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Tipping scales

As soon as the job hunt and visa struggle showed signs of ending, the immediate feeling that set in after a year of grappling with these hurdles wasn’t, as I expected, relief and happiness. Strangely, its boredom. Having an immediate problem to solve, something urgent with an inflexible deadline was so stressful that it took all my mental capacity to deal with. Ideating not 1 but 2 businesses, while dealing with fluctuating pandemic anxieties in 2 home countries has been a journey. The strange part is that though the journey in its entirety has been an uphill battle, the daily snippets are boring. When we read the success stories, we read about the highs and lows. But I am beginning to ask myself if that’s really where the difference between success and mediocrity lies. Or is it in the repetitive tasks, the mundane, steadily checking off the admin chores? The middle. 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert? Is that really what it takes? Is that all it takes? Or are short bursts
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1 year on...

This will probably be a very difficult post to write, maybe culminating in little more than incoherent rambling. But I have to attempt it. Difficult though I find it to get any creative juices flowing in these dried-up times, I would probably regret not documenting these unique days. Straight up, I have to acknowledge with immense gratitude that I have been lucky in terms of my health and that of my loved ones. Even putting this fact down on paper awakens a sense of superstitious foreboding – “don’t draw attention to it and therefore cause fate to curse it”. Very Indian way of (not) celebrating luck, lest one spoke too soon. Speaking from a place of infinite gratefulness, I still want to recognize and accept that this is probably one of the most difficult times I, like many others, are facing. My heart breaks when I read the news, especially now that India is suffering so very deeply. But this post isn’t about the general, its not about Weltschmerz, so I’ll try to focus. My challen

The Good Life

  Fark. No other word has quite the capacity to capture the trauma that this year has been. Almost everyone, all across the globe has struggled with varying degree. The faint glimmer of hope in humanity is that Trumpturd has been voted out and vaccines are on the way. Even after being vaccinated, how long will it take for the trauma of this pandemic to recede? Listening to stories of people losing jobs, being stuck away from their lives for months on end or starving makes me wonder if our ways of living will ever be the same again. The events of this year are definitely forcing me to re-examine my life choices. What I always took for granted – being able to fly home within a few days should the need arise, was and in many cases remains indefinitely suspended. Should that call come, the one that is every expat’s worst fear, we take false comfort in the fact that travel is reasonably affordable and simple. We promise ourselves every year to do better, call more often and to visit mor

Keinen Service

Germany and the service industry – a match cooked up and baked to perfection in the very depths of hell.  Anyone who has ever tried to find information about a train ticket will know the horrors of spending hours looking on obscure and outdated websites about which service covers what region, what ticket is valid till which border, when do the cheaper time-bound tickets become valid and which of the many “offers” saves you a few cents on this expensive not-so-public transport service. The fact that Deutsche Bahn is a private company run for profit, on the one hand; while on the other hand the German State actively dissuades people from buying cars by providing little to no parking facilities in cities – simply boggles the mind. I have spent a long hours researching several websites on whether my SWB issued job ticket is valid to take me to the neighbouring state, and if not, which is the add-on ticket I need to buy.  Try to shift house and you are confronted with more proble