Days of our Lives!

September 2, 2007

Sir des gutenabends!

Filed under: My Dayz,Travels — Santhosh @ 12:03 AM

There is this friend of mine who goes for German classes on weekends at Max Mueller Bhavan on CMH Road. He called up today and asked me if I was interested in accompanying him to some event there today. I tried to explain to him how busy I was, and how this MNC I work in could go bankrupt if I neglect them for a few hours, and how it could rain which would then play havoc with my increasingly deteriorating health. But then he appealed to my altruistic side – free German food and drinks.
And so after starving myself for the day and running around to all the 4 messes in my neighbourhood to announce that I won’t be coming there for dinner as my wonderful, dearest, bestest, most-intelligent, most-brilliant friend was taking me to a German gourmet supper, we made our way to Max Mueller Bhavan.

There were a few events in place – slideshows, powerpoint shows, some wonderful speeches by visiting Germans, certificates distribution for the outgoing batch. Then there was a rock show by a band of 4-5 Germans. After an initial couple of pieces to tune up, they really turned it on with a few supposedly blockbuster numbers from their fatherland which drew ooh’s and aah’s from the German audience. Music transcends all barriers, and today was but another example of that. Just about everybody, Indian and German, in the hall was soon swaying to the beat. I also found to my horror how small the world really is. It’s not just music that transcends barriers of geography and culture. The fairer sex in Germany also sport these hand-bag thingies, wear way too many accessories, and from the way they wore matching everything (footwear to ear-studs to bracelets) I’m sure German men also should have a hard time of it all.

We then proceeded to do what we’d set out to do – show them Germans our Indian hospitality by sampling their food. The ‘refreshments’ were on the third floor and as we made our way in, it slowly dawned on me that these people had maybe already sampled our India hospitality – there was no dinner in sight, just a few bonne-bouche and Kingfisher and Red Bull for the interested. You have to see to believe the size of the mugs these Germans have a beer in. The titbits were some 4-5 varieties of these toothpick screwed food – like a kodamolaga, a piece of chicken, and a grape pierced onto a toothpick. Just think how many times we’d have to make your way across to even start feeling like you’ve taken something. The German gentleman sitting at the refreshments stand mistook me for Michael Ballack on my fourteenth visit and spoke something in Hitler’s tongue which ended with ‘Freund’ which is German for ‘friend’. I think I’m sure he didn’t mean “You have sauce dripping from your wrist and egg crumbs sticking down your nose, my dear friend”

How many times would we have seen party scenes on tv where elegant looking people holding glasses of wine mill around making small talk to everyone (you know, the scene before the hero turns up drunk and starts on a dappanguthu). I learnt today that this walking around business is because there are no damn seats available in the vicinity. The one or two that were unoccupied happened to be next to the genre of people I refer to as the imagine-me-as-ur-mother-in-law-lady. You know, the forty-fifty-ish young lady who’s in charge of an organisation, bob-cut hair, more than a few extra kilos, printed shirts, talks only in peter, laughs a lot and cracks jokes which make her laugh even more. And so I grabbed a Red Bull (needed the taurine energy) and walked around too, trying not to look awkward by standing rooted to a spot, telling a few hello’s to random people who I’m sure felt the same way.

And thus ended my attempt at trying to be the gentleman. I called up Andhra Mess and asked them to pack a few chappathis for me to pick up, and which am munching on as I type this. Nothing beats namma ooru samaiyal. Trust me.

But if anyone’s interested in German language courses, you may want to check these guys out. The basic classes are taken by Indians and as you go up the levels the Germans take over. From what I saw for the evening, these people look pretty capable and I know from personal experience that they are fun. Apart from the classes that run for 4 hours ever Saturday and Sunday, there are also a lot of events organised in the evenings – German film screenings, plays, puppet shows, music and dance shows, orchestras. So if you’re looking for some German culture (vaanga pazhagalaam) along with learning the language, this is the place. And even though I know you wont be interested in this, it seemed like every figure in the city had signed up for language classes.


1 Comment »

  1. The classes are very informal and it’s being back in college since classes go for 3-4 months. Fun.I went there.

    Comment by kumar — September 4, 2007 @ 9:19 AM | Reply

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