Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Boy meets Girl- Part 2

January 9, 2012 1 comment

Our family felt that morally bride’s family will take more time as they need to think a lot before giving their girl.  Well…our situation was like awaiting an examination result without knowing pass/fail.

In a blown state of mind we entered Annapoorna, the most popular hotel in Coimbatore, known for its taste of Sambar and coffee. I should say the cost of our snack bill was equal to a breakfast bill in A2B at Bangalore. As I tweaked my wallet into the pocket after paying the cash, an advice bobbed up from my sister “Don’t keep looking at the wallet…from now on you should start loading more cash…”

We headed back home in our two wheelers. I lost interest to look at my FESTINA watch now but was eager to see the wall clock as I always admired its display for its appealing golden dials. It was about half past 12.

Family members got into series of discussions as to when to keep the engagement, marriage…blah blah. Should say that’s how the curiosity my family would show and have been showing since a long time about my marriage…my mother has had drawn plans as whom to give dress materials (silk sarees and silk dhotis). She even had already filled one section of wardrobe in the last year for that sake. Just for a matter of one day event in my life!!

Few of the touted minds started to talk about their “privileged” relatives to be invited for marriage. My sister-in-law started making the list. In agony I stopped everyone in continuing the marriage subject and reminded them that girl is yet to say YES and we are waiting for their family’s decision.

With tautness in everyone’s face, kids too started reacting to this situation slowly. My niece and nephews were cribbing for their leaves going waste simply. Even the other adults in the family-bro, sis-in-law, sister, bro-in-law have taken a day off from their job. One of my nephews was kidding me “You went in the morning to the parlor for doing the facial…ha ha ha…it is all going waste now”. I got infuriated over the kids as they too started to harass me this way…what a state of pity I am in?

Troubled with appetite, I had little lunch, I insisted my sister-in-law to make sure that the mobile was not switched off or left abandoned as the marriage broker would call only to her number.

At around 2:00 P.M, all our avidity increased heavily such that my bro-in-law tried calling the marriage broker. With sad face he came back to us and said “She has switched off the mobile”. Luckily someone reminded my bro-in-law “Why don’t we call girl’s father itself, you anyway have his number”.

With a reluctant mind he called to his number and asked “ I am Sathish’s bro-in-law…you said you will let us know the result in 1 hour. We are waiting for it as we need to inform our relatives”. Words cannot be described about my “future” father-in-law’s sincerity to his job. Though retired from service he is continuing his job on request from company. Gracefully he picked this call while in office. He told “We parents liked the guy, but waiting for the girl. She left office right from temple due to some urgent work. So we are yet to discuss on her decision. Can we tell it by 6:00 P.M as she will be back from work”.

More agony in everyone’s behavior. Do not know whom to convince. My bro went furious such that he was about to get that phone and break it. We had to cool him down saying bride family are like that. This family looks to take little more time to tell their thoughts.

There was another reason to get angry because we were about to commit to other family to see one more bride the next day. Due to my short trip to India several things were clogged and we could not afford to delay as everything was pre-planned while I was in Germany.

There was a rib-tickling incident happened during my first Skype meet with this girl. Their parents were looking for an auspicious day to have a chat. The Skype id was shared with atmost care referring to astrological timings.

Our family started suspecting that they might be delaying due to this. So my sister pulled the monthly calendar from the wall and started looking for the timings. She said “Time is good only…no issues…then why are they not calling??”

Tea time neared as the clock struck 6 o clock. Just to revert back….we left from the temple at 11:30 A.M. Have completed lunch and tea but didn’t receive the call from bride’s family….

Suddenly anger and frustration were diverted towards me. My bro asked  “Did you ask the girl whether she liked you or not”. I started to get back to my conversation with the girl what I had in the morning. I remember I didn’t ask this question….. neither she didn’t ask me. I had to admit my lack of knowledge in such things. In return I replied to my bro “I am pretty much sure she liked me..there is no doubt”.

In between, calls came from relatives who was updated about this event of ours wanting to know the result. One after the other relatives started perstering through phone calls asking as “What happened?”.

At around 7:00 P.M my bro-in-law called to the broker to enquire the status. Surprisingly she picked the call and stated that her husband was hospitalized and could not pick the call. She pleaded sorry to us. Had to pity on her emergency but felt diligent on our frustrated dependency on her. She said “I just now called them. They said the girl arrived from office and is parking the 2 wheeler inside. We will wait for 5 minutes”.

My mom sprinted with joy on overhearing as her second daughter-in-law also knows to drive a two-wheeler! Good for her…!

We all thought that the girl needs only 5 minutes to decide and why we had to wait from morning for this. There is severe lack of understanding on either side or indulgent on my purpose of visit.

At last the call came from the broker….

To be continued..


Boy meets Girl- Part 1

Our family entered the lord Ganesha temple at 10:30 A.M-the bachelor god who likes only his disciples to get married but not him! From rear I could see amidst her parents trying to hide. Should say that’s the Guy thing. My heart started pounding because she looked a lot better than in the photo. My crush on poor photography obviously goes to the studio vendor who took her picture. Having attracted by her fieriness, glancing whether she will look at me or not….

