly with a kind of intercultural communication in so many ways, offering fascinating glimpses into Bengal society. After spending nearly 2 days in travel agencies for some great trips, with very helpful, strong, reliable Main ... very inefficiently, but socially ..  I now have a great itinerary visiting a natural area possibly with elephants, and including the towns of Dalton Ganj, Betla, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, Puri, and arrive in Chennai by overnight train on the 14th of January, then fly away on 18th Jan to the San Francisco Bay Area. :)



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