Guest diary #2

Crossing the bicentenary mark, publishing 200 posts calls for a celebration! And to add cheer to this milestone this post features a jet-setting, smart-working, truly cerebral and quaintly Indian travelista! Mahi Payardha our guest on this occasion has clocked half a decade in Germany, Malaysia and Sweden, sometimes working and mostly having a ball! A proud IITian, graduating from India’s premier engineering institute, she currently tinkers technology at Ericsson. Just out of a long vacation bouncing around Europe with family, we pop her a few questions while she pops the champagne!

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1. A building that has influenced your life, which, when, where, how and why?
Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). This magnificent domed Baroque church was destroyed during second world war and several other such buildings, which make the Dresden skyline on the bank of river Elbe.
This entire stretch of the old town was completely rebuilt with all the details intact. I was amazed at how much can be brought back after being completely destroyed and how no matter how we try it will just not be the same it was when it was originally built. There will always be the taint or left overs of the new artist. This was quiet a learning for me. It has changed me as a person. To know that change and healing is possible. Even rebuilding is possible but there will always be a tiny bit that will remain but as a beautiful scar.

2. Your most treasured life lesson in a line, one line.
There are so many. Cannot choose one. Have two
i. Anything that can be solved with money and time, is not a problem.
ii. No matter, where we come from, which language we speak, how much money we have, what colour our skin is and how we dress and eat, at the end there are only two kinds of people in the world. Men and women

3. The bestest country ever, that you have been to and why?
a. Germany. They have so much history, so many stories, guilt, structure, craziness, rain, snow, sun, sadness, confusion, rules, mountains, plains, rivers, sea, castles, forests, friends and leaders.

4. What makes you feel beautiful?
Laughing or smiling and the cold breeze on my face when the sun is shining.

5. Place, clothes, profession. Which of these maketh a person?
None of these or all of these, not just a single one of these.

6. Describe a real place that relaxes you, makes you happy and contended?
An island next to my house. Sitting on a blanket in the sun, with some snacks and a drink and watching the water hit the tiny beach in a rhythm. This relaxes me, makes me happy and contented.

7. Your most endearing travel story, in preci, specifically 110 words?
I was travelling to a small town in Finland called Turku also called åbo in Swedish, for work. Very few Finnish speak English and it turned out to be a lonely and boring trip. The next day at work started off good but then I got really sick. So sick that I could not work any longer and decided to fly back to Stockholm that very evening. I was so distraught that I wasted the company money for nothing, irritated and home sick. On the way to the airport in the taxi, I suddenly burst out laughing and the poor Finnish driver not knowing what got into me asked something and I just said “Tikka Masala”. He tried to communicate more but couldn’t get through to me. What had happened was that I saw on the directions board, that there is a city called “Masala” in Finland.

Everything suddenly felt so comfortable cause I realized that even if am far far away from home in the middle of nowhere I would for sure find a part of me, my home and my identity all over the world.

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