Arts, Other

Put yourself in a radical new environment to stimulate creativity: I am going to India in one week

Many creative people will tell you to change your environment, in a radical way, to find inspiration and to stimulate your creativity. That way new sensory-motors inputs will be processed by your brain and could lead to radical new ideas. Amy Tan said: “Memory feeds imagination”.

It is what I am going to do: feeding my memories with new sensory-motors inputs: views, smells, noises, tastes, touches, social interactions, etc. Four months of new social interactions, of new visions of the world, of new ideas, and all this in a constantly changing environment.

I am thinking about this trip for about 2 years now; things changed many times since then: I was going… I was not going… I was going… I was not going… etc. However, I told me: Fred, if you want to make it, you have to take the time, however you will never do it. It is what I decided: I will take the time. I will be in India for the next 2 to 6 months.

Do not ask me what I will do in India, what my itinerary is, or anything else: I have no idea. The only thing I know is that I arrive in New-Delhi. Why bothering to plan a trip when you know that nothing will go as expected, particularly in India. Go with the flow and take opportunities, this is the only way you can live fabulous things in your trip. So, this is how I see it, this is how I will live it.

So, what happen with my blog, with Talk Digger, and all the other things I work on since 6 months? In 2004 there were 50 000 cyber-coffee in India. I would bet that there are approximately 75 000 in 2006. India is the country with the greatest number of Bachelors in the World. So, do not worry, I will keep myself informed of what happen. If something goes wrong with Talk Digger, I will be able to fix it without any problems. The only thing vis--vis Talk Digger is that I will not add new features as long as I come back in Quebec.

The content of this blog will change a little bit. Right now it mostly talk about social softwares, the semantic web and related technologies, and Talk Digger. For the next months, I will try write about the IT industry in India. This is one of the goal of this trip: trying to understand how the IT industry in India works, how the management works, how they are able to efficiently work with people coming from everywhere in India: how they manage around 200 religions of above 1 millions and more adepts, 150 languages and dialects, people from different casts (yes, cast system is always present in the Indian culture and society: a Brahmin is a Brahmin and an Untouchable is an Untouchable).

Probably that some Indian people will read my entries (yup, I have you in mind Sudar) and laugh at my prejudices and misconceptions: please forgive me and correct me with a comment on these blog posts. In fact, India is quite mysterious to the Occidental world. Rare are the people that have been there and few know what happened and what is happening in the country. One of the things that make the headlines News in America is the Indian outsourcing industry. People do not understand it and do not know what it is all about. The only thing they say is that: they pick our job and this is bad. The only thing that they forget is probably that the Canada, specially the Quebec, is the #1 outsourcing country for the United-States (with the IT industry at least). So, it is what I will write about in the next few months on this blog: Who is the emerging middle class? How is it possible? How the IT (outsourcing) industry works? How do they manage their people (in relation with their multiple languages, religions, casts, etc)?

So, I hope that you will like what I will have to write about in the next few months.

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11 thoughts on “Put yourself in a radical new environment to stimulate creativity: I am going to India in one week

  1. Fred, I hope you have a wonderful and eye-opening time in India 🙂 I have been to Indonesia a few times over the last four years, and every time I visit it changes me a little bit more…

    Getting out and seeing new things and really experiencing other cultures is one of the greatest things a person can do in this age of fear and anxiety and xenophobia.

    I know you’ll have a good time…make sure you keep us up to date on your adventures!

  2. Ya caste system do exist in india. but caste system getting banned since the English came there !! (like british banning them) thats news to me!

  3. “..Why bothering to plan a trip when you know that nothing will go as expected, particularly in India….” Yes, I think with this idea you will have good time.
    Many greets from Germany.
    Kay

  4. Hi!

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Cary: thanks, I will, do not worry! How things are going for you? Long time since our last conversation. I hope you and Lori are going fine. Keep up everything Cary!

    Indian: you are right: my memory was not that good. It seems that it is it was a curiosity for English and Portuguese and was compared to racism. It seems that it is Mahatma Gandhi that tried to include the Untouchables into the rest of a society.

    Kay: I hope so. Thanks from Quebec!

    Take care,

    Salutations,

    Fred

  5. Hi Fred,

    First, all the best for the trip and I am sure you will be a very good time here in India.

    >> cast system is always present in the Indian culture and society: a Brahmin is a Brahmin and an Untouchable is an Untouchable

    Ya I do agree with this, but now days there have been lot of changes in peoples mind regarding the caste system and the younger generation has started to be more tolerable on this.

