It all started one day in the Bangalore office of Bosch Business Solutions when the interview was scheduled and the step seemed closer. Coming to Deutschland is always a pleasure. I consider it my third home now. Not second because that is where Kris belongs, wherever in the world. Gloomy and bored with the day´s duties I was wondering about my next trip and wanted something magical to happen the very moment to realize my dreams. Never wanted to settle down anywhere except India but this meant a big deal to me. Travelling the world lay ahead, learning ahead, fresher challenges lay ahead, being independent was destined and above all, standing headstrong was going to be defined.I gave the interview with grit and zeal. I wanted this at any cost because Mom said, opportunities come running to you when you wanted them the most. I concentrated and remained calm. I knew this would bring in the best time of my life and it did.
2015 was the year of drastic change and travel. A good change stepping into the next shoes, where life turns your path and yes you know that is becoming what it is always supposed to be, unpredictable. I had the same hopes for 2016. I worked with a normal pace and expected things to happen in a very gentle way yet aggressively. Ambition was something that you have to be born with and deal with it silently. Have fun they say in a way that you become jealous of yourself and work towards your goals so silently that when they are achieved, you will celebrate it with grandeur and craziness. I will quote Paulo Coelho, my favourite quote which works in every difficult scenario “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Hundred percent it does.
And so it all happened with a reason and here I am today in my dreamland again, waiting to discover the wonders of the world. Stuttgart, the name says it all, Bosch, Mercedes and Porsche is the definition and a rich culture withholds the city with an international touch. You are missing the best part if you do not drink the Stuttgarter Hofbrau, and the Pilsner Beer. It is in the blood of the Germans I would say. It has been two weeks now and I miss only two things Mom and Kris, otherwise life is great out here. When I came to this city I literally thought “We are travellers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” The exact thoughts running in my mind, this is not my permanent destination but I stopped here to say hello, to make friends, to make a better me and help anyone that would need me for their well being. It is these encounters that built empathy that makes me know that the humanity within me will live everywhere in the world. My life partner has played an important role in influencing these thoughts and shaping up a totally new personality out of me. The best one can do in Stuttgart is the fest, when you have any. They are so much fun, the food is great, the entertainment is great, the beer is great. Biergartens are the best way to spend your Sunday afternoon. Also not to forget on Sunday everything is closed. I know I just said I loved this, but sometimes, when you have not planned well you end up buying stuff higher than the original price at the Bahnhof or the railway station.
Travel and Wanderlust are not just words in Germany, they are implemented at any cost. Living in South Germany is a boon you get from God to travel Europe really reasonably even if you could plan around 45 days in advance since Germany is situated in the heart of Europe. There are cities like Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne at a one day distance to cover, France, Austria, Switzerland and Czech are also at a weekend´s cry. Even within the borders Heidelberg, Black Forest, Baden Baden and so many other old places have a rich culture and tradition that will take days to discover. If you really love exploring you are in the best place, with so many castles on the hill tops boasting of magnificent views, untouched traces of forests calling to experience the wanderlust, cycling and trekking through these virgin ways is a treat to yourself and your health. The Autobahn is the greatest gift in Germany. It makes life faster, quicker and cheaper. That is one of the reasons all the places are so well connected apart from the trains. Almost 80% of the Germans have their own cars, a road trip is fun ANYTIME. But truly speaking the trains out here function flawlessly and meticulously. Each one on time. You could actually plan your day with the train timetables and be rest assured everything will be fine. This helps Germany economically too, saving huge transportation costs and making day to day life easier and smoother. One striking feature that I also found with the Mumbai local trains when I was living in Mumbai. Sadly Pune and Bangalore do not have such a thriving public transport and it burns my heart out to say this.
So much has happened in such a few days. Celebrating Easter with my friend Marco´s family, getting an Easter gift, getting a sneak peek into the Easter Service at the Church, the midnight Easter celebration with the Germans at Kuppenheim, a quiet town in Baden, going up the hill to the old and giant castles, seeing the palaces in Rastatt and Baden, driving through the Schwarzwald at lightning speed according to Indian standards of course at 170kmph in a Merc and then touching France which made me go on top of the world, strolling through the streets of Germany, liking and familiarizing myself with a new city, working in an organized environment, maintaining time lines, cooperating with seniors, learning the ways of time management, and the best of all having a work life balance which is existing in reality and not just a management term. Shopping along even in the supermarkets was a treat. Each and every little thing seemed exciting. Playing with a kid at the Bahnhof took me back to my childhood. I saw here that people live, they give time to their hobbies and well being and that makes life meaningful for me. Even though I am doing nothing extra curricular, I am living and breathing, I literally feel my breath now every moment, with less pollution and cleaner air around. It is all because people make it a point to follow rules. I also miss the Indian touch of hospitality and friendliness over here. Everything is so automatic that at times you never need to take the help of anyone, and I find that odd, since it is a passion in India, to interact and have relations even with your neighbours. Nonetheless and enough said, life is not bad at all, the weather is unpredictable which bothers me, but I like the way I am getting organised and understanding the value of my family and above all Kris. Long distance relationship became a routine too, and trust me it did not reduce the longing but created enlightened sparks each day.
For now that is the moment and I want to live it the most, next on the cards seems to be Amsterdam and fingers crossed.
Rucha S Khot