2/21/2010 to 3/2/2010 | Andhra pradesh , India

Hyderabad hanging out at ISB

In Hyderabad I stayed with my Taiwanese friend Sunny at her student accommodation on the campus of the Indian School of Business.  The school sits on the outskirts of Hyderabad in the midst of the sprawling campuses of multinational companies such as Microsoft.  The Indian School of Business is India’s premier private business school despite not actually being accredited by the Indian government.  Students pay in the neighborhood of $30,000 USD to complete a one year MBA, most either came from wealthy Indian families or were going back to school after having work abroad or both.  Then there were a handful of exchange students like Sunny from Universities in Taiwan, China, and the US.  Sunny was there on a half year exchange program from her university in Taiwan which had a relationship with ISB.   When Sunny told me that ISB was ranked in the top 5 for International Business Degrees in the world by the Financial Times, I scoffed at the claim, refusing to believe an Indian school that I had never heard of could compete with the prestigious universities of the US and Europe.  But once I found out the prestigious schools that ISB was affiliated with in the US, schools such as Kellogg Business School at Northwestern, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, and saw the rankings on the internet for myself I had to reform my initial thinking.

It was interesting to be on this island of non-India in the midst of India, where modern looking buildings rose from meticulously groomed lawns, with no trash on the ground, and no incessantly honking horns.  Despite the superficial looks I noticed a bit of “India” still creeps in.  In Sunny’s residence for example which initially looked as if it could be anywhere in US I noticed that the details were done sloppily.  The painting leaked on the wood work something that could have been avoided with a bit of use of gaffing tape a insignificant cost given what must have been spent on construction of the place.  Cabinet doors were slightly miss cut.  It’s interesting that I find such minor flaws as typically Indian.  After all it’s a society that has produced some of the finest architectural masterpieces in the world but somewhere along the line the craftsmanship the produced the Taj Mahal and spectacularly carved temples.  Somewhere along the line this fine craftsmanship has been replaced with the construction of good enough.

Amongst the many amenities of Sunny’s residence the ones I enjoyed most were the 24 hour internet access and the free laundry mat where I washed my own cloths in a machine for the secound time in more than 3 years, the other being at a guesthouse in southern China that had a washing machine available for use by guests.  It was nice to escape the rigors of the road for a while and cook a bit for myself as well.  I did make plenty of trips into the city to partake in Hyderabad’s deservedly famous Biryani.  I also managed to escape from the island of ISB and do a bit of sightseeing including the 16th century Golconda Fort and the nearby tombs of Qutb Shahi Kings.  I ended up staying longer than I expected.  A theme that is becoming a common one during my trip given I had expected to be out of India a year ago, and had told my parents I’d likely be gone for about 2 and half years and I was now starting my forth year on the road with no end in sight.  There is always something to make me want to stay longer.  In this case my departure from Hyderabad was delayed by two approaching festivals the Muslim

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