I was invited by Dell to participate in their annual Women’s Entrepreneur Conference in Delhi. I’ve always wanted to visit India – I’ve traveled very widely (more than 40 countries) so for me not having been to India – it was a real gap. In addition to the conference, SugarSync has a support team in India and I’ve been wanting to meet with them – we just doubled the size of our team there so timing was good. The business content of the trip was great but I wanted, first, to write about my impressions of India in general.
Despite lots of descriptions from my Indian friends as well as friends and family who have visited – it is hard to anticipate the experience. It is almost as if each of the senses has been tuned up several notches.
For me it started with the visual – the brightness of the colors of the clothing and jewels. Not just the beautiful Sari’s worn by the wealthy – bright colors are the norm for all women. And not just the colors, but adornment with sequins and beads – nothing succeeds like excess. Adornment does not stop with clothing. Many of us had our hands painted with henna and were affixed with the traditional red dot on our foreheads.
I’ve always loved Indian food – the huge variety of exotic spices did not disappoint. The aromas accompanying the food were just as wonderful. And good news – apparently turmeric is an antioxidant. I finally had a chance to listen to Indian music during dinner my Wednesday evening. I found the alternate tonality almost assaulting to the senses. It’s interesting how we are conditioned to certain tones but despite the conditioning I found the Indian music quite evocative.
Another extreme was the temperature. Many people told me that June in Delhi would be extremely hot. Right before I left I had a conversation with a friend and former colleague – after he gave me the usual admonition about the heat I replied that I was used to traveling in the heat – after all I had hike Masada (Israel) in the summer. He laughed and said that this was hotter – and yes in fact – the temperature hit over 45 degrees celsius – about 115 fahrenheit.