Sunday, February 28, 2010

Natural Order

It’s a funny thing being in a foreign place, the natural instinct is to draw comparisons to that which is familiar. One thing that always crosses my mind is transportation, how we get from A to B? From and American perspective, both public and private transportation is far more controlled than the rest of the world. Stay on your side of the your lane, don’t speed, use your signals. Everyone in the world has somewhere to go but we all get there in very different ways. On the ride to and from work it is not out of the ordinary to come across a bicycle with a flatbed carrying a top-heavy load nearly three times the height of the bike. A personal favorite is observing the creativity of scooter and rickshaw drivers. The way in which they so calmly hop over a median into on coming traffic for a quick u-turn. Also the food vendor who was just ahead of us in the middle lane flipping the food as he drove, walked I mean. Throw incessant honking in the mix, the occasional against traffic scooter sprint, busses unloading in the middle of the road and cow crossings. All this and I still feel not the slightest bit of angst in a car or rickshaw. It is as if an unwritten rule exists. The bigger vehicle always has the right of way. It’s logical, the smaller you are the more likely of receiving the brunt of any accident. At the risk of bodily harm you simply concede to the larger waiting out a transport lesser to yours.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The above photo, New Delhi Metro under construction. Everyday we pass under the Metro line, fascinating to see the progress on a daily basis. We are hoping that before too long it might be possible to take the train from New Friends(home) to the center of Delhi. On our route to work alone, there are a number of significant building projects underway. Much in preparation for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi next year, the city is in a state of evolution. Having only been here for just over a month and seen so much development seems to be a sign of things to come. What will look like in 10 years? One can only imagine…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Higher and higher and higher...

Did the little engine who could realize that it was getting close to the top of the hill? Did it only know after the crest, when its own momentum carried it, that it was in the clear? As far as I know there are pretty few places where there is just one hill to get over, did the engine accomplish the hill only to find a mountain range looming in the distance? Maybe the point seems arbitrary to some, but I like to think about the analogies of this poor little train. I like to think this train had some grit, an old paint job maybe, in need of some repairs probably, and most definitely some serious toughness. Just a thought that was spinning around...There are certainly ongoing challenges facing all of us, will you be the badass little engine or something else?Hhmm...keep the wheels turning...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


To be respected is a privilege, it must be earned, it has to be appreciated, and mostly it must be reciprocated. Humility is a quality of respect that often goes underlooked. On Saturday when one of the participants touched my shoe in a show of respect I was confused. Being unsure about the meaning of the gesture was part of the source of my confusion, but moreover I was bewildered as to why someone would admire another who has done relatively little. The real triumph, in my opinion, are the success stories that come from these kids who, as adolescents, have already seen the despair of crime, poverty, and most likely death. From my uncertainty I have come to believe that as someone fortunate enough to be in India it is an obligation to perform in the community as an advocate for better standards and better lives. Be an ambassador in your own neighborhood and instigate the change for dreams to be achieved.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Day to Remember

Yesterday was by and large the best day of our India endeavor yet. NO computers, NO work talk, instead focused our energy on not only a great cause but also letting ourselves be kids for a day. In support of Concern India Foundation who organizes Sports Day; April, Kelly, 10 Cornell Overseas employees and myself volunteered. Sponsoring 2 of the 17 schools present I am proud to say our group had the strongest representation of any corporate sponsor and were hands down the most enthusiastic.

On a personal note the time spent with the kids from Sia Kripa and Navjyoti India Foundation was both inspirational and humbling. These children many of whom are first generation learners possess the quality of innocence, which with out encouragement could easily be mislead down a destructive path. In a perfect world we could reach every kid who is in need of positive reinforcement. Truly not being possible, we should focus on creating a culture of hope. Teach others that positively impacting one child’s life will hopefully translate to them doing the same for the next child. As I begin my life long pursuit in helping the disadvantaged this Sports Day will not be forgotten.

To see the full set of photo's, They are AMAZING.

Bridge the Gap

Yesterday marked the first day we participated in a Concern India foundation event, namely, Sports Day. It was an incredible and unforgettably special experience. Three hundred and fifty children came together to compete, to play, and to have the time of their lives (I really don't think it was anything short of that). And ultimately, as participants, I am proud to say that we were taught lessons in mutuality, between us and those people in the most desperate situations. Thank you to the individuals who create connections between the seemingly unbridgable voids, you are truly champions of compassion and the human spirit. Much love.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Delhi: Week ONE

After a week of acclimating to my new surroundings, the distinct nature of its commotion has become rhythmical. The coexistence between people, animals and machine is an interaction that is constantly moving in every direction amplified by sound. They say NYC is "the city that never sleeps". I would like to think of Delhi as "the city that always speaks".

Here is a quick slide show of the sights and sounds of Delhi. Make sure your sound is on to enhance the experience.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Good Business is Good Faith

There are so many connections that happen in the everyday of business. You meet your customers, you talk to your suppliers, you drink with your coworkers, and you may even go on a date with a pretty client. The point is, that no matter what your position within a company or organization is, you are inextricably linked to the people you communicate with on a professional level. I don't think many people really leave their work at work, it's really just not possible when you spend so much time together. That said, at work I try to be the same man as at home. Truthfully, I hope to always strive towards being a better coworker for my colleagues, towards being a better shoulder for my friends, and most basically, a better human for my fellow man. Going forward, lets all be aware that our personal interests are our communal goals, and that we all share a common thread in the diverse garment that is our world. Much love, Much love everyone.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A product is born...

When you pick something up in a store its hard to grasp how much work may go into that individual piece, in our case from a clothing perspective. But being here and involving ourselves in the production process has given me some pretty great insight into how it takes an entire village (in the same way it takes a village to raise a child) to produce a perfect good. The goods come in as grey goods not dyed, not cut, not stitched, and not fabricated in any way. This is where quality begins; people checking for fabric defects, thread counts on a per inch basis, texture, and all the other elements that make goods high quality goods. The textiles then begin to chug through the production process, starting at printing, passing through fabrication and finishing, and finally ending in the packing department. We'll work toward documenting each phase, but here today we're looking at grey goods. So enjoy the start of the journey of one product! Next phase coming soon...

The Heartbeat of Cornell Overseas

CO's greatest strength lies within the heart and soul's of these individuals. Their dedication and enthusiasm towards producing what we hope will be considered the best product out of India is unparalleled. Kelly and I are truly fortunate to have their extensive knowledge in all aspects of garment manufacturing at our finger tips, literally.