Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coffee With Helmi...!

This post was one of the things I wanted to do upon arriving in India and needless to say I have never been more happier at pushing the "Publish" button !
I have always had a fascination for Flying though honestly it would take few more years before I get to fly a plane on my own (my childhood fantasy). Anyways, I was wondering just a while ago that sometimes during our travel junkets we bump up against distinguished fellow travellers and few minutes of conversation can leave you phenomenally enriched. There have been times when an informal chit-chat on a plane has made me feel ('enlightenment') as if I am attending an Open World conference :)

Speaking of bonds, last 9 hours have been absolutely fantastic for me !! As of now, I'm sitting here at the Luftansa VIP Lounge at the Frankfurt Airport. After a marathonic flight from US, I am so glad that I got time to breathe, to renew, to relax, to think, text my friends and to take notes (my fav past time). Call it coincidence or my good luck- two absolutely wonderful co-passengers I met on board Luftansa Flight LS-421 taught me more about Games People Play(You & Me inclusive) everyday to emerge as winners on personal and professional fronts. I was both awed and surprised at some of the facts and revelations during our conversations. Here are few excerpts:

Helmi Lanza is one of the most charming lady I've ever met. This lady-an Austrian who's now settled in Boston was heading to Austria to meet her family and was super excited about this seasonal reunion. The fact that her cousin (now settled in Australia) was flying over to Austria thrilled Helmi equally. Anyways, after exchanging plesantries - we talked about how life in the perceived land of opportunities[read USA] has been for the outsiders. I was surprised to learn that few issues I faced during my initial stay here resonated with those she faced years ago !!But on the brighter note, we realised that in general things have improved a lot ! Cuisine was the next area we discussed; and when I proudly declared myself to be a reasonably good cook she laughed out loud and asked me more about Indian Food, Spices, Tradition etc. We also shared some hilarious memories during our respective stay in US though from my side the conv. mostly centred around my now famous 'Cooking Experiments'. The conversation we had can be best summarised as "Culture Fusion" & thanks to Helmi - I so much wish to visit Austria now:). I was a little (or may be lil' more) disturbed since past few days for I had this dozen in Qs in my mind about some strange choices people make after moving to US and I showered her with them in anticipation of clues that might steer me towards the correct answers. Here are few Qs I asked:

  • Other than promise of a better and relaxed life, what motivates immigrants/non-immigrants to extend their stay in US?
  • What extra value people add to the society around them or to their country / family by contunuing their stay here? Inspite of so many opportunities for contribution - Libraries, NGOs, Teaching Volunteering, Event Management at College Festivals - people gravitate more towards new Malls, Las Vegas or Bowling - Why ?
  • Why do so many people restrict themselves to just their field of expertise? I mean being an expert is kool but why not try new things , take few risks and venture into the unknown sometime?
  • I have heard many folks that they miss their countrymen, their culture and feel lonely so much in USA. Is it true? If they seriously do - what are they supposed to do?

Very patiently she offered her logical explanations - I loved each one in totality except answer to last one ofcourse....she said Youngsters should get married soon to avoid boredom and related anxieties - Well, I am so glad my relatives back in India didn't meet her :) Guess I gotta finish this post abruptly for the Lufthansa Crew just made an announcement for boarding the connecting flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai - my heart is racing so fast at the mere thought of meeting family & friends after 2 years....something tells me I will have an amazing time in India !! Here I come....Yippee....! Oh and yes - wish you a safe and eventful trip Helmi!!

"What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story or a dream?"

No comments: