Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Does Affection Need a Language?



My German colleagues had a holiday from 20th December for Christmas and New year celebrations. My whole office was closed between those days. Due to security reason it was not allowed to work alone in office. So I was forced to take holidays. But my Indian colleagues did not have the Christmas holidays. So it had been decided by my manager that I would work from home. So virtually I was working for office.

For New Year celebration my friends in Göttingen had decided to go to Hamburg on 31st December. They called me to come with them. But we had an important delivery in our project on the same day. So I had to work day and night from last few days and I was damn tired due to irregular sleeping hours. In that situation it was difficult for me to travel to Hamburg. I decided to stay back in Göttingen. I wanted to be part of that fun, but my work was not allowing me. Finally we finished our work and delivered successfully.

Previous day one of my German friend Elina had called me to invite to new year celebration in her home. She was basically from Kazakhstan, but now staying Germany from last 10 years. As till 1994 Kazakhstan was a part of Soviet Union, so I can say she is Russian also. She had told me the new year celebration will start at 7PM. 

I was going to somebody’s home so it was not a good idea to go without gift. But like Christmas eve, even on New year’s eve also all the public transport, all the shops, markets will be closed. By the time I had finished my work it was 5PM. All the market was closed. None of the gift shops were open so that I could get a decent gift for her family. But somehow I had decided not to go with empty hands. I went to petrol bunk and from the kiosk I brought one French wine bottle, few chocolates and  Ice-cream.  But somehow I was not satisfied with a gift what I was giving. I came to my home and prepared some Indian pakoda’s. So all this took about two hours. Around 8PM I went to Elina’s home.

They were waiting for me. Party was in Elina’s Grandparents home. As Elina’s parents were out for work. So in the home Elina, Her grandparents, two of her cousins (Leon and Eliza) were there. Once we entered I had taken my shoes unlike other German family’s where you don’t need to take out your shoes.. It was beautiful home and beauty had been added to it by decorating with true aesthetic view.  It was a home which everybody aspires after hectic office work. This was home where anybody would forget their office stress. Little bit Russian touch was there to home. 

By the time I reached to their home dinner was ready. After 10-15minutes talk straightaway we went to dinner table. When I saw a dinner table, it left me with awe expressions.it was so much decorated that I was filling that I will have royal dinner at some five star hotel.  The food was cooked in Russian way. Atleast 9-10 variety of dishes were there. Whole table was looking awesome. When I saw variety of food, my hunger had increased exponentially. Entire food was cooked by Elina’s grandmother. She served the food, I felt that my own grandmother is serving the food…  It was completely different and tastiest food for me…Elina’s grandfather was also insisting for food and drinks.  While having dinner Elinas’s grandfather sang a song, which left me with astonishing expressions:

“ichak dana bichak dana dane upar dana, ichak dana
chhajje upar ladaki nache ladaka hai divana, ichak dana”

Elina’s grandfather was a big fan of Indian veteran actor Raajkapur.. He told he is big fan of Madhubala as well. In his younger days he saw many Indian movies, especially Rajkapur’s.
During dinner we chatted their life when they were in Kazakhstan. His brother was in Soviat Union army and fought against US army in Germany during cold war period. He told me about the problems which they had faced in Kazakhstan. We discussed about the culture what they have there.

After dinner, according to their tradition it was a Tea or coffee time. So they prepared a tea with Sulemani style. In that, they boil the water with tea powder. I saw the metallic kettle in which they were preparing tea, it reminded me old Persian movies…..They don’t put sugar or milk in tea. Once that tea is filtered, you need to have that tea while eating some sweet. I had never tried that way. But it was nice. We were having a tea in living room. Some Russian music was going on TV at the background. Russian family, Russian music, Ruassia way of drinking tea.  

It was already 10.30PM. I thought to leave, But they insisted to stay there for some more time as fun is yet to begin. Then they told for every Sylvester all their family members come together. Have a dinner and drink together. But this time everybody is busy so they could not make it. With tradition on Sylvester  they play a Russian game called “Loto” on money for fun.  They told the rules to me. It was pretty easy and funny. In first 2-3 round I lost 40-60 cents.. Having a Sulemani Tea, playing Loto was a fun.

We played Loto till 11.55PM. Then we saw from the window that fireworks have begin already….at midnight we wished everybody and we went down in for fireworks. Elina’s grandfather already brought the crackers. It was fun to lit the crackers. I was feeling that as if I am celebrating indian festival Diwali. In 2012 I was not with my family for Diwali celebration, So I missed all the litting crackers(with my nephew’s and niece) backhome in India. I was enjoying this. Firework was so amazing that, it was one of the best fireworks ever I have seen. 
After watching 30-40minutes breathtaking fireworks, we went again in the home and started playing the Loto. We played the Loto till 3AM in the morning. 

At 3 I decided to go to my home. I was about to leave the home, and Elina’s father just came from work. I wished him also, It was sweet surprise for me. I thanked everybody and left the home. Besides it was a fun spectacle, the light of pyrotechnic displays also provided a surrogate sun during the dark Silvester night.

The important thing was in that home only Elina knew English. All her family members were speaking in Russian. I did not know even single word in Russian language. Elina was an interpreter between me and her family. She used to translate what I wanted to say to his family and vice versa. Neither I knew Russian nor did they know English. But everybody in the world understands the language of love. So I could make out what Elina’s family wants to convey me. There is no hospitality like understanding. 

Being away from home from 5 months, I was feeling I am in my home only. As Elina’s grandparents love resembled to my grandparents at backhome. For me the spirits of all sorts charged through the night

I would say it was a best evening I had in Germany. Homely food, grandparents love, younger kids and company of Elina. Though I had spent only 6-7 hours with them, but footprints marked in my heart for forever and the bond for lifetime. If you want to share a love in life I would say you don’t need a language. affection itself has its own language.Guten Rutsch!

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