Finally! Finally! After four postponed departure dates, we've arrived back in Delhi!!
So... how has India changed?? Well, the capital has a brand new international airport. And while the carpet is particularly nauseating... (ugly doesn't do it justice, and yet, the design was apparently well thought out!) ... the terminal itself is refreshingly large, bright and modern.
And at first glance, the city too has been transformed for the better. There are no longer medieval road works and half-finished metro stations to negotiate when driving around. Traffic flows better. There are road signs everywhere to point you in the right direction. The re-vamped Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies were held, is an impressive landmark. And the Metro, which has opened dozens of new stations in all new directions, is quite simply, world-class (elevators to streets and platforms, electronic ticketing, air-conditioned trains with mobile phone signals, well-enforced 'Women Only' carriages! Better than the London Underground or NYC Subway any day!)
There are other changes: foreigners everywhere you look. Every neighborhood, block and building seems to have at least one European, Malaysian, Filipino, American, British, Canadian, Chinese, Korean or African expatriate on a stint working in India. And they're all forming Yahoo! Groups, exchanging information, banding together on new businesses and projects... Hooray! I'm all for the world coming to India! Or as one fellow expat put it so well: "...nice to live in a very tiny cobweb in a nation of one billion."
And of course, India's capitalist culture is booming: new stores, malls, products and services from organic foods, toys, designer clothes, furniture, design, animation, medical tourism, leisure, new restaurants, cafes, bars, music... you name it, it's here somewhere!