UPDATE: Things in Hyderabad have calmed down and we are back on there, yay!!!!!
Coming off of 2 weeks out of the office, I returned to work on Monday with a decidedly more “zen” attitude towards the big event we are hosting in India early next month. My fabu colleague K. did the same. K and her husband shut off their email and took their kids to Disney World over the holidays. I got to see my folks, Chris’ family and eat fabu homemade hot pot on New Year’s (post coming as soon as my camera cord does).
And so Monday, surrounded by sunny yellow walls and sunshine, K. and I sat at her desk, leaned back in our chairs, sipped out tea and agreed that we were feeling good about the event, feeling quite zen and serene. Sure, it might not be the whiz-bang thing we hoped for, but we felt that we had somehow rounded a corner and were beginning to see the light at the end of a tunnel full of dark 70 hour weeks and anxiety ridden Skype calls.
And then, because of course it was the only thing that hadn’t gone wrong yet:
There is a possibility of violence in the south-central Indian state of Andhra Pradesh as civil unrest continues over the contentious issue of statehood for the Telangana region. The Department recommends that U.S. citizens defer all non-essential travel to Telangana and certain parts of Hyderabad.
(Smacking forehead), I totally forget to account for political upheaval in our event planning. Of course we should have counted on a successful secession movement in Southern India at the exact same time as our event! What were we thinking having a conference in one of the most peaceful, stable places in the Southern hemisphere??
Andhra Pradesh has been fairly peaceful for practically the last 300 years. It’s like Bangalore’s little brother, but with less traffic and more pearls, biryani and fabu kebabs.
For the moment, I don’t even want to think about what this will do to our budget, my workload, the quality of the event, our guest list. For now, we are laughing in that to-keep-from-crying sort of way. I suppose that is still zen-like right?
I love India, I’ve always felt safe there. Aside from a few encounters with creepy men on trains and a few stolen credit cards, I always felt safer in India than I do in the US. My hunch is that Hyderabad too is still really safe, but we obviously can’t take that chance for all of our guests flying in from around the world.
Le sigh. I don’t usually write about work on this blog (I prefer the illusion that I masterfully putter around the house baking all day :)) but sometimes my real life is just too funny (in that sort of painfully ironic way) to keep to myself. Until next time, peace and love my friends, for you and for Hyderabad!