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One snowy December morning!

Sometimes, all you need to buy is 'time' for yourself.

 

I often complain to my friend in US, everytime I see his pictures on Facebook, 'Dude can't you upload some soberer or maturer photos of yours? Why do you have to carry that college boy look all the time? Life is certainly not a party.' Today I realised, how wrongly I had perceived life. Atleast out there, he was living it while here, I was just busy evaluating it. It's said, 'don't be a slave to your heart, likewise, don't let your mind rule you either.' At times, we do need to break free from the chains of wisdom, maturity and righteousness to be an imperfect being experiencing the creative imperfections around us, set in the most aesthetic manner and to share a hearty laugh thinking of those bygone days. There is a child in each one of us. No matter, how old we grow up, but there would be some very childlike desires in us till the end. Today, I didn't listen to my rational side for once, and followed where my eager footsteps and intrinsic credulous desires led me. Truly, it's the moments, we live in each breath which make us worth living!

 

When you grow up reading Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five', like me, you can very well relate to the thrill and enticement caused by the snowfall. Today, when I woke up in the morning, as I was leaving my cosy bed and glanced amorously at it and sighed, 'if only I could spend some more time lazying on it' but with time ticking fast for my ponderous daily routine, I hurried up. Winters can be so cruel and I don't agree to the phrase 'long winter nights'. I go to sleep each night and in no time, my morning alarm goes off and then I push the infamous snooze bottom as my automatic reflex or defence action against time. In the morning with languid steps I reached my window to draw back the curtains, as I looked out I saw soft white flakes falling on my window sill. Since this was practically the first time I was witnessing a real snowfall, I had no idea about it, I rubbed my eyes and blamed my late night reading habits for making me see suspended particles in the atmosphere owing to my poor eyesight. I rushed to get my glasses and then I realised it was actually snowing and the joy of seeing the first snowfall of my life grew by leaps and bounds. For a minute, my heart pumped more excitement than blood. Quickly I picked up my overcoat, camera and gloves, and headed straight outside. It was snowing in Aachen and I couldn't miss out on the fun. Even if I had caught a cold or had to soak my feet in warm water tub with a thermometer in my mouth or had to gulp down my throat those nasty cough syrups, today there was no stopping me. It was my first snow moment and I lived it fully.

 

I decided to take a day off for myself and be lady Wordsworth (the famous 19th century English Nature poet), exploring nature and adventuring explicitly on my own, the way I wanted to. The feel of soft, white snow is beyond explanation and I was so enamoured by it, that I actually tasted it too. Ahem!! then I frantically turned left and right to make sure no one caught me in the act. It was a day, when I happily forgot my age (women in any case are geniuses in concealing their real age) for a change I was an amused child. Having frolicked on the streets and open fields, I thought, it was best to hit the nearby Moss Café before I freeze myself in the snow and turn into a snow woman. As I sat in Moss, (which I think sells the best coffee I have tasted so far) sipping my cuppa cappuccino, I felt a mix of emotions running past me and suddenly who's this fellow to disturb my train of thoughts? I saw a middle aged man smiling at me and asking, Journalistin?? I smiled back Ja! He stood there and I felt uneasy, I whispered to myself, 'Get going dude! I am no fool, can't you see I am here for some news.' As he took his seat near my table he turned back and replied, “Genau.” What! He understood it. I turned red in embarrassment, next time I better whisper in my head. We Indians are too loud even while whispering. 'Whatsoever, I won't be bugged off even if the whole universe conspires against me today' I told myself and there you go, my eyes caught sight of the Schwarzwalder (Black Forest cake), 'Boy!! café is too distracting a place'. Next moment, I was gobbling up a big slice of it. Unexpected treats are always a big delight to both your taste buds and your tummy, besides, when it comes to Schwarzwalder , I rate Germany no.1 (named after Schwarzwald area, world wide known as Black Forest area in South West Germany).

 

While most of you would shiver at the idea of winters in Germany or for that matter Europe, however, come Dezember (as written in German) and you could sense the festivities in the air. The colourful Christmas Markets and Fairs, are the best tourist pullers from across the globe. The bumper discounts even on luxury brands adds up to the celebration spirit. The atmosphere turns so jovial and blissful that neither the falling mercury nor the icy winds could hold back people from partaking in the merriment. I've witnessed all of it in one single day.

 

So what if my dishes remained unwashed today or my floor remained unswept

Years later, when I am old and wrinkled,

I would smile back at the time when I lived up my first snow moment in Germany.

And I would proudly show my grandchildren the photos I clicked today, which would be vintage by then.

Often people tell me, I act first and think later.

After this day I would say, I live first to cherish it later.

Who knew I just created a memory today!

