Sigh… today was truly wonderful.
Our whole team has arrived in Kolkata and its been a pleasure getting to know them. We started the day with a round table meeting: everyone took a turn telling their own history. People were very open about sharing both professional and personal experiences. I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much about people in such a short time. We have quite the group of amazing people assembled here. ; )
After dinner, we all went to the Kaii temple. Kali is the patron goddess of Kolkata. The temple is several hundred years old and is very unlike what I expected. The temple area was full of light- light from the temple, lights from the street vendors- which gave it a magical quality. It has a large dome that is lit up with spotlights that change color and is surrounded by a series of small courtyards. Each courtyard area is devoted to a different task. One courtyard is the site of daily goat sacrifices. The goat is then cooked and used to feed the poor. Another contains a fertility tree and you can go in and receive blessings for yourself and your family (for a fee). It was a very unique experience to get the blessings and I found myself very teary-eyed during the exchange of flowers and having a colored string tied around my wrist. The area is busy, but I felt a sense of calm not chaos being there.
Tomorrow our adventure continues as we will meet with our clients for the first time.