Saturday, September 30, 2006

Back from the hospital

Returned to Prien and to Ariela's place this afternoon after a four day stay in hospital. Finally the operation which I was dreading is over and the bones are in place. The bad news is that the foot specialist identified a bone which the previous doctors had not identified, which was broken, which was worse than the middle foot bones being cracked. It was actually this that required a surgical intervention though having started it the doc also put some pins into the toes to keep those bones straight. The good news is of course that he spotted it at all, because if he hadn't it would have been a major disaster and called for a further operation after the bones had healed and would have endlessly delayed recovery.

It was quite an interesting event because they allowed me to choose between a local anasthetic and a general one so obviously I chose the local. Following Ariela's advice I agreed to having a kind of tranquilliser which would make me a bit sleepy and cut out any panic reaction. It worked fine. I woozily followed the whole process but didn't get knocked out as I had imagined I would.

The stay in hospital was also quite fascinating, the way those guys have everything worked out. Talk about German precision. Every half an hour someone pops into the room to take your blood pressure and pulse and temperature and to give you some pills and generally ask how you feel. I also had a physiotherapist coming in every afternoon to massage my leg. She was a really nice woman who had visited India many years back so we had long conversations about Rajasthan and Mumbai and Sai Baba and various other topics including psychotherapy, Freud and Jung.

Well it feels so good to be back in Prien now, with Ariela and the kids. Thomas has just flown to Spain for a concert on Sunday. He will be back on Thursday. I spent the afternoon playing with Felix, who was showing off his various toys including a telescope and a tractor and a boxful of small motor cars. Now he is in bed, Ariela is making some phone calls and we will soon have dinner.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Day by day

Since the weather has been really good these last few days (and today as well) my parents and I decided to go out this afternoon. Thomas and Ariela helped me down the stairs and onto the wheel chair and we rolled down to the nearby Chinese restaurant where they have a pretty good midday discount meal. Now am back home while A and T have gone, along with my parents to fetch Felix from his Kindergarten.

It felt good chatting with Sharat this morning when he called up from Bombay. We spoke a bit about our project. He wanted to know what exactly it was all about and I explained my views about working on a centre which would provide a safe environment in beautiful natural surroundings, for the work we are doing, in self awareness, in learning about oneself and the world. Many people in Samuel's group in August were interested in coming to India and contributing something to our mutual development - to an east west learning centre. The latest was Danielle who in February will be going to Hampi for her work but now after hearing about our plans for Neredu 2, wants to work with us there. So maybe - depending on how Lallu und Bullu respond - she will hold her own workshop there in 2009 and also a course in Healing, for people in India who are interested in this field.

Am puzzled right now by the fact that I dont have access to rich text in the format on this computer and so, cant play with colours or put in photos. If anyone has a solution and knows what I should do, please write in!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Settling Down

Slowly this is beginning to feel like home. It is as if the memories of my own home are almost fading and this is the only place I ever lived. Thomas has set me up with a laptop, a mac, which is pretty cool. It is right by my bedside and I have it all to myself. Talk about being spoilt.

My parents arrived in Prien day before yesterday and we have been having a nice time together. They are staying in a hotel not far off and they walk down every morning after breakfast. We just lounge around, chat, have a snack and some beer around midday and they push off for their afternoon nap and return in the evening. Ayse turned up this weekend, driving all the way from Cologne. It was great to see her but unfortunately she had to return this afternoon because she is expecting a guest tomorrow.

I miss being able to go out - miss walking around and the streetside cafes which is really the best thing about being in the west. But all in all it feels good to be here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Day in Prien

Turned into bed late last night after the session was over. This morning after breakfast we had another short session, to integrate some of what had happened yesterday after which Kiko and Maria left for home. Maria is a musician and plays in the same band as Thomas. They will be going to Spain in a few days to play in a concert. Kiko is a photographer and a really nice person. Have tried to sell him the idea of coming to Xanadu.

A long talk with Ariela after Kiko and Maria left, about all that has happened since I arrived here with my broken foot. We are discovering what it means, to love, to accept one another, to care about each other. And it feels good to also be getting to know Thomas better. After lunch Ariela and Thomas went out to do some chores including booking a hotel room for my parents who are arriving in Prien tomorrow evening. Meanwhile tomorrow morning I have an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon in Munich and we will know how the foot is shaping up.

For more check up the basicindia site:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blogging problems

I had actually written a couple of paras more than what showed in the last blog and I really dont know what haappened - they seem to have vanished into space.

Well there were some insights and some realisations, some feelings. Maybe I will write again tomorrow. Today Ariela and I are busy in a therapy session with a couple.