Germany; A wonder Talisman

The elegance of Merc , the beauty of BMW and the style of Audi!

Ahhh! I am too much in the German cars' mode right now. This is what happens to the freshly arrived, you simply can't stop being bitten and smitten by German cars. Sounds tempting isn't it?? Let me give you an insight about the life and times in Germany from my own experiences as an outsider.

 

Growing up in a small Indian town, I had little idea my story would become so comically freakish one day, when I would in reality be visiting all those picturesque locales shown on celluloid which then looked a distant dream to me. A small world with small desires with an unprecedented imagination of far Europe, a continent I was destined to well explore. From India to Ireland to Dubai and now Germany, journeying around the globe has become the epicentre of my life. All I can say, it's a wondrous adventure, enthralling and exciting in its own way.

 

Every successful nation has its own tale of struggle and survival behind it. The will to rise and shine after every slump is the attribute of the strong and so has Germany risen to its current stature. Here, I wish to acquaint those interested in coming to Germany with all that I have observed and faced as a new arrival....neither lament nor exaggerate!! It all began when my Husband decided to quit working in a company in Dubai due to the financial crisis and instability looming over it globally. His present company in Germany was hiring IT professionals, luck favoured us and thus began our odyssey. My journey from Dubai to Germany has been quite challenging and interesting, otherwise I would not have chosen to share my experiences with you all. As much as I am fond of travelling, I hate shifting from one country to another, it gives me sleepless nights and to top my misery I came to know, I had to clear A1 level German language exam, nothing could be as damn! It was a pre-requisite to get a spouse visa then.

 

Confused and reluctant, my brain was surrounded by a whole question bank. I had been to Düsseldorf before and I knew, if I planned to live here, I had to bid adieu to English....What! No way, no how!...was my first reaction. But things had to be decided and done fast. No matter how much I grudged, eventually I had to relent to the fact, I am going to a land alien to English, where I would feel so out of place.

It's amusing how back home rumours without an iota of truth, get cooked and spread like wild fire. My friends' reaction was...(after a long pause) “Germany?? Germans don't smile and have sombre faces.” My already low spirits sank an inch deeper hearing these claptraps. However, somewhere in my heart, I had a vague feeling, Germany won't disappoint me. After all, I had lived in Ireland before and quite liked it. Europe is more or less the same everywhere. But then, wasn't it an English speaking country? I was clueless about how I would adjust in a strange land? Well! any non English speaking country looked weird to me then.

 

Soon my private German language tutorials began. I was taught by a German teacher in Dubai. It's funny the way us Indians are used to being taught, we are not too comfy with straightforward and focussed teaching style. C'mon! as a teacher you need to set the mood first, at least crack a joke, talk some nonsense and then begin the lessons...That's how I have been taught. Besides, my latest experience in education was in Ireland, Irish are known for their incessant talks so I was expecting a similar teaching form here as well. The first day, my German teacher rang the door bell, I rushed excitedly to open the door. I looked at her ….I gasped, oh boy!! hadn't my friends warned me before,Germans don't smile!! I offered my Indian hospitality to her and tried to create the mood. 'Coffee or tea?' I asked, to which she replied “let's straight away get to business (books), shall we?” All my smiles faded away and we did only business each day for 2 hours. 'God! This way I won't ever clear my A1, I need a friendly teacher', was my constant complaint to my husband. But I somehow managed to clear my A1 exam, thanks to my no nonsense teacher, finally she did smile seeing my pass certificate, and we shared a hearty chat over coffee too. Bingo! I had hit the bull's eye. I wonder whether I was more happy to have cleared the language test or to see her smiling? A very typical Indian mindset! Cheerful gossiping is our requirement to living a healthier life.

 

I applied for my visa in Dubai but since I was married in India, I was told to wait patiently for the marriage verification before my German visa gets stamped. I headed back to India followed by endless waiting days as my husband had to leave for Germany to join his new job. Marriage verification proved to be a Herculean task, the wait seemed endless and my frustration grew with each passing day. I still fail to understand why it took ages for the German Embassy in India to get my verification done? It did happen finally, I thought I was the only one who faced this hurdle, but I came to hear many more similar stories from fellow Indians working in Germany.

 

With my bag and baggage I arrived in Germany this July. At the airport, I was struggling with my luggage and found it hard to carry all by myself. 'Hell! I don't have a euro coin to get the trolley' I uttered in dismay. Seeing me struggle a German chap offered me help. I was so grateful to him and look! he too smiled. (Was I keeping a tab on Germans who smile?) That was my 'It' moment, which totally transformed all the preconceived notions I had formed all due to those silly stories back home.

