The following post was written yesterday at about 9 PM, some time before I had my dinner
Since Chennai office happens to be my base location, I have been put in a guest house in Bhubaneswar (Bhuv), for as long as the assigned project requires my services. Yes, that means I don’t have to find myself a house or anything or even worry about cooking or traveling. Everything has been taken care of.
My room has a nice bed that can easily take two persons. But it’s here just for me. I have an AC, a TV, an attached bathroom that’s big and clean. There are mirrors in bathroom and in the room. The mirror in the room is big enough to have a look at my full body profile ( I am sure Tiwari understands why I have mentioned this fact separately 🙂 ). There’s a cute wooden table and a revolving chair. There’s a shoe-rack and there are big cupboards. Like my room, there are two more rooms in this flat where I am and would be staying. And like this flat there’s another flat on the same floor. A cook cooks food of choice in the kitchen in my flat. The hall has separate TV and AC and sofa and space. The view from the common balcony is good. This apartment is an eight floored residential apartment, new and spacious. Not bad, hmm? And yeah, how could I forget, we have wi-fi here in the guest house (though right now, as I write off this post, I don’t yet know the password to access the connection that has been detected by my laptop). Not bad at all, hmm? 🙂
I went for a stroll in the evening some time back. A Sunday evening stroll in Bhubaneswar. There was a light drizzle. Romantic weather. Took some effort to resist the urge to light a fag. Was successful.
The nearby market is dominated by computer shops. If every fourth shop is not selling computers, it at least is selling accessories or promises repair, if not of a computer, then at least mobile phones. In this regard, I can say that this nearby market is a comfortable equivalent of the Richie street in Chennai (for those who don’t what Richie street to Chennai is, well, never mind). The second rank goes to medical shops. They are quite a handful. Among other business centers that exist, I could find a gym that looked promising from the outside façade (very close by), a wine shop (promising from inside or outside 😛 ), a spa cum saloon, tour and travel operators (plans for a Puri trip?), tailors, barbers, cyber-cafes, bakery shops, couple of banks and their ATMs, an insurance (non-life) training institute, couple of coaching centers, a college on NH5 and last but not the least, an exclusive undergarments shop. I should mention here that a complete absence of clothing shops came as a surprise.
The roads are messy, at least in this area. They are broken everywhere and totally unattended. It’s difficult to see any motorized vehicle go over 30 KMPH over these crumpled roads covered with mud and flowing water. There is a clear drainage issue. Tha NH5 is very close by and since it’s a National Highway, it is in good shape and health.
First impressions of Bhuvneshwar
You got the microscopic picture. Let me go back to my first impressions of the capital of Orissa on a somewhat macro scale now. In fact, I would go a little back to my afternoon flight that departed from Bangalore. The two seats next to me in the aircraft were unoccupied, not only for the Chennai-Bang flight but for the Bang-Bhuv flight as well. So I removed the hand-rests in both journeys, and crashed off flat on three seats combined. When has Economy class been so spacious? 🙂 Coming back to the first impressions of Bhuv, or rather Orissa, that happened when I was woken up by an air hostess in red skirt. She asked me get up and put on the seat belt as we were about to land in Bhuv. I fulfilled her request like a sweet child, as the two of smiled at each other; fake from either side. Once I was seated, I looked outside the window.
Just before you reach this place, you pass an area which is nothing but dense forest. As I looked down, I could see only trees and trees, lush green, everywhere, spread over miles and acres. Passing by this area, almost makes you feel that you are flying over a fresh green lawn. I had never seen such a huge forest cover in real with my eyes. The image has struck in my mind.
A rainy and at 27 degrees, a rather cool Bhuvneshwar welcomed me. I was picked up by the guest-house car. Amongst other things that I observed about the city, the first one that comes to the mind is the noticeable use of the Konark Wheel everywhere, be it the airport entrance or the compound walls of government buildings on main roads. I also noticed how almost every important building in Bhuv, has been built on just one stretch of road that starts off very close to the airport; the Reserve Bank, the State Assembly, The secretariat, The AG office, the Ravindra Bhavan and what not. The driver told me how the city has developed majorly only in the last five years. Before that, Bhuv’s boundary would show up in just a ten kilometers drive. Now, he says the city’s periphery has stretched to 35 or so.
There are three more consultants here in the guest house, besides the staff. Two of them, like me, have come today itself. One is an economist. Unlike me, she has been to this place before. She is a year old in this company. It was nice catching up with her and discussing my project that was based, more or less on the theories of economics. I had never met any economist before in my life, but had always wanted to. I only hope that she doesn’t read Shitoon 55. 😛 She would be working on a project separate from mine, while the other two are on the same project. Both of them are senior to me and I hope to have a nice time.
PS: Sorry for my inability to express all the above in fewer lines. I hate long posts myself. I only hope that the updates on how work proceeds in the days to come, come out short and crispy. By the way, a new header is ready and should be up shortly. It’s funny. At least I look funny in that. I am also wondering if I should rename my tagline as the ‘letters from a traveling consultant‘. 😛 Stay with me. Good luck folks.