Nowadays my taste for blue dresses have increased heavily that I wore a long stripped shirt from Park Avenue and my favorite branded LEE jean. The bride and groom seeing procedure continued with both of our families worshipping the god along the aisle of lord Ganesha. As always the girl’s family facing the right hand side and we stood on the left hand side.

We were allowed to take the forepart. There goes the life time opportunity to decide on my life partner now. In ecstatic mood, I was passing some comments to my friend that my trip to India was a success 🙂

After we prayed Ganesha, both of our families gathered again to sit down. The slim fit jean which I wore may tear if I had to sit down. With struggles, I sat crossing both legs and observed her with glimpsing eyes. Well, she knelt her head down, betting and looking at the ground (obviously that’s what I expected) with blushed cheeks.

To my expectation, the bride and groom meeting ceremony didn’t go into a stereotyped fashion. We were allowed to talk to each other. There comes our second round of conversation [the first one happened through skype few weeks back] but this time was different …an actual eye to eye contact.

Dialogues were shared and topics were covered mostly about my stay in Germany, nature of work, settling in Germany etc. Oops…we got an interruption from my niece who pinched me saying “Shall we go home?”

Silence prevailed for some time in everyone’s weary faces….My sister-in-law rushed to me saying “You should not be talking for so long…Do you like the girl or not?” With no doubt I nodded the head and said YES.

I came to know that our conversation went for more than 15 mins. My sister opened the German chocolates and distributed to everyone in the group to evince our interest (from guy’s side) to clinch the alliance. But the acceptance of it from the bride’s family established only a weak bond (around 50%) as her mother said “We parents like the boy but need to discuss with girl at home and will let us know in 1 hour”.

I checked my FESTINA watch…11:30 A.M

… be continued.

Europeanising the German energy transition

The hot topic rolling in all news journals in Germany is about phasing out its nuclear power and starting to embrace renewable energy resources. It is a bleak idea to me as how Germany being the most powerful industrialized country in Europe has come with a bold decision. Is it a proxy-imperial economic subjugation?

German’s nuclear power turmoil took a serious turn after the mishap occurred at Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

When India is looking at “Opportunity cost” at this time, such things raises doubts and becomes a blanket argument while it is reviewing the existing nuclear programme. Germany is the first European country to phase out Nuclear power as it is getting exhausted with its nuclear resources and its deficit needs are met by imports. Germany’s environmentalists had hoped that phasing out nuclear plants would provide way for to “Go Green”.

Substantially, there are compounding problems in phasing out nuclear power:

  1. Renewable power sources will be costly. Consumers must be ready to pay more for electricity.
  2. A country relying entirely on renewable energy lead to variability problems in load sharing.
  3. The initial losses due to the investment will need to be enforced through subsidies
  4. This might have ripple effects across Europe thereby countries have to spend more on transmission systems who tend to follow Germany’s footsteps.

May the trash be with me….in a German Way

October 15, 2011 1 comment

Being an expat in Germany, I was thinking to write a topic on waste management for some time now.

While in Bangalore, out of the several menaces I had in my daily routine, garbage throwing ceremony happens to be a thrilling and lofty event. Seriously the problem I had was in carrying that stinking white thin plastic bags till the end of the street; identify a suitable place in the unkempt property adjacent to my house and watch for any onlookers; some are so keen watching me from their building’s first and second floors. The throwing event happens in less than a second.  At times the missile impact causes the sloppy plastic bag to open its knot and whole stuffs come out. That instant my insight hurt me for doing such ignominious activity to the environment.

I am lucky to throw them without anyone’s notice but once luck never favoured me as I got blasting from my neighbour asking not to throw in the vacant plot. He was complaining that it has become a waste dumping land to everyone and especially me (finger pointing at me). After that incident, my conscience was so feeble that I will not be able to originate a pile of my suffs on someone’s property.  But it didn’t stop….

There used to be garbage collecting tractor vehicle passing through all the streets in our area. Its visit happens everyday morning but the vehicle is superfast that when I hear the tractor entering the street, I had to rush packing the stuffs and by the time I come out of the house, the vehicle would have vanished.

Once I tried to place the stench bag at my corridor believing someone will dispose on seeing them but immediately heard a lady voice from the window. It was my ground floor neighbour and heard her saying, “Please don’t keep it here, dogs will pull it down and make it a mess in the entrance”.

How unfortunate, isn’t?

Where in this world can I go and dump those stuffs?

From that weekend, I had to spend considerable time to fill the waste in several bulged plastic bags, wait for the vehicle and had to dump them. Weekends were spent for waste management!!

Few years back while i was in my native, the municipal corporation announced a scheme that every family would receive 2 plastic cans to segregate the garbage -one for degradable and other for non-degradable items. All house hold women were ecstatic when they got the cans –white and green. My typical Indian mom brought the cans and told me “They have issued this for garbage, it is big enough and the plastic is good…I will use it to store masala items and will be air tight”. What an idea sirji??

