Monday, January 28, 2013

Roaming Rome

How does the Italian dish, pizza, taste at the capital of the Italian Republic? Well, not so Indian :). It is different from what we have back there. I have forgotten the last time I had something spicy. Still, it was something that I happened to try during my tour to Rome. Not exactly a tour, as it was a workshop that I was attending and did not happen to wander around Rome a lot. In fact, I did not even visit the Colosseum and the Vatican! Only with the hope that I shall revisit Rome.
Needless to say, it is a wonderful city and given that this time of the year at Saarbrucken is so cold, Rome was enjoyably pleasant. Though, the start of the journey was not so agreeable. I happened to catch a flight to Rome from Luxembourg City three hours later than the scheduled time. Snow! And I blame it for the reason that I did not get to visit the Colosseum. The flight was yet another experience. For the first time, I had sat in a plane so small. Totally, around 40 seats and looking like a private jet, the plane was exceptional (atleast for me riding it for the first time).
Reaching at my hotel, at around eight in the evening, I met my roommate dozing around, happily. What struck me as the best feature of the room was its washroom, the best part being its adoption to Indian tourists! The conference was a good experience, meeting people from around the world working on similar areas. I realized for the first time what research actually was, and how close I was to the beginning line!
But the highlight of the trip was the journey back to Frankfurt. Clear weather in Rome allowed me to view some of the best sights I have had the pleasure of viewing at. The beach on the outskirts of the airport seemed to be a part of a bewitching painting. Following that, were the marvellous Alps, giving a splendid view of grandeur and artistry alike. I am short of words to describe the beauty of the scene.
Everything said, being back at the university, still, feels good. It feels home! The past twenty odd days have been quite lonely, with me desperately searching for people to talk to. And it is all because of the people back there in India. Nevertheless, I hope to get acclimatised to the environment here, complete my studies and hop back to my country. Missing you India and wishing you a very happy republic day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunshine in Saarbrucken

It took a week-long period to meet sunshine in Saarbrucken. The sun had hid itself for the past six days before showing up with all its might today. It has been relatively much cooler here, even when compared to the winters in Roorkee or New Delhi. Chennai was warmer, in fact hotter, against the sub-zero temperatures running here. I, also, happened to witness the first snowfall in my life last weekend. It, truly, was amazing. As I walked the streets of the city, the snowflakes released from heaven, reached to hug me. Tiny white droplets stuck to my jacket as I was desperately searching for the store where I was to find an alternative to allow my laptop to run. I, strongly, think that these electronics guys should get a standard of some sort for running devices all over the world.
A week back I had started for my doctoral studies from India to Saarbrucken. A flashback of events unfold before me as I pen(well literally, type) this down. Finally, I am far away from home, trying to settle amidst the residents here. It feels a bit lonely with no one to talk to around me except for my advisor and his secretary; though, mostly limited to administrative and academic work. I know it would be some time before I make friends in this foreign country; mainly, as I have joined in the middle of the semester. Things have been pretty neat till now. I managed to get good lunches over the past week at the university canteen. It, quite definitely, is delicious and different. The other meals have been looked after to by bread and butter, mostly. I could have tried my hands on cooking, but am just too lazy to try it now. Staying currently at the university guest house, I am excusing myself from making meals. The city is quiet. And things come to a halt by eight in the evening. I dont quite like it this way. I am already missing India a lot. Having meagrely started with my work, I expect things to change a bit and the environment to get much more friendly, as I continue my stay here. 
Wishing everyone back home, a very happy Sankranti and Pongal.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Habit

I installed myself on the cot awaiting the Gregorian New Year, seeking solitude. It has been many days since I got time to spend it with myself. It feels peaceful to be secluded and away from the events taking place out there. The world is full of noise not trying to do anything; as they say - "Talk less, work more." No offence, though. Everyone at home is out partying and me, thinking about how the time has passed. Philosophical, I know! But, it actually helps to spend time with yourself. You get to know what you feel. 
A habit is a very deadly disease. It eats you until the end. Years ago, I used to be my best friend. Sharing everything with myself. Things changed with time. And now, it needs to be changed again. Getting used to being at home for the past one month, I have grown a fear of being alone again. It is not like I would not be spending time with them, but, I hope you get my thoughts. There are other fears also. But, those will deteriorate with time. And, I hope this one does, too. 

Gazing the height, I lie,
Searching for that day.
When I was content with thy,
Desolation was gleeful and gay.

Life is not all that lonely,
With you and yourself alone.
Though, with life around only,
Melancholy is overthrown.

Lives become part of yours,
Their joys; and so does pain.
Being a part of their tours,
Refer you solitude once again.

Quite often have I heard,
Leaves you in dark, your shadow.
With light, when you are gird,
Realize, it was always with thou.

In anticipation for the same, wishing you all a very Happy New Year.