Photos from India

family photo
Family portrait with one of the gopurams.

Here’s a quick link to all of the photos from our trip to India (mid-December 2012 through mid-January 2013). There are galleries for Mumbai, Madurai (and Aravind Eye Hospital), and Bangalore.

At right is a photo of us visiting the main temple in Madurai, showing only one of the many gopurams (towers) at this huge temple.

Maharashtra

Eight hours to cross Maharashtra.

We spent Republic Day weekend touring from Mumbai to Aurangabad, Ellora, and Ajanta.  On Friday I met Pam and the kids at the Mumbai airport– I had spent Thursday visiting IIT Bombay– and then we drove about 8 hours east up through the Western Ghats and across the high plains of Maharashtra to Aurangabad [location].  We stayed there three nights.  [The kids were happy because the “Lemon Tree” hotel had both a swimming pool and a pool table. And a big buffet.]  Anyway, on Saturday we drove to Ellora Caves, and on Sunday we drove to Ajanta Caves; more on those amazing sites later.  On Monday, Republic Day, we drove again 8 hours across Maharashtra back to the Mumbai airport and thence home.

Ancient Daulatabad, main fortress at top.

It was a lot of driving, but I love to pass the time by taking photos of people and places as they go by.  This is the dry season, with the monsoons not expected to come again until June… the plains seemed like a desert, with scrubby brush and grasses dominating the landscape.  It was agricultural and rural, with few dwellings and scattered villages. I saw many places where people lived in huts or even teepees made of sticks, or of mud, or scraps of corrugated metal.  It is clearly a tough place to make a living.

See the photos.  Watch for the cow that makes sugar-cane juice!

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

IIT Bombay

The IIT Bombay campus is beautiful, on the shores of Lake Powai and bordered by a national park.

I spent a day at IIT Bombay, one of the five classic IIT campuses. My host was an old friend, Varsha Apte; she and I were both students in Computer Science at Duke University in the late 1980s.  She is now a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at IITB, and I was visiting to give a lecture and meet some of the other faculty and their students.  

The CSE building has a large atrium in the center.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and was intrigued by the many interesting research projects.  There is a lot going on there, at least in the area of wireless networking.

Gyanam Paramam Dhyeyam (Knowledge is the Ultimate Goal).

Varsha was kind enough to show me around campus.  You can see some of my photos, and the location of IITB.

IIT Bombay: an on-campus Hindu temple.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Mumbai terrorist attacks

What lessons can we learn?

Today, the kids and I spent the afternoon at the park and then went out for dinner in the center of town.  All seems normal.  Indeed, it was very pleasant to watch so many families out to enjoy the playground, with dozens of children running, swinging, and climbing, eating ice cream and popcorn. 

And yet, as we waited for a table in the restaurant, the television shows nonstop news coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, 1,000 km from here [Location].  Although Bangalore seems to be going about its business, in talking with people it is clear that many are shaken.  Despite the fact that terrorist attacks are all too common here – something like six attacks in the past six months, in various parts of the country including Bangalore – the nature of this one was different.  One IT executive who has lived here for 10 years told me that this was the first time he was scared… in large part because this time they weren’t just placing a bomb and then running away, but because they were brazenly and openly attacking people.

Photo by Arko Datta/Reuters – snipped from the New York Times.

The media attention also made a big difference. This incident played out live on television, over three days, and that has a significant impact on people. The psychological effect, which of course is the whole point of terrorism, is amplified by the media. 

It remains to be seen how things will change as a result of this incident.  There are elections coming in a few weeks, and the politicians are already making terrorism a major election issue.  I’m hoping that they can all learn a lesson from watching the families at the playground today.  Muslim families, Christian families, Hindu families.  One little girl – a Hindu – was helped onto the swing by another girl’s mother – a Muslim. This is India.


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.