 

It's almost  been 5 months now, I feel so lucky to have come to Germany. Apart from discovering a wonderful land, I have also discovered the quintessential attributes that make Germans, a class apart and unbeatable. As an unbiased explorer I firmly believe, there is no match to German efficiency, it's a systematic and process driven society. When they work, they work, when they party, they just party...that's the German spirit, truly laudable! It's so admirable the way they are possessive about their language and culture, surely we Indians need to learn a lesson or two from this race. Instead of imitating US and UK, we should take pride in the richness of our Indian culture and preserve our vernaculars, the way Germans have done.

 

Furthermore, the Govt's immigration policies are attracting more and more people from across the world. It's becoming increasingly multicultural and emerging as a popular pick among students and IT professionals. A Big Cheers to the Blue Karte! now the spouses won't have to gaze out the windows, temptingly looking at the working crowd, hoping if only they too could work. With the introduction of Blue Card, you don't require to clear A1 level for a spouse visa. But, it's still advisable to learn basic German before coming here, it always proves to be handy. Germany knows well how to strengthen its paradigm of economic productivity and well being by bringing about timely immigration reforms.

 

And yes! When you start queuing up, when you begin differentiating between what goes in Green, Yellow and Black bags, you indeed have got the German exposure, likewise when you start lifting your window shutters from 6 am....Have they all coordinated their morning alarms too? Well! I guess I am too new to figure it out. Undoubtedly, Germany has become a Talisman for me, I would forever look upto it. We are managing to pick up German language, and I hope to speak it confidently someday and not start blabbering English every time I see a German.

Who I am.

Hello to all the members of trust7. I'm glad to have discovered what seems to be a good and solid forum where I, as a writer can share with you all, some interesting news and views about Germany. To inform, inspire and empower my readers is my mission. I hope to convey my thoughts and ideas to the larger audience with relative ease and spark up an instant rapport with you all. Just a brief introduction about who I am.

A poet, a dreamer, a thinker, a wannabe writer, mildly philosophical and deeply emotional, is that all? No! What I really feel about myself, goes this way-

I am a sinner; a saint

a charmer; a deceiver

a mirth; a pain

a pretence; a truth

a smile; a tear.

I am a human, I am ephemeral!

 

Writing about oneself is the most daunting task, each morning when I wake up, I see a new me in myself and throw away the previous day's mask. I am a woman with million dreams in my eyes, fond of exploring new lands, diverse cultures and interacting with people, guess!! this is what becomes of you when you have a mass communication background, you just can't SHUT UP. I take each day as a challenge and life has brought it's own set of shocks and surprises for me. I grew up dreaming of becoming a doctor only to become a journalist today....wow!! Surely, we make plans and God laughs at them. It won't be wrong if I say, 'What I expected, I never got and what I got, was never expected.' But whatever, I got in the end was worth.

 

During my Post Graduation days, I worked for an NGO (Non Govt. Organisation) dedicated to the cause of women, their rights, uplift and emancipation in India which still happens to be a fairly male dominated society. Though I strongly advocate gender equality however I still expect men to hold doors for us, pull out chairs for us when dinning out, and before we touch our purses, they open their wallets to pay for us like true gentlemen and we be treated as queens...well! that's some confused feminism.

 

Writing, for me is more than just a hobby. It is said pen is mightier than sword, through my writings I wish to avenge the wrong done to the innocent people and countries around the world by letting truth find its way. To be a prolific writer is my ultimate aim, so that my work lives and is remembered long after I have gone. I hold a Bachelors degree in History with specialisation in Medieval European History and French Revolution. I have a special interest in Classics like 'Gone with the wind' etc , besides, Romantic and Victorian era poetry. I hope to read Plato's (the great philosopher) 'The Republic' some day.

 

I come from a small University town named Aligarh in North India. After completing my Masters in Mass Communication I went for my training in a News Channel in Delhi. I have also worked in an Indian magazine as an associate copy editor and reporter. Since then life has been a constant journey for me with no looking back. Further, I did my advanced Diploma in Political Journalism from Independent Colleges in Ireland, where I took up volunteer work in Public Relations in a Govt. run organisation for retired and underprivileged citizens. Presently, I am living in Aachen, Germany. That's all about me and my world.

 

Lastly, I could briefly sum up myself by these self composed lines-

If only I had wings,
I could give my dreams a swing.
I could then free myself from this worldly and selfish clinch.
To fly off, far away into the land of my dreams,
where everything is pure, sacred and clean.
But,wait! I'm no bird and I have no wings,

Isn't it true, from the commoner rises the king.
So what, if I have no wings.
I'm my today and tomorrow.

There are two paths ahead of me,
and I've chosen the less travelled by thee.
Though, it seems thorny and coarse,
But, challenges have to be taken and I have no remorse.

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