After a week of finalizing our presentation to the municipal commissioner, we were quick to allocate some relax time for Saturday and Sunday afternoon. That basically meant shopping for 80% of the weekend – starting with jewelry that went on for hours – mostly because you can’t see any of it until you sit down. Then boxes start coming out and piece by piece is put in front of you – so with 5 people with completely different tastes and purchase objectives this can take a bit of time (hint, yes, it took the women or me specifically the longest). We then split up and ladies decided to head out to a local beauty parlor for any treatment that would be available and the gentlemen headed out to a tailor for some custom made suits and shirts. Overall, success on both sides – pedicure / massage / a suit / a few shirts / toe rings / ear rings / anklets – and the team re-energized.
Sunday was a bit more historical and educational – we visited Anand Bhawan which gave us appreciation for Indian history. This is a house where Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first India prime minister lived. I had a very basic understanding of the Indian independence moments. Seeing where the Nehru family lived, their work, the place where their mentor Mahathma Gandhi stayed and met with the dignitaries – was absolutely magical. Indira Gandhi, India’s first female prime minister was Nehru’s daughter and it was fascinating to read through the details of their family life, passions and dedication to the nation. The place was packed, very simple and casual – and just about the right size – about 7 rooms to give you a look into their life. Mr. Nehru was quite the gentleman, very well educated, adored by the Indians, humble and someone who loved children. He built planetarium for the kids at his house and later in her life Indira Gandhi donated the house to the Indian people. Colonel Pandey, our IBM India leader, gave us a private recollection of his own time in Allahabad in the 60s – he even participated in Nehru’s funeral which happened at Sangam, very close to our hotel at the confluence of the 3 rivers (if you remember!).
Last picture is a bit of a memory of last week – lots of flip charts, lunches, powerpoint, joking, driving, glowing, confusion, discovery, driving around, exploring, trash photography, cow avoidance – so busy week for the team !