Donna and Joe have finished their assignment in India. Occasionally they still travel somewhere.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

SRDC India Inauguration

This week we held an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC) in India. Dave Harame, an IBM fellow and the driving force for this project was here for other reasons so it was a good time to do it. The colored pattern on the floor is made entirely of flowers. The tall brass object is a lamp. The hand from the right of the picture is adjusting one of the five wicks coming out of the pool of oil in the bowl. There were about twenty people for the event...the half of the compact modeling team which is not in Burlington for training and some of the people in IBM Bangalore who helped create the group. First we waited for Dave and Reena to come out and joked about how quickly Dave had adjusted India time IST=India Sliding Time.
When everyone was there someone introduced Pamela, who is head of SRDC activities in Bangalore and gave her a bouquet of flowers. Then Pamela handed out four more bouquets and talked about what each recipient had done to get the group going. After Pamela was finished Reena who is Pamela's boss passed her bouquet on to Muthubalan because he was the first employee of SRDC to be hired in India.
Next the people who received the bouquets took turns lighting the five wicks of the lamp. This is my boss Pamela lighting one. After a round of picture taking we moved to a conference room for talks by various people about how the group came into being and what it was going to do.
We then had "light refreshment": potato chips with a very Indian combination of spices, a deep fried ball shape thing with potato and some kind of sauce inside and a pastry dough on the outside and a very sweet confection which contained cream and ground almonds. I thought that was enough for lunch but after another hour of round table discussion with Dave we had Pizza from Pizza Hut. The pizza was delivered in boxes the size of medium Pizza Hut pizza but inside each were four individual sized pizzas--which tasted quite American.

And now a word about the cafeteria at IBM India--Manyata D2 block to be precise. Quite a lot of people bring lunch from home and eat it in the cafeteria. They typically bring it in a tall cylinder containing several covered round dishes, each with a different dish inside. If you want to buy lunch in the cafeteria you have two choices. The sandwich counter where you can get several different kinds of vegetarian sandwiches, grilled if you'd like. They also sell bowls of cut up fruit and bottled juice and soda. By far more popular is the buffet line. For 30 rupees (about 75 cents) you get a tray on which someone places some flat Indian bread, somewhat like a crepe and the desert of the day. The tray is metal with about 10 compartments about an inch deep. You take the tray down the line and load up what you want from the selection of several hot dishes, rice plain, rice with vegetables, yogurt and some crispy things resembling a hollow cheese buff without the cheese.
After eating most people stop at the row of sinks to wash their hands before returning to work.

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