A friend and neighbor of ours in Chicago, who shall remain anonymous because she’s called Carol, said to us as we were packing up and leaving Chicago: “When you close one door it opens on to another one. It’s just that the hallway in between the two doors is a bitch.” How true.
The end of the hallway is coming in sight. We moved to our apartment on Thursday.
Mira and I walked down to Mantralay today, the State’s Administrative Building to see the flag hoisting. The entire set up isn’t exactly designed for the public, in the aftermath of the 2008 terrorist attacks. The few of us who live in the neighbourhood and had bothered to step out to watch were kept at a safe distance by secret service security guards and stand - ins for Dad’s Army.
The evening was spent with Indian friends from Holland who had all since moved out. Sandeep and Nandita live in Dubai, where Sandeep is forming a private equity fund for investing in small cap Indian equities. Ani has moved to NYC from Washington DC after joining Citi Bank, and Priya and Nandan and their sons moved to Mumbai from Holland a few years ago, where Nandan works for TCS.
Among the global Indian tribe hundreds of thousands of such stories play out all the time.
The consensus from the evening’s conversation was that Holland just works, although it moves at a snail’s pace. The U.S. is probably the most comfortable place to live, from a service point of view, and India is one of the most dynamic (“you feel the energy”, Sandeep said), but boy is it a wild ride.
Our unusually quiet street being cleaned in honor of Independence Day. The street is called General Bhosale Marg, except no cab driver could find it by that name if his life depended on it. “Just ask for Cooperage, or Point, and people will know it”, one of them said when I asked. Understanding the word ‘Cooperage’ took some time, as he moved his tobacco around his mouth to create actual space to speak.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.