( I am in Germany in my daughter’s place. Her daughter was born on November 10th. I write mails to my mother ( Amma) and my father’s elder brother’s wife, my Doddamma ( elder mother ). I also send photos. My Doddamma is 86 and is mostly in her room and her home. My cousin’s wife wrote to me that my Doddamma was very happy to read and see the photos of my grandchildren which I send through WhatsApp. She says she can now imagine what they are doing. My mother too enjoys them. WhatsApp is such a blessing in many ways. It helps us to stay connected with our near ones, if we want to. 😊)
Dear Doddamma and Amma,
Last Saturday we went to Karlsruhe, a city about 43 Kms from Walldorf. As we came closer we could see all the signs of a city, taller buildings with glass fronts.
￼But what we don’t see here are lots of people. Maybe this was so because it was a Sunday. It seems very strange not to see people about because we are so used to seeing them at all times in our place. Another thing which I noticed was that people here mostly wear blue jeans and dark winter jackets. I don’t know how it is in summer. There is so much of colour in our place. The saris and salvar kameez and other dresses that we wear are so bright and colourful.
I had first read about this place in the delightful book, ‘The White Umbrella ‘ by Brian Sewell. There is not much about the place in the book but when I came to know it is not far, I felt it would be nice to see the place.
Vinay, Advaith and I left Walldorf at 11.15 and were in there by 11.45. We went on the Autobahn where everyone goes at a speed above 120kms per hour. Vinay was driving that way too much to Advaith’s joy !
Vinay parked the car not far from that palace grounds.
( Karlsruhe Palace (German: Karlsruher Schloss) was erected in 1715 by Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, after a dispute with the citizens of his previous capital, Durlach. The city of Karlsruhe has since grown around it. It is now home to the main museum of the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe.)
Most of the trees are bare now except for the evergreen ones.
￼There was an ice rink and many people, young and old were skating. We have to buy tickets. Vinay and Advaith are yet to learn ice skating, it seems there is coaching class in Walldorf. There was Christmas market nearby and Advaith enjoyed a ride on the merry-go-round.
The palace is now a museum. We went inside but not to the museum. Behind the palace there are grounds and a small lake. Advaith enjoyed running about and hiding behind huge trees. Many people were there sitting by the lake side and watching swans and ducks.
We ate something in a nearby bakery. There are varieties of bread. It was good to taste some of them. The bakery was by the main road and trams were going by at frequent intervals.
One old lady, in fact she looked very old came into the bakery. She was using her walker, it has wheels. She had coffee and a bread. She went away in the tram. In the photo she is the one in the black dress who is climbing in. We were back home by 4 o’ clock.
Tuesday evening we set up the Christmas tree which Vinay and Advaith bought a few days earlier. This is not the real one but looks very nice. We enjoyed decorating it. The real Christmas trees are evergreen trees. Here, in winter most of the other trees shed their leaves.
Kavya is fine, she is growing every day. She likes it when we talk to her and does not like it when she is left alone. Advaith is having Christmas vacations from tomorrow for two weeks. He enjoys listening to stories. I am now telling him Children’s stories by Ruskin Bond. Aravinda had sent it for him.
With lots of love to both of you,