Passage to India

Any readers want to get together in Bangalore next week? Give me a ping!

Hah. I’m booking the travel today. Need to make sure the Ambien prescription is filled, the noise-canceling head-phones are packed, and my shots are up to date …. shots? What shots? (I took the full India shot-list from the Tropical Medicine department of Mass General in 1991, never again, they gave me the Plague every week for a month).

I’ve never been to Bangalore, but I have been to India. In 1991, after racking up a massive number of Pan Am miles on the Pan Am shuttle between Boston and LaGuardia, I was sitting in a story meeting at Forbes when the aviation editor, Howard Banks, said he was working on a piece about Pan Am’s impending bankruptcy. Alarmed, I phoned my wife and said we needed to take a trip that would use up as many of those miles as possible — the choices came down to round trip first class tickets to either Nairobi or New Delhi.

We picked New Delhi, and with the help of some Indian colleagues and India experts — Jim Michaels, Ignatius Chithelen — made arrangements to tour the country from Delhi to Jaipur to Madras and back. We made the trip with  backpacks, no reservations, and had some amazing adventures, especially in the south in Tamil Nadu.
It was an amazing, life-changing trip, the beginning of a 15-year love affair with all things India.

So off I go again, this time to the epicenter of Friedman’s Flat World, where an abundance of bandwidth and Y2K bug remediation has turned into one of the planet’s most extensive IT and customer service hubs.

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