Hindustan aur Deutschland!


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?
Steward: Ein?
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: Bitte?
Me: Please
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.



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On the wrong side of 25.. :)



I celebrated my 25th birthday on day before yesterday.

Its one of the rare occasions when your male friends are allowed to hug you, unless you are Italian of course.

"So now that 25 years old, what are your plans?"

You dont realize you are 25 till you hear it from someone. It's quite a number. 25 weeks at the
box office earns you a silver Jubliee tag. 25 years with one spouse means you have really high levels of tolerance. You have to be 25 before you can become the PM of India (oh yeah)...

All in all, it's a good number... only till they ask you what you wanna do with your life...

I have never been able to answer that question properly. When I was asked that question as a kid by my relatives when visiting them in the summer, the answer was easy. I would say I wanted to be a doctor - one of the advantages of having a doctor mother. Then the next question would be, why dont you want to be an engineer like your father?

Never did I have an answer. I wonder if I ever wanted to be a doctor... I never wanted to be a Pilot, or a Police officer or Giant Robot (like some friends in my colony) or Michael Jackson (like my cousin). I just didnt wanna be anything...

I didnt know what I was good at. I was good at maths and science, but so were 4 others in the class. I was not extremely good at cricket, so being the next Sachin Tendulkar was out... I never wanted to be an actor like SRK. I wonder if any guy wants to be SRK or should want to be SRK.

The point here is, I never really knew what i wanted to do with my life. I am less confused than I was when I was 22. When I was 22, I tried out everything. I applied to FTII's direction course,
lectured CAT students, worked for Siemens, got into MDI, gurgaon.... I thought this would help me sort things out... It doesnt work that way...

Anyway, in a bid to feel good about myself, I tried to see what good things have happened to me in the last one year... what have I learnt... have I become wiser than what I already was! :P

* I got my novel Published. To be honest, I dont feel to excited about getting it published. All my friends around me are extremely happy. I was wondering why I cant feel the same happiness... Then I thought about my blog, the best feeling is when I get comments on the blog...

This is what I am waiting for - reviews of the book... Once they trickle in, I would be happy...
hopefully :)

* I made awesome friends in MDI and Germany. I realized that I have really cool friends in general. I fail to understand why do they like me so much. sometimes
I wonder if I have been a good friend to them.

* I finally got a chance to come to Germany. I have wanted to come here ever since I saw that ad about German Engineering (Opel ad).

* I have fallen in love with Berlin. dont know if that stands for all of Germany, but Berlin in Summers is beautiful. God is a male. And he made summers in Berlin for his recreation. You ahve to come here to know what I am talking about.
(Now that I am an author, I have decided not to post raunchy photos... only clean ones like the one below)


* 'Genau' and 'alles klar' have to be my favourite words in the German language. Genau means Exactly and alles klar, it means all clear, but it is used like 'thik hai' in hindi.

* I miss MDI. I miss Arcus, the night canteen in MDI. I miss my room. I miss Air-conditioning. As weird as it sounds, except malls, you wouldnt find ACs in Berlin. And Germany is like the birth place of Mechanical Engineering. Btw, last week it was like 37 degrees C here. But I am not complaining - you know, God, summer, recreation thingy? :P

* You know the sweet smell of soil when it rains? You dont get that smell in germany. I dont know why. I mean, I know the biology behind the smell, but I dont understand why you shouldnt get the same smell here. I think that's where the phrase -"Desh ki mitti ki khusbu" comes from.

* Football is an unforgiving sport. One mistake costs you the match. Cricket is a better sport for a lotta reasons, one of them is that no one pulls ur jersey while playing. This is one of the reasons we dont play football. You come home with a torn jersey everyday and your mom gives you the dressing down of your life. Also our country cant really afford so many new jerseys everyday. The GDP of India will suffer. We will have to import jerseys from Bangladesh. And we all know that all football teams buy their jerseys from Bangladesh. Imagine a country as big as ours importing jersey after jersey from Bangladesh.... this will create a jersey deficit and Europeans will have no jerseys to wear.... and that my friend will lead to no football, europe's only pressure valve.... europe's GDP will suffer.... Hence we decide that for World good, we wont play football... We are just a class apart, arent we!

