Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Getting over a viral fever

Phew… it has been a difficult week so far. I came down with a viral fever on Sunday night and I have spent the last two days in bed. I’ll still stay home today and not go to work until tomorrow if I feel OK this evening. I did not have any fever anymore this morning, but I had almost 39 yesterday morning. Pike took me to hospital on Monday evening when my flatmates told me that my face was badly swollen. The doctor prescribed four different pills and said the fever should go away in four to five days. I’m just glad that I did’t get any of those fever diseases that the country is suffering from.

The nicest thing about staying home was being taken care of by other trainees. I had trouble just getting out of bed, so my friends made me something to eat, brought me tea and this morning Anca, a Romanian girl from the flat downstairs, even brought me flowers. Sweet. What I hated about staying at home was listening to the last fireworks of the Devali festival (which are extremely loud), the constant noise from the ghettos in the backyard and the sound of the heavy machinery in the construction site. Of course there were also the regular prayers from the two near-by mosques and the sound of the siren (the one you hear in war movies when there is an air strike). Nobody knows why the siren is sounded, but we have been hearing it for about a month now, usually every night at about 4 Am. What I also did not like about staying home at this time was that I had planned to spend these three days planning our project while my team members are on holiday. The company gives you a task and a team before even you, the team leader, are completely aware of what the project is like, not to mention to be able to give any kind of an estimate of the time required to do the project. So, my team members are coming back tomorrow and I still don’t really know how to divide the project in tasks. I now have a vague idea about the different components of the application but it is not very exact. Tobias spent 3-4 weeks planning his and Angela’s project. To me they were first giving no time to plan at all, instead they wanted me to give them a timetable right away. When I spent two days thinking about the project and consulting Tobias on their project I talked to my bosses again and the whole project was turned upside down. They clearly did not know what they wanted at first.

Otherwise last week was OK. Even from the work perspective, as I now have a better idea of what we are supposed to do. On Thursday night we had a farewell dinner for Kevin from the flat downstairs. We were 19 people in total and it was really great. On Saturday we went to an AIESECcer’s house to celebrate the Devali festival. We had dinner on the rooftop of his home, went to a temple to see the puja (ceremony) and exploded a lot of firecrackers and rockets.

I can not really claim that I would be very happy here in Hyderabad. I just do not like the city so much. Then again I don’t think I’ve ever met any foreigner who would like this city. If you ask an Indian they say they love the place. I’ve been the happiest when I’ve been travelling. Hampi was a wonderful place, so were Goa and Bangalore. I have been thinking what to do next year when my traineeship ends. I don’t even know when it ends. I used to think I will work no longer than until January, and the recent weeks at work have just made me think even more this way. But there are two problems. Firstly, I don’t think I have learned that much in my traineeship, which is very disappointing. I have realised that there is nothing I can learn from a technical point of view but I can learn a lot about project management and team leading. However, even that learning I have to do myself, because I can not get any support for that from my Indian colleagues. The best help in this is Tobias. We have learned a lot from ourselves already. So, I feel that I’ve pretty much wasted the first three months of working here doing something that eventually did not work too well and from which I did not learn anything. Therefore it might make sense to stay here working just a bit longer, trying to make the best out of the time I have left. It is actually only thanks to Tobias that I have any inspiration to learn something. He has been learning a lot by reading a couple of books and planning and programming their project with Angela.

Secondly, I don’t know if I really want to spend six months travelling in this country. I know I would be mainly travelling alone, although you always meet other travellers on the way. And six months is a long time, even though India is a really vast country, but still… do I want to spend one or two weeks in each region? Would I enjoy travelling alone? I would really like to see the Himalayas but it only makes sense to go there later in the Spring when it is not so cold and snowy there, even though I’m Finnish and snow and coldness are no strange elements to me. I have been thinking about the option to change my flight back to Finland to somewhere around March and travel before that. If I still feel like travelling after that I could postpone the flight again. I am somehow accustomed to thinking that there are only two choices for everything. A friend of mine made me realise that there are more choices than just two and she is right. Maybe I will come up with another option.

I have not yet crossed the threshold after which I would begin to love this country. I don’t think that will ever happen.From home 1 Maybe loving is simply too much to ask. I know I will appreciate this experience very highly when I From home 2come back to Finland, but I am not enjoying it every day. There are simply too many things here that I dislike, not enough possibilities to relax, not enough silence and I miss my home way too much. You might be thinking that the guy is just complaining about living in a big city. But it is not just a big city, it is a big city in India, a developing country, with 400 million poor people, poor infrastructure, wide-spread corruption and a noise fetish. So don’t come to tell me to just get over it.

I got a postcard from AIESEC Jyväskylä today. It was so nice to receive a postcard from my friends just when I was trying to get over the fever. Thank you guys 🙂 I feel happy about ending this post with this nice piece of news.


October 25, 2006 - Posted by | Being a trainee, Indian life, Pictures from India


  1. Hello Mikko,
    good to hear that the fever has gone, hope you recovered completelty by now. I can imagine that it was hard to be sick in this environment, but at least you got taken care of. I personally like the adventure in India, but I totally agree that once you get used to the city (say after a few months/weeks), nobody who is used to a more “natural” place prefers to live here that much longer.

    All the best


    Comment by Johannes | October 26, 2006 | Reply

  2. im sure you will wonder getting my msg here…but i could not help asking you for a favour as an AIESEC alumni…this is hassan from Bangladesh looking for an accomodation in banjara hills for a week to attend an international conference…let me know if you could do anything at your capacity…thank you in anticipation…regards…hassan

    Comment by Hassan Khan | October 29, 2006 | Reply

  3. It’s a shame what happened to Bangladesh. I hope the world steps up and helps them.

    Comment by retro | November 20, 2007 | Reply

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