I woke up this morning thinking about my very first trip to Chicago. I arrived on September 14, 1988 – the year of record cold and snow. I still have my correspondence from that first time. My mother wrote to me faithfully every week, but I was not so good. Reading both our letters, I saw that 50% of my letters were about how cold it was and how many layers of clothes I wore to travel from Chicago to DePaul University. Later I heard the expression: if you do not like the weather in Chicago, stick around, it will change. And eventually the cold did let up some.
I have never thought about the weather in Mumbai in those terms. In fact, as a child I do not remember anyone complaining of the heat because that was just the way it was. But the last few days, everyone has been so hot and sticky, wiping the sweat off their faces every couple of minutes, and I did lie when I said before that the fans helped – they did not in the last couple days!!
Well, last night it rained and I woke up almost cold and needing a cover – such a great feeling and I am glad I stuck around for the change. I am not so sure about tomorrow, though, because after these late-season showers, it can get very muggy.
For the first time I slept till almost 8 am. I called up a couple of school friends and relatives and talked and caught up a little with their lives. Normally if my trip is longer I get so see some of them, but this time it is too hectic.
It rained most of the day and I have spent the time indoors updating the blog and catching up with emails and some pending work.
Here I would like to introduce you to MarketPlace: Mumbai. It consists of 2 members, Shaily the Design Manager and Hasina the office assistant. Delegation is the key to having only two staff members. Shaily is helped in the design process by Abdul. Nirman collective, which Abdul heads, does all the making of samples. Shaily also oversees the quality checking where members from the cooperatives check the products. She is helped by Gaurav from SHARE with the packing list and other export papers and procedures. Hasina manages the paper patterns, checks the quality of samples, pays the bills (here you do not just mail them, you have to go to a location to pay the electric, water bills), does all the bank work etc. MarketPlace-Mumbai has a small office, which is air-conditioned – for the sake of the computers, they say! No, seriously, the heat and dust do affect the computers and we realized it was cheaper to put in an air-conditioner than to buy new computers.