I hear sounds of something being fried in the kitchen. That is probably our lunch.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A New Twist

Well, life has its little surprises and this one happened on Friday night when after dinner with Sabine and her team at the pharmacy - I fell and fractured a couple of bones in my foot, just below the toes. Hmmmph. The bad thing about this is that I am now housebound for a while, that too far away from home. Sabine took me straight to the hospital where the docs had a look and put my leg in plaster (just below the knee - it's a cute blue coloured plaster!) and said I ought not to put weight on it. Things moved fast after that. I felt it was impractical for me to stay in Frankfurt because Sabine is up to her neck in work and looking after her own aged mother and so on. She is also away most of the day and being alone in a flat on the third floor without a lift, when you're not mobile is no joke.

I was getting ready to fly back home when Ariela intervened and insisted that I stay with her, that she was used to looking after invalids, that they had anyway been through a traumatic experience two years ago with Lulu (Thomas and Ariela's daughter) so that the house was well equipped for people like me and so on. She made it sound like the best deal I would ever get in life, so here I am and it is true. I couldn't have been better off than I am here, with Ariela and her family.

Although I have been given a pair of crutches I am not keen on trying them out. The left leg is too weak to withstand my entire weight and I dont want another accident. So Ariela has organised a super wheel chair with whose aid I am able to get around the house quite well. Dont know how long it will really be before I'm up and about but it might take a few weeks.

How do I feel? I guess it is very mixed. The feeling most obvious is gratitude and nothing but gratitude. To have learnt something about the nature of love and support. Gratitude to Ariela and Thomas who have made me feel so much a part of their family in the worst circumstances.

Listen guys I wrote a lot more but somehow it got wiped out so I am going to write again tomorrow - today there is little time!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Back in Frankfurt

On my last day in Berlin, Marlis and I walked down to the Ku'Damm which I discovered is not all that far away - the famous street with all the fashionable boutiques and restaurants. Marlis took me to this shop called "Lush" which she said I absolutely must visit. It is a truly intriguing experience - a shop which sells bio products like soaps, shampoos, massage oils etc. It is colourful and the air is filled with really delicious smells. The soaps have the texture and colour of huge blocks of ice cream, pink, green, yellow. Some are in the shape of blocks, others look like scoops of ice cream. Soaps from banana and pineapple and lemon (the real thing, not just artificial essence). I tried on a ginger perfume which Marlis wrinkled her nose at and which I didn't particularly like either. Unfortunately Sabine's computer here is about a thousand years old with no USB port so I can't download the pics. Too bad.

Well, now I am back in Frankfurt after a little over a year. Everything is the same only Sabine is in the midst of shifting so the flat is in a bit of a mess. (Not much more than usual - ha ha - but just a shade). Also because it was her birthday about a week back, there are all sorts of presents lying around, vases filled with flowers, bags, boxes of chocolates and sweets on every table top, birthday cards, in addition to newspapers, bills, and odd notes with telephone numbers scribbled on them.

Sabine's daughter Eva has broken up with her boyfriend Pegi and now lives on her own and seems quite happy. She and Pegi still meet occasionally for lunch or dinner. Julia is expecting a baby in the next two weeks or so, so Sabine is all set to become a grandma.

Being in Frankfurt is like coming home, maybe because I have been visiting Sabine for over 10 years and I am so familiar with this environment. We are meeting for lunch this afternoon so in a while I shall make my way to her pharmacy which is about a twenty minute walk away.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Berlin Workshop

There are about sixteen of us piled together in one large room, on mattresses and sleeping bags with two showers and one toilet between the whole lot of us. The house itself, with a nice wild looking little garden on the side, is on the outskirts of Berlin in a suburb called Frohnau. I dont know what it means to you to share a toilet and bath with fifteen others but to someone used to having her own bath and toilet and spending as much time communing with nature as she wants to, it is sheer torture. To always be on the alert for the next person who wants to use the loo or to brush his teeth or whatever. Not my idea of fun but well, it was all for a good cause.

The Berlin group was meeting for a weekend session so it was all in the name of bonding and community spirit (which seemed to be the main theme) and all these minor discomforts could be overlooked.

It's a pretty big group in Berlin, I think Marlis said there were over 50 people from Samuel's group, although about fifteen or so tend to turn up for the evening sessions which are held every Wednesday at 7.30. The scene is similar to the one in Bombay, with music and being still together and looking at areas of common interest. Except there is no official leader. And it was good to experience what it was like. Quite chaotic I must say and I realised then why it is necessary to have a person to at least convene a group like this because otherwise you spend literally hours discussing topics like how to go about meals, or whether to listen or not listen to music. On Wednesday evening for example, we spent at least an hour or more, trying to decide who would bring what to eat, and the rest of the time we spoke about why we needed to spend an hour talking about who would bring what to eat.

Well then another way to look at it is it is all part our learning process, even the chaos. There were a few people I knew, such as Barbara who had come to the Goa workshop in 2004, and Rosa who was there even earlier, and Ursula who had been there in Madikeri.

