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By the time you read this, I would be in New Delhi. As I sit in JFK airport’s international lounge, I am without an Internet connection. The GPRS connection is pretty much useless and despite the promises by the airline, there is no WiFi network anywhere […]

By the time you read this, I would be in New Delhi. As I sit in JFK airport’s international lounge, I am without an Internet connection. The GPRS connection is pretty much useless and despite the promises by the airline, there is no WiFi network anywhere in sight. I wonder what awaits me, for this would be the first time in many years I would be without a high-speed Internet connection. I wonder how I will access the email when I am in India, or how will the blogging continue. Lots of questions.

it has been eight years since I have been home in Delhi. I sit in the New York’s JFK airport, I am overcome with emotion, and anticipation. In past eight years, my great American makeover has been complete. Instead of staying up late at night to watch India and Pakistan duke it out on the cricket field, I worry about missing baseball tonight. Wonder how the Yankees will do this season. I hope ESPN India carries baseball. On a more personal level, this is a surprise for my parents, who have often extolled me to come visit. Well thanks to Friday’s good news, I am making it happen.

But there are more reasons I am willing to brave the 100F temperatures, traffic snarls. Think Heat and Dust, 21st century style. Given the hype, fear and loathing prompted by outsourcing, I am going to India to see first hand the changes that are happening in that nation. I am searching for stories, ideas and changes which Thomas Friedman’s superficial columns, or Wired or Forbes can tell me. I think observing the changes first hand is crucial for any reporter. over next three weeks think of me as “on assignment in India.” I am working on stories for Business 2.0 (you will have to read them in the magazine), but I will also try and blog the revolution.

I hope that this visual-multimedia experiment will become a template for future tech/travel journalism. I hope you will tune in and read. (Don’t worry, somehow I will manage time to blog the regular broadband stuff as well, though I could use your help in terms of interesting links etc. ) On this trip I have my trusted Apple Powerbook, the slightly dented but still trustworthy Sony Ericsson T-610, T-Mobile GSM service and a Minolta Dimage. Let the blogging begin!

  1. Om, have a great, safe time in India and blog as much as you can.

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  2. Good to know some one who knows India would be covering the “O” word :D. Never mind about the internet connectivity, I believe you will be in urban areas for the most time. You will get cafes almost round the corner. About the cell phone, I believe you will be on expenses :D but still buying a GSM calling card for Rs 300-watever would be cheaper.

    And since telecom is your forte, see what can you find about Reliance Telecom. They have made quite a network in very small time. Last time I spoke with my cousin he was browsing the internet using his Reliance Phone and Desktop at 144kbps. Sweet. Hoping you have a blast over there.

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  3. By “Hoping you have a blast over there.” I meant blast of time desi english ;-)

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  4. yep, check Reliance, i used it when i was there in nov-dec last year. works at decent speeds, but i am not so sure it will be compatible with Mac…you may have to borrow a Windows laptop for the duration, if you want to connect with Reliance. And that is the only true way to be mobile in India right now…hell, I haven’t found a better way in U.S. or UK yet…
    read this for more: This Mobile Life: http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2003_11_24.shtml#003372

    i blogged straight from a high-speed train in india: read this: http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2003_12_04.shtml#003447

    hell, i even blogged in the midst of crocodiles, in a croc farm in southern india: http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2003_12_17.shtml#003566

    take it away, om…

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  5. Hey OM

    If you are going on an Assignment-and that too to your home country after 8 years-you would land up in CULTURE SHOCK definitely.

    Vibrant Indian economy with middle class spending money, young and educated with can-do attitude, mobile society, net discussiopns, indi-pak cricket fever, higher income , new cars, new roads and new work culture –all will surely be a future shock–

    GSM for voice and CDMA for data is norm within power internet users..so dont be surprised if your friends in high places would be carrying 2 handsets!

    If you get chance visit Mumbai/Gurgaon and see call center crowds and how they have adapted western lifestyle along with westrern accents..

    Do check in the new Shopping malls, new eating places, and their booming business !!

    Hey i just returned from India trip after just 2 years and find myself still basking in colective optimism,youth confidence, booming economy and India shining heat still…

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  6. Hey Om, have a safe trip back home. Looking forward to reading your articles @ Business2.com!

    Ahmer
    Hollywood, California

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