I have returned from Deutschland. It was getting too hot in Berlin and once the difference between temperatures in Berlin and Mumbai became bigger than 3 degrees, I decided to head home. Most of you will be amazed but the temperature hits 36 degrees C in Berlin. That might seem cool to you guys living in Delhi and Jaipur where you can cook food if place the pressure cooker out in the sun for long. But try living through it without coolers, ACs and even fans! Yeah.. no fans.. how bout that?
I miss Berlin. I miss the bakeries. I know. I missed Indian food when I was in Berlin and now that I am in India, I miss German food. I also miss the buses tilting when the passengers have to get down. I kid you not - the buses tilt towards the sidewalk, so that the passengers dont have to exert themselves. And these are low buses...
The other day, I was getting down the BEST bus and when the bus stopped, I looked at the driver, almost asking him to bend the bus, and he looked at me like - 'Chamaiyla... not happening..'
I have gotten into a habit of saying 'ein' something.. Like when u say that you want- 'ein cola' - that means you want one coca cola. There is no other cola in Germany. There is only coke. I said the same thing to the steward in Air India-
Me: Ein cola bitte?
Me: Sorry - one.
Steward: cola? I have only Pepsi.
Me: Yeah. Any cola is okay.
Steward: But I have Pepsi. No Coca Cola.
Me: Yeah. It's cool. Pepsi is okay, bitte.
Steward: Go to hell.
Cant blame him. That is too much German for any Indian in a day.
I went to a kirana store the other day to buy vegetables, I said - Ein sambhar bitte, and the guy threw a big potato at me. Not cool I say.
India is changing. I sound like a spoilt NRI right now, but trust me, it is changing... Like for eg, have you noticed the english subtitles on Star World! I mean who the hell came up with that shit?
I accepted when they came up with English Titles for heavyly accented English movies on HBO. But sitcoms? You get a hang of the accent once you see an episode or two. I mean, these Americans make so many grammatical errors that its no fun to read their mistakes in the form of subtitles... We are the only country in the world who can save the Queen's English. This is what it has come to, the Queen needs a country with like 27 languages to save it's own language.
And the Queen needs it I tell you. In the last few months, I have seen Europeans rip the language apart. Especially the French and the Italians. They are getting back at UK for some long time forgotten wars or something. They just massacre the language. It's a lotta fun I tell you. The Germans are exceptionally good at English. Only as good as us Indians though. They use the word 'already' in every sentence, just before the verb - yes, thats the German rule. Pretty much like Indians end every sentence in 'only'. Yes, we are like that only.
I have been told that I have a very hard Indian accent. Which I think is pretty cool considering every one out of five people in the world is an Indian. In 20 years, once we spend enough time abroad, we will make sure everybody sounds like us. That way everyone you meet will have an Indian accent. That will be the day. Ah... Genius.
I was having dinner with a french friend the day before I left. We discussed on the existance of languages. Yes, I ask out french girls so that I can talk about language and culture. To not do that - Please buy my book from (here)
Anyway, so the topic of language came up and she asked me why while writing a sms, I dont use the hindi language. As in the hindi script. I told her that the hindi script is very difficult to use and we read hindi written in latin script faster.
She had a valid doubt- What happens in 40 years when hindi medium schools will reduce in number. As more and more international schools enter the country, hindi is becoming a dispensable subject. What happens when even the kirana wala understands hindi? Will we stop using the language completely.
The Indian in me did answer her - We have been ruled by Mughals for 400 years and then the British for 150 years, hindi just incorporated the influences of Urdu and English, but it still has an identity of its own - I managed to satisfy her doubts, but I wasnt sure myself.
Anyway, I have given you enough food for thought for a day now. I can shift to the more fun stuff.
I have become slow in crossing the road. I mean, I wait for the signal to turn green now. I mean that 'man' wala signal. Most of us dont even know there is such a signal. As a kid, I remember asking my mom why we have that signal when no one follows it. It's like in Delhi, kids ask their father why they have the red signal when they never stop their Santro at a red light :P
I miss Delhi. I miss MDI. And I miss my room at IDPL. For the initial part in ESCP, while returning back home in the U-bahn (Underground train), I would think of my single room at IDPL. That reminds me, I know that my blog is like super-popular in MDI, so here is requesting all juniors -
If you guys know who stays at Hostel 5, Room 7, the single room, let me know. I would like to keep track of the legacy:)
The first reviews of the book have started coming in. The reviews have been positive. What I dont get is how come no girl has read it till date. I have got like 5 men telling me that they liked the book. But none of the girls have told me that they like it. Crossword is acting pricey, so it will take a week more for my novel to be available there. In the smaller shops, it should be available by now. In case you cant find it - You can always buy it from here.
Till the next time, have fun people! :)
P.S. -If any of you know any distributors of books, any kind, please do drop me a comment or a mail. This is in regards to something I have been wanting to start.
Hindustan aur Deutschland!
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: berlin, germany, india, mumbai