Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Indian Banquet

07 Sept 2007

The day ran past quite quickly. I had little time to rest since I left Raiganj on 28 Aug. I woke up at 9.30 a.m. and had a quick wash and breakfast. I and Sebastian then went to the market to get some things for an Indian dinner to some guests who had been invited. Julia, her Mom Barbara and Mrs. Monica, a friend of Barbara, were the cooks. We assisted the women by shedding some tears as we cut the onions. At 4.00 p.m. Mr. Rudolf Kuester, father of Julia returned from office and I and he left home immediately for a "guided" tour of Arnsberg (which literally means the Eagle's Hill). Known for my forgetfulness, I had failed to carry the camera. (Note : No demand for the photos of that day will be entertained.) Well, he guided me first to the Regional Office where he works as the Personnel Manager. The office was so neat and clean that even many of the hotel rooms in India would be put to shame. I just can't understand how did these Germans achieve this sense cleanliness. Surely, it requires stringent laws, merciless execution of the rules, severe punishment against violation, and finally sacrifice from the people to do something more for achieving greater things.

He walked me through the streets of Arnsberg, specially the Alter Arnsberg (Old Arnsberg) where emptied monasteries and churches, old schools, the Bell Tower, the oldest town hall and the resteraunt etc. At every point he explained to me the things that I must notice. By the time we returned the sun was falling down. We all joined together to prepare the tables. At 7.30 friends and well-wishers came into the house. We had 22 of them. The dinner began with some tea, chicken tikka and Naan, and continued with mutton kofta, rice, sambhar, vegetables, mango salad, coconut chutney etc. At the discussion we had wonderful sharing on life in India.

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