0292 – Where the pace slows, the mind goes

Well well well. My first week of internship is over. I elected to take Friday night off and stay in the room while my fellow interns went out to seek the lights and sounds of India. So I’m letting Coldplay and Snow Patrol put me in a trance-like calmness that, however fleeting, is just right. It’s an introvert’s way of capping a hectic week off.

And when I say hectic, I’m mainly talking about the mind. It’s a funny thing, really. The pace here is considerably slower than what I’m used to – people walk slower, meetings don’t start on time, you have to wait forever in line for anything. The pace is slower, but the mind races by. My impatience has never before been exposed to such an extent. For perpetual workaholics like me, slowing down poses a big challenge. The only journey is the journey within, right?

In any case, I’m glad that I’m here. India will continue to provide a contrasting culture to those I have experienced. I plan on traveling around to the popular destinations to observe and appreciate as much as I can in India.

What I’m not very happy about:

Domino’s (It’s headquartered in the city of Ann Arbor, where I go to college) in India. You have got to be kidding me. Did you really have to follow me all the way here? But I guess globalization is no longer unavoidable huh. Even Bhutan’s gonna open up. I’ll be sure to write more about this when I visit Bhutan in two months. But before then, let’s talk India.

It certainly is a very populous country, and the constant streams of people make me feel… exposed. lost. confused. scared. irritated. and sad even. It induces the existential question very well. I am one in a billion, or am I at all? Who am I? What is my place? What is the role of this meagerly presence?

The truth is… no presence is meager. The aliveness itself is profound. Even death is profound. Now, what do you do when you’re alive?

I’m not a big fan of my 9.25-hour days here. Yes, people work 9 hours and 15 minutes here. As I grow, I feel like I continue to become unemployable as I gravitate away from the mainstream. And I’m no longer one who takes orders without questioning.

Yet, India somehow seems more spiritual then the U.S. or Thailand. Perhaps it’s just my personal bias. Or perhaps it’s because people have more downtime to think. Or maybe it’s because of the long history of gurus and religious leaders that has retained its vital place in India’s culture. I have of course managed to make myself too busy, so I have not had a chance to really stop and be. I’m hoping I can do that soon, because it really helps you see the world in different lens. Speaking of which, the diversity of the pool of interns here is remarkable, and really allows for the lenses to converge and amalgamate. I can already tell that this is a great group of people.

To my knowledge, interns that are here right now come from Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Colombia, Argentina and Thailand. And oh, there’s one Brit. Who’s very forgettable. And I’m saying this because I know he’ll see this.

Jokes aside, the diversity of the InStep internship program has got to be one of its strongest points. Apply if you can! I enjoy all the conversations that we have as we slowly learn about each other’s culture and personality. I was pleasantly surprised by how it seems like the guys are open-minded and seem to understand each other well. It’s rather nice how we all bring something different to the table, with intriguing and unique life stories shaping us. Looking forward to this journey.

Of course, making fun of Brits is always fun too.

Well, it’s been way too long already. My mind has rushed far ahead of me. Gonna go catch it before it runs away too far. More about Infosys and my project next week!



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