That's it for now... I cant explain any more complex problems in the world. If there are any, I am sure few of us are already working on it...

Meanwhile, my novel can be now bought online at -


Dont worry about the number of days. It should reach major cities in 5 days. Only in small villages does it take around 10 days I have been told.

If you find it in a store, do let me know... I ll be thankful :)
If you like/dislike it, please do send me an email - arshat.chaudhary@gmail.com

Till next time - Get nerdy :)
On the wrong side of 25.. :)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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The excerpt


Do you know what a new book smells like? You know, a book that has just come out of the press? I love that smell.The smell of ink on fresh paper... It reminds me of my childhood. I used to smell the books while putting a new brow cover on them. (It was a rule in my school-no, not smelling, I mean, having covers on your books). The smell reminds me of a new beginning... it comforts me... It makes me feel that the past is forgotten. It's another day...

I have been really nervous the last few days... My editor told me that the Novel has gone into the press. They are printing copies as we speak...

I wonder how the final copy is gonna look. I wonder how it's gonna feel... I just want to touch it once.... I wanna just smell it once...

Here, I post an excerpt from the Novel : How I got My Girl Back...!

I hope you like it... If you do, do visit the site for more www.arshatchaudhary.com (It's up and running now)

Excerpt from
Chapter 19 :
The Date

L9? That is level 9, right? I will be there.”

“See you around 8 then.”

“Okay”

I started getting ready at six thirty, I didn‟t want to be late or get stuck in the traffic. Pune traffic on Sunday nights is a devil. I wore my favorite Arrow shirt and jeans. I know, kinda weird, not something that you would wear to a restaurant, but tell you what; Indian girls find an office shirt worn over a pair of denims very hot! Okay, I didn‟t know that, Akshay told me.
I reached World Convention Centre around seven thirty. Entered my name at the reception and then took the elevator to the ninth floor. I approached the counter just outside L9.

“Excuse me, Sire!”
A guy dressed in a dark blue blazer, probably the captain at the restaurant stopped me. These swanky hotels have guys like these to make you feel unimportant.

“Yes?”

“You are not wearing a tuxedo!” He had a British accent. Fake of course.
I realized something. This guy, it was... it was... Umesh! In a Tuxedo! A Tux completely changes the personality of the person I tell you.

“Umesh? What‟s wrong with you?! What is going on?”

“Isn‟t it cool? I am the captain here and I want you to wear a Tux,” he said excitedly. He pulled out a black swanky Tux from behind the counter. “Here! Put this on!”

“I am not wearing any Tux!” I said. There was no way I was gonna change from the „hot‟ look to the „old fart‟ look.

“Hey look! I don‟t make the rules!” He said.
Someone tapped me on my shoulder. I turned to find her looking at me with her lovely hazel eyes. She was wearing a maroon salwaar kameez. It had some embroidery but essentially it was very simple. Just like her - simple and pretty. She had a couple of purple orchids in her hand.

“Dev? Why is everyone giving me orchids?” She asked in her honey dipped voice.

“Umm.. umm..” Think Dev, think! “Umm… „cause you are pretty.”

Maybe that was the setting Akshay was talking about. He must have requested all the guys to give her orchids. I must have told him only once that Pritha liked Orchids, and he remembered that!

“Nooo,” she said. “I come into the WCC and the gatekeeper gives me an orchid saying Ma'am you are beautiful‟. I go to the reception to enter my name, the man at the counter stops me and gives me an orchid saying 'Ma'am you are beautiful', I enter the lift and say Level 9, the liftman takes out an orchid and says-”
“Ma‟am you are beautiful?” I offered to finish her sentence. “See? I was right! They really like you. And who wouldn‟t, you are beautiful.”
She blushed at that.

“Uh.. should we go in?” She asked.