    >> How do they manage their people (in relation with their multiple languages, religions, casts, etc)?

    And I am one of those who believe that the real strength of India like in her diversity.

    For instance, I am working in a team which has a person from Andhra who can speak telugu, one guy from Karnataka who was working earlier in kolkata who can speak urdu and kanada, one person from Kerala who speaks Malayalam, one person from coimbatore, one from south Tamil Nadu and me who was born and bought up in Chennai. (Hope you get the picture.)

    And regarding the outsourcing industry I am sure that you will get the other side of the story here.

    So overall I am sure you will have a very great time here.

  6. Hi Sudar!

    >> Ya I do agree with this, but now days there have been lot of changes in peoples mind regarding the caste system and the younger generation has started to be more tolerable on this.?

    I hope so. Things seem to change fast in India with the emergence of a middle class and the vision of the World by the younger generations.

    >> And I am one of those who believe that the real strength of India like in her diversity.

    Definitely. Here in Canada, we like to say that we are open to any cultures, religions, etc. That we are an open society, open to the World and diversity. The reality is not that brilliant. We have a bad immigration policy, Brain from around the world come here for the quality of life, however they cant work in their field of expertise because of the professional orders here. Also, there is the constant question of the separation of the Quebec (a French province in an English country). Many Quebecois say that we have to create a country with the province because we are a distinct society. Then I tell them: yeah, we are, but why doing the separation? I mean, you do not prone multi-culturalism and openness on the world? Why we could not create a country with two languages? Check what India is composed of. Check its history a little bit, and ask you the question again: why we couldnt create a country with these two languages and that diversity? Okay, enough Canadian politic for now 😉

    >> For instance, I am working in a team which has a person from Andhra who can speak telugu, one guy from Karnataka who was working earlier in kolkata who can speak urdu and kanada, one person from Kerala who speaks Malayalam, one person from coimbatore, one from south Tamil Nadu and me who was born and bought up in Chennai. (Hope you get the picture.)

    Thanks for sharing it here. It is awesome to see that, such diversity in such a small working team. It is really intriguing.

    >> And regarding the outsourcing industry I am sure that you will get the other side of the story here.

    I hope so.

    >> So overall I am sure you will have a very great time here.

    I am sure too!

    So, thanks for this great comment Sudar. We will have the possibility to extend that conversation in Chennai soon!

    Take care,

    Salutations,

    Fred

  7. Well, Fred, Welcome to India!

    And, BTW, I’m not here to corect a misconception, but a mis-spelling : It’s Castee, not Cast…:P

    Welcome to India, and you’d find that Caste distinctions are not as visible as they once used to be, but they’re all still very much there….

  8. Fred,

    Good luck in India. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for. It seems like you have an intelligent approach to the trip.

    I found that my two-year trip to southern Mexico was very helpful in opening my eyes to the world. It’s hard to get a global view of things from home. New ideas, fresh starts, etc. all are more common when we step out of the familiar.

    Hope you enjoy your trip.

  9. >Why bothering to plan a trip when you know that nothing will go as >expected, particularly in India.

    That’s too much under-estimating India and Indian people. If you see about India in that way, you can get only single-minded idea from the place.
    Talking about creativity, stimulation will be bigger when things go against the way you planned beforehand. You’d really better to have something in your mind in advance, “particularly in India”.

  10. Hi Sugi!

    Thanks for entering the discussion.

    However, I would like to add some things. First, I wrote that post before going to India, and it was my state of mind. I have been to many places and it was always with the same minding: go with the flow, go where people will send you.

    I just came back from India and Nepal, a couple of weeks ago, and wow, what a trip! Nothing was expected, everything was chaotic, I was going with the flow, not against it. I read a lot about India before the year of my departure, I talked with Indian people, I even worked with Sudar Mutu in the last year, and no, I couldn’t be prepared to what I lived there… it is so different! It was awesome and questioning at the same time.

    I would just like to make clear that I didn’t wrote that to under-estimate anybody. I do not make any judgment; I am just saying that it is totally different from my normal environment. So, sorry if you take it that way.

    — Talking about creativity, stimulation will be bigger when things go against the way you planned beforehand —

    As I said, my state of mind was go with the flow, go where people (you are talking too) lead you. It is exactly what I have done, and I had many, many experiences, both good and bad, but I would do the same trip anytime!

    Thanks!

    Take care,

    Salutations,

    Fred

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