It has been over a month in Copenhagen. I need to write a long narrative of interesting events and not so interesting events out here but then I am feeling all too lazy to do it now. I must say I am behaving more and more like a Copenhagen’er these days, riding a bicycle even if that means going for a 100 meters even in the rain, hardly caring about the weather and talking about it a lot, eating more and more bread and running at any God forsaken time and eating up your words midway off course but then that’s a story for another day.
I had off late been feeling the pang of durga puja festivals back home. I tried to search for any such celebrations in Copenhagen but came up a cropper. The nearest festivities seem to be going on in Berlin which sadly I do not have the time to go. So the nearest fellow Kolkata resident that I could rustle up was Madhura. Without sounding procrastinating, Madhura is suffering from I-hate-Copenhagen-weather phobia and an outdoor picnic was quashed by her. What we instead decided was to meet up at her Kollegium at 12 noon and cook up a lunch for ourselves and so everything seemed settled.
Well things were looking really nice today morning until my professor decided to call me up and thought of putting in a brainstorming meeting. The meeting went on till 12:30 noon when I realized I was all too late. A few aplogies and promises of reaching as soon as possible materialised but then something happened which prevented me from reaching on time. I was following the cricket match between India and Australia online and Sachin Tendulkar had come in to bat. There was no way I could leave then and I thought of extending the pretext of the meeting with the professor a bit longer.
I left around 2:15 and reached Tasingegade around 2:35. Its a real treat to bike in Copenhagen. If you don’t have bike and you are in Copenhagen and you are student then thou must be damned. Anyways, the name of the street was another one which I end up pronouncing than what it is. I have noticed a trend. Whenever I ask anyone an address by saying it aloud, everyone says “Sorry, I do not know.”. The picture completely changes when I write it down. Its usually a smile, “And its that way”. I have even had people chart out the route on google maps and print it out for me.
I was in for a hard luck as I loitered about the street a couple of times after a couple of people tried to convince me that I was on the wrong course and they had lived here for 40 years and there is no such thing for which I was looking. It seems I was destined to go around the same block twice before “haloaaaaaaaa, I could see the kollegium.”
I met an interesting African person on the lift. He asked me “Are you an Indian?”, I said “yes”. He said, “I love watching Bollywood movies. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan are my favourite actors. I love your movies. Have you ever acted in one yourself? “. The last question got me flummoxed hook line and sinker. I know I am movie quality 🙂 but then explaining to him the fact that movies do not choose all people in India on a rotation basis did not seem plausible in 10 seconds so I let the moment pass with a huge grin on my face. When I held out the elevator door for him to go out he said, “shukriya and dhanyawaad”(which means thank you). That was an interesting encounter. So here I was moving towards the common with the trepidation of a soldier treading a minefield.
As soon as I entered I could see loads of people (I think 8 of them) belonging to India(from all the 4 corners), Pakistan, Bangladesh. What excited me more was the fact that the food was all cooked and everything was ready, so I could just join in and eat. The aloo gobhi, roti, chawal, salad and egg curry was amazing. It was like an oasis in a desert of pasta and bread. I wanted to ask them to pack it for me but that seemed dangerous for my future chances. Thanks Sarika di, I owe you a ton. I must mention Aruna auntie whom we met, for the free chocolates as well.
The lunch and post lunch time discussion was completely worth it with jokes being cracked around and people guffawing to no end. I think I realized that I needed to talk less but then I have realized that countless times and then forgotten about it. On the way back till the bus stop, I had a real interesting discussion with Khalid. He is a P.hd scholar from Pakistan. A lot of new friends, a lot of new views and the same old traits of friendship made for the ingredients of an amazing Sunday afternoon.
Please note this happened on 10th October, 2010. So even though its posted today since I felt too lazy to finish it the last weekend and felt too lazy today to correct the tenses.
Corollary of Corollary: If the above does not make sense, read it again. If it still does not make sense and I assume you are not jobless, ignore it 🙂 .