I’ve been lucky enough to visit Chennai, India on a few occasions. Whether I was there to work (most of the time) or to attend a conference, I always found the people friendly, caring and eager to make me feel at home.
One of the things that I enjoy the most about these trips to other countries and working with people around the world is that I get to meet their families.
They invite me in to share a meal, go on a family outing or maybe they just take me to their local shops to buy trinkets and bobbles to bring home to my family.
One special invitation was to the wedding party for a child of a friend of my dear friend Premkumar.
Prem had known the son since he was born I was honoured to have been invited. The bride and groom had been receiving visitors for the last two days and you could see the pride in the parent’s faces even after many hours.
As the many guests came to greet the new couple, it was expected that the guests would be fed and I was happy to participate.
We enjoyed a meal eaten – by hand – off of a banana leaf.
In the fall of 2004, I attended a conference in Chennai at a seaside resort. One of things that I remember the most from that event was that the organizers had included many family events during the week of meetings. It was very evident that family time was a very important part of the Indian way of life.
Two months later, on December 26, a tsunami destroyed much of the resort that we stayed in and several of my friends in Chennai had to cling to palm trees as the water rushed in.
Another thing that I remember from that week in Chennai was the Bollywood movie that was been shot on the beach while we were there. Thanks to Rob Lee (http://unconventionalwisdom.wordpress.com/) for the reminder.