The next time when I went to my native, I could see that plastic cans reached a majestic position in the loft and of course the masala items preserved safely in those air tight containers. I was wondering why Government has to spend so much money to create employment, manufacture and distribute those air tight containers to store only “masala items” to these home makers??

During my next visit, the green and white plastic cans were missing in the loft and when I asked my mom she said “Nowadays the guy is not taking our garbage in our “customized” can unless he sees those 2 color cans outside, so we have use them desperately for garbage”.  She had to sacrifice her containers for this waste management initiative of the government.

This is one good example as we Indians are forced to abide the law unless it is reinforced.

Germany and waste management

Protecting the environment is a hot issue in Germany. I like the “sorting enthusiasm” which Germans have been following strictly. In offices you could see four color bins-green, blue, yellow and brown meant to segregate glass, paper, packaging and bio-waste (organic substances) respectively. We can see these cans in every German household as well. This is a national color coding scheme for the bins in Germany.

One interesting recycle strategy is the compulsory deposit-return systems meant for drinks containers. I get deposit of  0.25 for all single-use containers between 0.1 to 3 litres which I use in my day today life. How interesting isn’t?

My colleagues and neighbours here will rat me if I violate these garbage rules!

Mirthful experience between the languages-English and German

September 9, 2011 1 comment

Communication is very easy sometimes if our opponent is able to understand and get all our intentions. As I have to mingle with autocratic people, language barrier remains a daunting challenge.

Some funny experiences here….

1. One fine morning, I wanted to go to registration office. As in Germany, it is mandatory to register the individual’s visa after arrival. Since it is far from my hotel, I opted to take a taxi. I dialled the number of the taxi guy and conversed in English.

SR: “I want a taxi today from Wemdinger strasse 4 at 7:15 A.M”

Taxi: “Morgen, no taxi”

SR: “I need taxi now, not tomorrow morning (Morgen in German means morning)”.

Our dialogue ball bounced back and forth like a ping-pong match and at last he acknowledged saying “OK”.

German punctuality has been a typical prejudice for several people and a story ages back to a clock (first clock) constructed by a locksmith, Peter Henlein. It was called “The Nuremberg egg”. The clock worked very exactly and that’s why lot of people got into trouble because they had to be punctual especially Germans. My kudos to Indians for getting exception here since we didn’t invent a

Getting back to my taxi waiting story, he turned me down when I peeked out of the window… Yes, there was no taxi and I could see only my deserted street. Doubting German punctuality??

I dialled the same number again. The taxi guy picked the phone and I had to repeat the above statements again. This time it was clear to me that he was not ready to come and said very clearly “Morgen, No taxi”.

Bottom line: I could infer that he was ready to come the next day morning but not today morning…

2.My experience at a supermarket when I wanted to buy a SIM card for my VOIP connection went ruthless.

I approached a girl near the billing counter. (Generally in all shopping retails what I have seen in Noerdlingen, only women are employed at billing counters. I don’t know why…ofcourse in my earlier trip to Canada too!!)

SR: “I want to buy a SIM card”.

She immediately understood and gave me the pack. I had a query as what would be the least recharge amount every month if I want to use it for internet alone.

Ofcourse my doubts are always good enough but the same should be conveyed to the German shop vendor and make them understand. But how?? … This time I preferred to have a translator. She could identify her friend the so-called “Do you speak English?” in the most passable way.

The other girl came in and asked me “what do you want?”. I got freaked when she spoke in English. I asked her my lengthy 2 sentenced question in an easier and in a slow pace.

“I want to know whether this SIM need recharge every month or not. What is the minimum recharge amount? ”.

Both the girls were puzzled and came to a common understanding looking at each other and said “yeah..yeah..we have recharge”. The other girl at the billing counter was about to print a bill for 5 Euros.

Bottom line: Out of the two difficult sentences I uttered, their common understanding was I wanted to “Recharge” the mobile and can be done in their shop.

I literally ran out of the shop hitting forehead and laughed out loud…Pathos of my situation 🙂

Noerdlingen-a Bavarian town in a crater

September 4, 2011 2 comments

Alas!! It has been more than 10 days since I came to Noerdlingen and will erode if I don’t write about the city…well then my impressions about this small town will be the highlight of this post.

Noerdlingen, a town in the state of Bavaria has population of around 20,000 people. This town sits near the impact point of a meteorite,  Noerdlinger Ries, happened 15 million years ago has a visible  depression of the crate even now. As a tourist attraction, the town holds one of the 3 city walls in Germany with five gates, a covered walkway connecting 16 towers with total distance spanning around 3 kms.

I do like the Grocery stores and the big supermarkets with in numerous varieties to purchase especially non-veg items.

At times I never miss to hear a guard crying near the church bell tower at St. Gothic church in the middle of the town even during late nights.

Old buildings converted into houses, hotels and shops are few good attractions.

The attractions may pull me one side but the necessity to speak German makes me docile. In few months, I may start writing some German phrases on my own…watch this space for more 🙂