“Ma'am, there is a dress code.” Umesh pitched in. “Tuxedos for men, evening gowns for women.”
“Oh.. but, I don‟t have a evening gown!” she asked.
What was he doing! He was ruining the whole thing. Just then he pulled out a turquoise evening gown from behind the counter and handed it to Pritha. Now turquoise is the name that girls have given to the color blue. I mean, why can‟t they call it blue! Wasn‟t turquoise an animal that goes into its shell every time it senses danger? Oh wait… That is tortoise.

“Ma‟am, you can wear this!” Umesh said handing her the gown. “And this too,” he handed her high heeled sandals or whatever they call them.

“Oh.. but do I absolutely have to?”

“Yeah, does she have to?” I quipped in. I was worried she might call the whole thing off.

“Sire, I don‟t make the rules.”

“Are these my size?” She asked checking the gown and the high heels.

“They sure are!” said Umesh.

This is the guy who gets up at six to take a dump, this is the guy who wears a baniyan for most part of the day and here he was ordering us to „dress up‟. Anyway, we decided to dress up, in our respective costumes of course, and in our respective restrooms of course.
I wore my tuxedo and came out of the men‟s restroom. I waited outside women‟s restroom for Pritha. She took a good twenty minutes to get dressed. Girls always take a lot of time to get dressed. But I swear to God, it‟s all worth it! She came out, wearing her turquoise evening
gown.

She looked beautiful! Her hazel eyes, her lovely curls, her curvy body. The dress hugged her body, revealing her figure. Till now, I had seen her in loose Salwaar Kameez which covered most of her. This gown was held by delicate straps at her shoulders. This was the first time I saw her shoulders. They were so shapely, and so delicate. My eyes lingered down. I wanted to soak in as much as I could. I would be lying if I said I wasn‟t aroused…, sexually. I would be lying if I said that 'thoughts' didn't cross my mind. Pritha saw me looking at her. Girls can distinguish between a glance and a leer. I was leering for sure.

“How do I look?”

My throat went dry. In a hoarse voice I said- “lovely!”.

She blushed. To be honest, I don‟t get why girls like Pritha blush after hearing something nice about them, I am sure they must hear such things about them all the time. But then, maybe, not the compliment but the person who gives the compliment matters.

I gave her my arm to hold, like they show in old Hollywood movies. She let out a laugh and held it as we entered the Level 9. Umesh held the door open for us. There is a small indoor section at L9 too. But today it was empty!!!

Who would wanna eat inside when you got such pleasant weather, and for some lucky blokes like me, such pleasant company? We kept walking through the indoor section and finally reached the terrace. The terrace was empty! There was a single table at the far corner of the terrace. Pritha looked at me confused. I wasn‟t less confused. Why was L9 so empty on a Sunday night!

“Sire! This way Sire.” It was Kunal! He wore a white blazer, like those waiters in costly places.
We walked to the lone table on the terrace. I pulled the chair for Pritha. It was dark on the terrace save for one pink candle that was on the table.

“It‟s a lovely night, isn‟t it Dev?”

I looked up at the sky. There was no moon. There were like a billion stars. It almost felt like they were here to watch us.

“It‟s lovely,” I said. Then looked into her eyes and said, “But not as lovely as you.”
She smiled. It was peaceful. Just me and her. Isn‟t that how God meant it to be?

“How come we are the only ones in the restaurant?” She asked.
Only if I knew! Akshay had come up with this. But the thing is, why hadn‟t he told me about it? And where was he! Pritha was looking at me, waiting for an answer.

“Umm… maybe they decided to let in only those couples who were made for each other.”

Pritha looked at me, kinda amused at what I had said.

“Devvv?” She said half amused, half annoyed.

“Pritha.”

Her name is so sweet. Calling her name out like that seemed to say that I mean that thing about made for each other.
Now, I knew she was someone's girlfriend, and here I was telling her that she was meant to be with me. Pritha was bound to be a little taken aback, albeit in a good way, to see this side of Dev.

The Dev she knew would always be a little hesitant to say something of that magnitude! But I figured that I had nothing to lose, since I was not asking for her answer. In fact, I wasn‟t even waiting for her answer. I almost declared that she was made for me.
Kunal came in with the menu.

