Over the summer of 2016 I was fortunate enough to travel to India on a scholarship provided by my university.
Technology has always been of great fascination to me, one only has to look at the impact of the internet to notice that our world is being shaped ever greater by technology, and from this I decided to devoted an academic focus of my journey to observing the impact of technological adoption on social mobility.
My journey started in Delhi, where I was generously hosted by an alumni of my university. During this time I took the opportunity to travel to the city of Agra and visit the Taj Mahal (something I had longed to do for many years).
The Taj Mahal proved to be as spectacular as I had hoped and the beauty of the building is truly irrefutable. The structure is much more than a just a beautiful building to me though, it is a stage on which the lives of countless people have played out on. Forged beneath the backdrop of splendour lives the story of those for which the building is more than just a perfect postcard image. From the great emotional turmoil of its creator - to the personal stories of those that rely on the building as a means of income - the Taj Mahal represents the fact that behind every great achievement lies a very human story of struggle and survival.
After Delhi, I travelled to the beautiful city of Jaipur. Steeped in the magnificent reminders of its past, Jaipur is a dramatic mix of forts and palaces which offered a look into the history of the city and the state of Rajasthan.
Technology is a great leveller and after Jaipur I travelled to the southern state of Karnataka and the city of Bengaluru, where I explored how start-up businesses are developing in this modern hub and how home-grown technology is tackling the challenges of modern day India. Bengaluru is a very diverse city and gave me a fascinating insight into how India is striving to tackle the issues of population and social division through innovation and research. Whilst also staying in Bengaluru, I took the opportunity to visit the scenic city of Mysore and spent time experiencing the striking natural beauty of southern India.
The final leg of my journey took me to the city of Mumbai. The raw energy of Mumbai is abundantly apparent and the city was a fascinating blend of colonial and Indian architecture.
India is an intoxicating country of colours, sounds and spirituality. A country that pays homage to its diverse history, yet a country that is positioning itself at the forefront of technological development; self-aware of the issues that it faces and how technology can be used to tackle them.
Above all though, India is a country of life – raw and imperfect, but utterly enchanting in every way.