The most embarassing thing that happened was that at midnight on Saturday/Sunday, when everyone had already turned in and was fast asleep the alarm on my watch started to beep. At first I didn't even realise where it came from until I turned on my side and the beeping got louder. I managed just about to switch it off but to my horror it started to beep again at one o'clock at night and I had this vision of the watch beeping every hour and me staying awake to catch it before it went off. Obviously something had gone wrong with the alarm function and I would have been happy to throw the damn watch out of the window. I fiddled around for a while and luckily managed to de-activate the alarm after which the clock itself went wonky and it kept showing quarter past nine no matter how hard I tried to set the time.

So today I bought myself a new watch and am still busy admiring it and looking at the date and time every five minutes.

group website:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More on Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate

The last time I was in Berlin with my friend Bibsi, around 1990 or a bit before that, the infamous wall had just been knocked down and small bits of it were being sold on Berlin's most famous street, Kürfurstendamm Str. (popularly known as the Ku'Damm) by canny entreprenuers - odd shaped pieces of stone and concrete rigged up with bits of barbed wire to lend it an appropriately sombre look. There was a lot of excitement in the air then, people either complaining about the unification and fearing the worst or bubbling with enthusiasm about starting a new life. The difference between east and west was very obvious at the time. West Berlin, like the rest of west Germany looked spanking clean, and wealthy while the east looked drab and grotty, with broken down sidewalks and grass growing between the huge cracks. Also noticeable was the absence of advertisements - of the huge hoardings otherwise looming over buildings and street corners and the traffic lights.

Today the difference is more difficult to spot. When Marlis drove me around day before yesterday I was amazed at how much has been achieved in such a short time. We started out with a look at the western part of the city with its sweeping avenues lined with chic stores and hotels. And I noticed how the eastern part of Berlin has caught up with the west in the short span of a decade or a little more than that. Today you find huge department stores selling all kinds of luxuries, sweeping apartment blocks, fancy restaurants and cafes. The works. Buildings like the Brandenburg Gate and other monuments, which earlier gave the city an oppressive air with their blackened facades have now been restored and almost sparkle with health.

All the sights were pointed out to me - Brandenburg Gate which marks the border between east and west Berlin, which was the site for all the celebrations when the wall came down; the Berlin Cathedral; the lively square at Alexander Platz, the operas and theatres, various museums, huge parks including the "Tiergarten" - an extensive park in Berlin where Marlis said the Love Parade was held. The Love Parade started off in 1989 as a political demonstration in favour of peace and international understanding in Berlin through music. Earlier it used to be held on the Ku'Damm but after 1996 was moved to the Tiergarten Park which provides lots of open space for the crowds which attend it.

It has been an easy stay here with Marlis and Michael. Every morning at about 8:30, before going to work, Michael serves me coffee in bed, a huge bowl of it topped with frothy milk. It's the first time as far as I can remember, that I've been served coffee in bed. Marlis then goes jogging and I settle down to do my yoga exercises, after which she and I retire to the kitchen for a veeery leisurely breakfast, either of Muesli and cream or bread, cheese, salami and orange juice and of course laced with choice gossip and discussion about the work we do with Samuel.

Today has been one of those rather warm sunny days so we decided to have breakfast in a nearby garden cafe. I chose a Spanish omlette which was stuffed with all kinds of vegetables and even had some chilli and Marlis went for scrambled eggs. For some reason they serve 3 eggs per portion instead of the usual 2. Had a leisurely stroll back home and now she is gone for her sewing lesson and I am relaxing here at the computer.

Love Parade 2001

Monday, September 04, 2006


Berlin's Tagel airport is surprisingly small and homely. It takes about three minutes to walk from the aircraft to immigration and then to the baggage section from where the taxi stand is round the corner. The baggage took some time to arrive so we hung around and watched the other passengers and a couple of kids tottering around and trying to clamber on to the carousel, but their protective parents were around to prevent accidents.

We took a cab home to where Michael and Marlis live. It's a beautiful old building with large windows overlooking a tree lined avenue and the beige and white facade of a building right in front. The apartment is very homely and at the same time elegant, with parquet floors and creamy pastel pink walls in the dining room and off white walls in the drawing room.

We talked late into the night over a simple meal of bread, cheese, sausage, olives and red wine about all that had happened at the workshop. An email group is now in the making where we have been invited to write letters to each other sharing our views on our own and each other's personal development as well as where we stand together in the world.
Had a really comfortable night on the sofa cum bed in the living room and this morning Marlis and I chatted till just now, when she is getting ready to leave for her English language lessons and I am working on the computer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Greetings from Lüsslingen

Hello from the land of Samuel! Here I am at the moment with Jörg and Sabine, in Switzerland, around the corner from the farmhouse where the workshops take place. Today is our last day and it has been a very thought provoking journey with 70 others. The main theme has been to form a kind of global network for the kind of work we are doing. I spoke about Xanadu and our group in India generally and that we were looking forward to participation from others in the "Masters Group".

In a few minutes I'm going for breakfast after which we set off for the session which begins early today. So bye for now. More from Berlin where I'm headed this evening, with Marlis and Michael.