Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bombay and Germany...no connection at all.

This post possibly belongs in the book blog. But then again, its already been reviewed once. It was the review which made me read it.

Maximum City is a book about Bombay. Suketu Mehta does a good blend of his life on returning to his homecity and the story of the city itself. So I spent most of my trip and back to Germany (and I have been meaning to mention that one way or the other :) ) reading this book. On the train ..(and german rail system is amazing!), on the flight, etc. On a side note, I really had fun riding the rail. I believe I travelled at least 5 different types of trains..at varying speeds..going upto 240 km/hr (and not even feeling it..).

I had a couple of days to see some of Germany (after my conference) and I did my best. The book gave me wonderful company. I remember sitting at Karlsruhe station waiting for the connection. I was reading this book with at most concentration. Suketu Mehta was explaining the life of a bar girl. The whole courting process, and suddenly I heard at least 10 dogs barking at hte same time.
Apparently some search party was out, there were these men in uniform with trained dogs. The dogs had been barking quite randomly at the passengers getting out the train. For a second, I looked around to realize that I might be looking a little suspicious sitting there alone. The dogs luckily showed no interest in the sweets I had in my backpack.

Germany was very tourist friendly, inspite of language issues. But then again, I possibly visited only the touristy areas. I got a chance to take treks in the black forest, eat the original black forest cake. Meanwhile, I reading about another life filled with murder and mayhem of black collared workers/ mafia in Bombay. The starking contrast of where I was ..and the city I had lived in most of my life left me with this unworldly feeling.

The disbelief of what I was reading and beauty of my surroundings, have made the whole experience quite surreal. Bombay and Germany..no connection at all..except in my head!

5 comments:

chote_nawab said...

The starking contrast of where I was ..and the city I had lived in most of my life left me with this unworldly feeling.

Well, Germany has had its share of 'unworldly feelings'. The memories of Hitler and the carnage in WWII still not forgotten. Countryside in Germany is beautiful, and same is the case in India (or anywhere else in the world).

I guess if you have only 2-3 days for sight-seeing in a new country, then you should not be reading a book and wasting this opportunity :)

Anil P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anil P said...

If 'cities' have souls of their own, not that given them by people inhabiting them, I wonder what Bombay might tell a German city.

ligne said...

chote_nawab: lets just say that I was not
"not" enjoying my time there..but wandering alone..will either lead to lot of thoughts..or lot of reading :)

anil p: hmm..I wish I had the chance to explore more..then maybe this is wud have had more content..

Anonymous said...

If cities had souls, then S(e)oul would be too arrogant to talk to anyone.