It is a new experience for me—my two German friends. Recently, there was a marriage ceremony in my family, that of my nephew, who is on a post-doctoral research in America, soon to move to Canada. I am not writing this article to narrate the marriage ceremony-main, for, by the time of my age this has become a stale repetition of what I have seen over hundred times, including my own. My nephew, here the groom, is a high achiever, and has internationally well placed friends. But my article is meant for his two German friends—Simon Hustler and his mother, aged 31 and 63, who amongst others, attended the wedding. This German Mother- son duo took the centre stage of attraction, by their involvement and participation; they studied the minutest part of our traditional rituals and took part in it wherever possible. They are strangers to our culture, but their desperateness to be part of it/ grapple it, provided us a lot of mirth and enjoyment. Although, there were other three Portuguese girls as invitees, they were not able to attract public gaze as they did not take part in the ceremony actively.
I won’t forget the friendship established between us. In the marriage ceremony, there was a great attendance of invitees; these two foreigners won the heart of all. Simon is a research scientist, in a German institute, his mother was a practising doctor. I had endless talk with him. I am basically a curious man, which my age of 68 has not been able to deem. Out of my curiosity, I asked them a lot of question. Communication was not difficult as Simon’s English was very good for our standard while his mother, an assistant to a dentist, did not know English. Simon told me that after completion of his schooling years, he did job for two years; then he went back to studies for 3 years; again to work for a restaurant for one year, after that he is now on a research. All these jobs in between, was to finance his world tour. … While my nephew who was being married, was finishing his research, Simon joined the research in his institute, thus they became friends. His topics of research, as I understood, is on mitochondria, which is the power house of a human cell. This sort of taking breaks in studies, to go for job for earning money, is not possible in our Indian system, had it been so, our people would find opportunities to continue studies. I understand this would enrich the individual, similarly the nation. Providing maximum opportunities to students by the Govt, only strengthen the nation. A nation is great because its people has greatly achieved education.
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While writing this article, mother and son duo, after completion of their attendance in marriage ceremony, moved to Darjeeling, and then they will go to Assam, all for travelling. They have a healthy habit of travelling; in his young age of 31, he already travelled Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Morocco, rest I do not remember. As he said, everywhere he mixes with local people intimately, to study their culture. I asked him to write a book on travelling recording his experiences. People will like it. I shall be first to buy the book.
In the course of four days they have won our heart, I have understood again that human being from any part of the world is capable of same emotions, which is a great hope and have all the potential to save the mankind in spite of many animosities. The complete marriage ceremony has been widely photographed by professional photographer; add to this scores captured by mobile phone of various denominations. Their mingling with us, and memories, have been recorded in the photographs. Un-knowingly, these two foreigners have become our family members. I learnt a lot from them, some of which will help me shape our Youngers.