I placed the order for Risotto olla Milanese and Russian salad. She asked for the Roasted vegetable Mediterranean Lasagne.

“You look handsome in this Tuxedo,” she said, looking at me.

I tell you, it is such a thrill when a girl you love says that. I felt a shot of blood rush to my ears. When Akshay had coached me, he made one thing clear, you have to be ready to keep her guessing, keep it interesting…

“Well, thanks. I always look good in rented suits,” I said. The line wasn‟t that clever but I couldn't come up with anything wittier than that then. Trust me, it‟s difficult to think straight when you got blood rushing in far extremities of your body.

Kunal brought in two plates. This time, instead of bread crumbs there was actual food in the plates.

We ate in each other's company. Soft music, I think it was Ronan Keating's 'When you say nothing at all', that was playing in the background. The only other sound was of the knife and fork touching the plate. I would say something silly every now and then and she would laugh her sweet laugh. Her laugh - like a seven year old‟s - unrestricted, full of innocence and clearly brimming over.

For dessert, I ordered a Gelato, while she ordered Vanilla ice cream with Kahlua. What is Kahlua? Don‟t even ask me! To be honest, I think even she didn‟t know about it.

“What is a Kahlua anyway?” I asked.

“I have no idea!!” She said it with mock confidence. For a moment there I thought she was kidding me.

Kunal brought in the dessert. She savored every bite of ice-cream. The metal spoon touched her pink lips, the cold ice-cream melted as soon as it touched her warm lips. I never knew you could eat ice-cream like that. My throat ran dry. She noticed me staring at her.

“What are you staring at Mr. Dev?”
Using „Mr.‟ as a salutation, when least required, is a girl‟s way of flirting.

“I..I..wasn‟t staring…”
Forget all coaching. If the girl decides to get flirty, you are on your own mister.

“Oh, yes you were!”
She smiled; baffled, but quite enjoying the fact that she was being stared at.

She looked at the sky.
“There are so many stars in the sky!”

“Yeah…” I managed to say. “There are so many more in your eyes.”
A smile played on her lips...

“But there is no moon today,” she said.

“There is one,” I said looking at her.

Soft music was still playing in the background. Now it was playing- I love you by Robbie Williams

“May I have a dance with you Mr. Dev?” She said.

If I didn‟t know better I would say she was high. The ease with which she was with me was quite uncharacteristic of her. She had always been this shy girl. Most of the times, she had trouble meeting my eyes, and here she is now asking me for a dance. Nothing wrong with that really, only that I have two left feet and hadn‟t received any coaching on dancing with Umesh. I gave the empty terrace a quick glance.

“Oh.. a dance? Really? Okay.”

I was not gonna miss this chance of holding her close to me.

I held her hand and led her to the centre of the terrace. She was wearing high heels and was finding it difficult to keep balance. I have always had a liking for simplicity. Pritha always kept it simple. No flashy clothes, no major makeup, no fancy high heels, she was comfortable in her own skin. In a way, she was so unlike me, I always wanted to be someone else.

I held her close to me. Since she was wearing high heels, she now almost came up to my height. She rested her left hand on my shoulder and I held her right hand in my left. Her hands seemed so small in mine. But it fit so perfectly. I placed my right hand on her waist.

The song played in the background.
Then afterwards we drop into a quiet little place And have a drink or two And then I go and spoil it all By saying something stupid Like I love you
I pulled her close to me. I think God hardwired us to slow dance, which is why even men like me who can‟t co-ordinate the movement of their feet to a simple left-right-left, have no problems dancing with a girl in their arms.

And then I go and spoil it all
By saying something stupid Like I love you...

She placed her head on my shoulders. We kept moving to the soft tunes of different songs.

________________________________________________





P.S.

1. Please do join the community How I got My Girl Back...! on facebook : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125312997504438

2. Also there on orkut : http://www.orkut.com/Main#Community?cmm=102975754

3. If you wish to be updated about the book, please do follow me on twitter : http://twitter.com/arshatchaudhary

4. Btw, this was my 200th post :)




The excerptSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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