Sunday, May 02, 2010

Kitabein Bahut Si Parhee Hongee Tum Ney

but what do you remember of the libraries hmmm?

For those who have been keeping tabs I had been waiting for most of March and April to get my library is a sign of the times that it takes ten minutes (or less!) to get a loyalty card at the local salon but ilm kay parvaney burn their wings circling the candle of learning and what not. At one stage I was willing myself to teach Arhaan how to read shampoo bottles.

Every weekend I would park myself in front of the babu at the library. He would patiently guide me through the proper office channels
Pehley they will have to send your membership money to the bank, I have to get information of it getting deposited in our account. The bank has to send me the receipt, which I will send to the High Commission, they have to do the Beri-fication for me (yikes! it was not me judge saheb), only then they will start the process of making the card

All this was forgotten when they finally had a card for me. Major blast from the past, as the bihari babu painstakingly wrote my details in his register, and set aside two (take that all other members!!) yes two pages in his register for me (Hamey Lagta Hai Aap are the reading writing types).
Oh the fretful whispers before they opened up a cupboard so I could take out a book, uff the agony of the librarian. After all kitabo ki shoba, the beauty of the book lies in it being locked up behind seven veils and ten cupboards.

I guess in the age of document delivery, renewing books online and swiping cards I forget about a gentler time when you were only allowed two books and the librarian made the entries in his register. When I was leaving the librarian wheedled my card out of me, he was quite apprehensive that I might lose it and then the ensuing paperwork, oh the paperwork. Memorize the number please? he requests me. So I left the library with my precious two books and the card stayed behind in its own plastic pocket.
Pliss to look at dont touch me dont touch me dont touch me soniye warbled the library card.

The library has a charm of its own. I will explore someone's suggestion and stay back one afternoon with my laptop and write. Considering everything in the library is around the time the Iron Lady (its named after)imposed the emergency, there are few distractions.
Also no fifteen month old jumping at the keyboard.

And now in the biggest continuity leap ever (so I can start on my europe diaries)i take you to berlin in march, where I also managed to read a lot and write some. As I tried stringing a sentence there was no koel in the green mango tree crying for the rains , but I could look up from my book and see the snow softly settling down.

In an earlier post I did write about Arhaan's encounter with snow. Here is a picture of him, all contemplative sa in the German air.

One morning Arhaan took a break from watching BBC Weather and I from my books and we decided to visit the Berlin Zoo. does it bode well if the only good things I can tell you about the zoo is regarding the history of the place and a pretty nice aquarium? It could have been the gloomy weather or that I find animals prowling about in enclosures pretty pointless but I came back home very depressed. Arhaan quite liked the children's petting zoo, considering geese lived up to their silly goose moniker waddling about self-importantly making the space quite cheerful.
There were Shetland ponies who having never experienced a day's life hitched up to a tonga still had their pretty looks batting their eye lashes vainly. And the kid goats and lambs posed for the cameras, photo being their motto. Arhaan was in his element in the aquarium and was stalked by a very curious fish that wanted to be in all the videos (Ive put up a pic here, can you tell me what kind it is?)

Pliss make Franship With Me

Hello ji Im back

We did manage to have a family day out on our last day in Berlin. For any of you who worry about so little time so much to do I would advice a visit to the Parliament Building and walking up to the glass dome. A panoramic view to the city awaits you and the guided commentary introduces you to the history of the environs as well. Three hundred years in ten minutes is quite remarkable I would say. I was planning to spend some time at the Stasi archives ( I am still suffering a hangover from The Life Of Others ) but considering the testosterone quotient of the family excursion outnumbered me , I could only peer at What Lay Within from the window, sigh! Berlin if you recall was divided into various sectors post World War II and Arhaan had his photograph taken with all the checkpoint "guards" to the former sectors(You have to be THIS blonde and a chin carved of granite to be guarding the Soviet sector, says the puddle of drool).

So to sum up my ten days in Berlin.
Plus: Snow, books, writing and getting reunited with my beloved land of bread. The tale of Hansel and Gretel could never have been set in a place where they did not have a German baker. It takes true German grit, determination and discipline to work miracles with dough. Aah to walk into the breakfast room every morning and be greeted by an aroma of coffee and miles upon miles of all kind of bread.
theek hai at present there is none of the rye or a crumb of the pumperninkle but we have bengan aloo bhaji/pakoda and adrak chai as we read in the balcony, hmm.

Minus: the Berlin Zoo. And not exploring the Stasi museum.

No thankyou, we will just have the photograph this time

There was a particular church of the broken tooth (it does have a prettier name that I forget now. the church was bombed and the damaged spires gave it its unfortunate nick) that I wanted to take the two boys to but sadly it was closed for some renovation. Ten years ago I was sitting there lighting candles quite morose about "time passing by and what have I done lately" and considering now Im at the Deewar stage (aaj merey pass bungla hai, garhee hai ...and maa aur piyar bhee) I wanted to say thanks to Berlin key Jeejuss.

Until next time Auf Wiedersehen.


  1. That was a HUGE continuity leap. For a minute, I thought you meant you were moving to Berlin in March!!!!

    And the boy watches BBC Weather? How cute is that!

  2. I loved, loved LOVED 'The Lives of Others'!

    And yaaay for the library card! Yes...brings back lovely memories of childhood :-)

  3. Nice blog. Its nice to meet indian mum around the world. Do visit me if u get a chance.

  4. Hey, in a rather unrelated comment we have finally overcome the water battles! Well, actually the husband has but I can always gloat, besides I did cheer from the sidelines as they stepped with trepidation into the inflatable rubber pool.
    And on a more related note what books have you borrowed? The Lord knows I need some reccos after the absolute misery I picked up last time!


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