Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Dream

I want to write something about how Micosoft Research, India got started, and I wasn't sure I wanted to write this story because I didn't hear the whole conversation. But a conversation with a friend made me want to write this down. I apologize if this is rushed, I'm trying to get to work. Anandan is the driving force behind the creation of this lab, and he was talking with another researcher during the retreat when I walked up. The conversation was along the lines of Anandan recalling having had a dream (as in hope, not as in I-was-sleeping) at some indeterminate time in the past - the dream basically was that someday there would be international students - American and Eurpoean students - studying in a lab in India under the mentorship of Indian researchers. Which is, of course, what I am doing.

Most of the interns here are undergraduates - this was a surprise to me, partially because I would never have thought to do this as an undergraduate. I didn't have the research focus at the time, and even if I had... well, at this point in my life going to MSR India only seemed a bit more unusual than going to MSR Cambridge (England) - but two years ago I wouldn't have been interested in eating Indian food, for instance, which I now love. I suppose in the past two years I've grown in ways that made the simple fact of traveling to India seem less unusual.

And then it occurs to me that two years ago, this lab didn't exist yet. Oh right. That dream of Anandan was only realized in the time since I've graduated from Princeton. It seems like two years ago we were only just getting worried about sending unskilled tech jobs to India. And while I realized, in the process of applying for this job, that it was a little odd for me to go to India just in terms of demographics (see the tagline for this blog), it was the partially overheard comment about Ananadan's dream that made me realize what didn't seem odd - it didn't seem strange to think of MSR in Bangalore, India as a place where research on par with other academic institutions around the world is done.

But while that is a truth, I suppose it's a recent truth. And that is wild. My world moves fast.

1 comment:

William said...

I bet in India, Indian food is just food.