Monday, May 12, 2008

Street Shots From Germany

“Bindaas, just go ahead & have fun!!!” said my colleagues when I was named to visit the Interpack fair at Germany. Heck. I’d never been abroad before & didn’t even have a passport . What followed was a full fledged campaign to acquire the precious named document . A fortnight of flurried activity followed …. Affidavits, certificates, signatures, attestations ….. passport in hand .. the Shenegan Visa was a logical conclusion.
free image hostConcurrent with the Passport activity was a small investment in an interactive German language CD. Any new language after all would only build new bridges, open new doors and help reach out to more people & newer peoples. The days before takeoff were aptly peppered with “Guten Morgen “ ( good morning) , garnished with abundant “Danke’ s” (thank U) & generous helpings of “Bitte” (please) and whatever else my 54 year old grey cells could absorb at such short notice.

Hitting the highgway , coming out of Dusseldorf airport, the first reaction was of sheer awe. The entire country looks perfectly manicured, though you never see anyone doing the manicuring; not an inkling of even the slightest chaos anywhere, everything so organised, though you don’t see anyone doing the organising; everything was systematic, though you never found a soul enforcing the image host

But like us back home, they hadfree image host street foodfree image host with their own delicious local flavours. Even saw an Indian restaurant ,free image host KS Rawat, advertised on a local ट्रेन. They seemed to have similar concerns too, there were so many miniature cars , the Mercedes SMART
free image host, two seater on the road , belying their concern for gas.A glance at the local Gas Stationfree image host showed the types of fuels … Bio Diesel , Benzene etc they use. So many two wheelers toofree image host.

What really floors you is the charming cottagesfree image host and their exotic gardensfree image host… like a scene straight out of Grimms fairy tales. free image hostSo delightful , you could spend a lifetime just soaking in the visual.

A half day at Cologne ,was what I managed to take time off. The vintage Cathedralfree image host. Have no words really to describe the experience. Yes, it can only be experienced , not described . A cultural hub, there is a lot that Cologne had on offer. The Lugwig Museumfree image host, The Stone Sculpture Museum, the music, the Film Museum, the Cafes & the promenadefree image host along the River Rhine….. there is a timelessness about Cologne which touches image host

free image hostAdding to the charm were cycle rickshaws,free image host a painter vending his ware along the streets,free image host a local “phugawalla”, a girl creating a wonderful picture on the pavement with powder colours ( like our Rangoli)free image host, and even a beggarfree image host elegantly dressed in jet black.

A lasting image was the flawless sunsetfree image host over the mighty Rhine, a sight that takes you back to our own Kanyakumari.

Back again now in Mumbai, I’m sure of one thing, next time round, atleast I wont have to run around for a passport !!! I’ll just take off !!!