Day 10

When last we left our intrepid hero, he was cowering in bed, transfixed by television images of Bangalore under flood waters of Biblical proportions. The following morning brought little relief: the regional papers were running headlines like “Bangalore is now an ocean”. Undaunted, Dale and I took a car to Hyderabad Airport. We saw people calmly checking in for the flight to Bangalore, we were advised that there was no delay, and we breathed more easily.

After checking our bags and going through the usual security procedures, we found ourselves in an area with a sign indicating that we should wait upstairs. We did so. Time passed, no flights were called, and by 8:15am Dale decided to ask someone when our 8:35 flight would be boarding. “It’s already boarding downstairs,” was the alarming reply. We rushed back down the stairs, and found a narrow door into another, distinctly decrepit, waiting area. Our flight was not actually boarding, but it was called a few minutes later. Had Dale not asked, etcetera, etcetera.

We took the bus out to the stand where our aircraft, an ATR-72-500 of Jet Airways (registration VT-JCA) was parked. Still nobody seemed worried that we were headed into a disaster zone. We took off, had the usual excellent hot “snack”, and 80 minutes later we landed at a damp, but decidedly un-flooded Bangalore Airport.

Despite my attempt to rationalize the car situation, there were three cars waiting for us at the airport. One was from my hotel, and I accepted the suggestion to have my suitcase taken straight there. The others? Well, one was for Dale and me to go to Sun’s IEC (Indian Engineering Centre); the other was for Dale’s bags. Whatever. After a ride through distinctly un-flooded streets we reached the office.

For me, arriving at IEC was like “old home week”. I ran into a number of Sun engineers whom I’d known in Menlo Park and Santa Clara, and who had relocated back to Bangalore when we opened IEC. A group of us had lunch and I started to come up to speed on what’s happening in IEC. After a number of other meetings, Dale and I took the car back to my hotel, The Park, where Dale had arranged a get-together for a number of his staff who are working on Sun’s implementation of JSR 208, the Java™ Business Integration (JBI) standard. They’re already starting to work with some of SeeBeyond’s technology: the technical fit looks excellent, while the overlap is minimal (and fairly straightforward.) Here they are, toasting integration (in all its forms).

When finally Dale left to catch his flight to Mumbai (and thence to London, and thence to San Francisco), I excused myself and went up to my room. Did I mention that this is a boutique hotel (whatever that means)? The style is drop-dead gorgeous: a very Japanese minimalism. (I just checked the brochure, and it’s a Conran design. That explains a lot.)

And so, after freshening up, and grabbing some food in the restaurant downstairs (my first uncompromisingly Western dinner on this trip), I shall wrap up this blog and hit the sack. Tomorrow is a very full day – but that’s for another blog entry.