Before catching our plane to Bangalore, we visited a museum housed in a home that Gandhi lived in for 17 years. He didn't own it, as he had long previously renounced almost all earthly possessions, but friends let him stay there. I'm sure you all know that Gandhi was very influential in convincing Britain to give India their freedom without violence. Did you also know he was imprisoned for many years in South Africa for standing against apartheid? In this house were dioramas that depicted his life and copies of letters to people like Adolf Hitler and President Roosevelt. Many of his famous quotes lined the walls - below is one of my favorites.
Gandhi's room with his spinning wheel and bed
Wilder - this one is for you
We arrived in Bangalore to a beautiful sunset. This area is known as the "Silicone Valley" of India. Somehow our hotel rooms just keep getting better!
We spent two days in Bangalore attending meetings with successful local companies, working to understand how their business cultures differ from our own. Most interesting to me was the morning we spent with GMR's foundation. This company is essentially a family run business that is now public. They build many airports (including the one we fly into in Delhi) as well as lots of roads, infrastructure etc. Much of the senior management met with us, including the founder/chairman. He emphasized spirituality (not religion) as one of the strengths of his company and India, and we got to hear in detail about the company's foundation which provides education, job training and economic support to the locals in the areas they are building. It struck me as a very sustainable model.
Sadly our corporate meetings took up much of our time, and we didn't get to see much of this beautiful city except as we sat endlessly in taxis in traffic. Bangalore is purported to have lots of parks and gardens as well as lovely temples and a remarkable palace, which I am unable to tell you about. The good news though is that we head next to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. That will require a flight to Delhi where we will arrive late and sleep about 5 hours prior to waking up at 4:30am to catch our train. We are assured however, that it will all be worth it. Stay tuned.