Last Letter from Germany (Slice of Life)

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( I¬†am in¬†Germany in my daughter‚Äôs place. Her daughter was born on November 10th. I write mails to my mother ( Amma) and my father‚Äôs elder brother‚Äôs wife, my Doddamma ( elder mother ). I also send photos. My Doddamma is 86 and is mostly in her room and her home. My cousin‚Äôs 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. ūüėä)

                                          14-1-18
Dear Doddamma and Amma,
Days are going by, next Thursday I will be on my way back. Advaith keeps asking me how many days are remaining for me to go back. Then he asks why I cannot stay for more days. I told him I cannot stay for more days because I don’t have permission to stay longer and his ajja( grandfather) and mava( maternal uncle)¬† are waiting for me. I told him he and Kavya can come for holiday to Udupi.

Kavya is growing everyday. She responds to our voice and smiles at us when we talk to her. She also moves her hands and legs when we talk to her. The tone of her crying has also changed. Fortunately she sleeps well at night.

I had written to you that Advaith and I had got a stick when we had gone for a walk. The other day he and Gayatri made a scarecrow. Gayatri cut the stick into two pieces. Then they took a box and stuck white paper on it and made a face. I am sending you a photo. It looks nice with a jacket, scarf and gloves.

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Every afternoon I have been going for a walk here. Some days I go towards the town centre and some days towards the open grounds just outside the town limits just five minutes from Gayatri’s house. There is an airfield where small gliders take off and land. There are open grounds with paths where people go for walks. I see cyclists, joggers, mothers pushing the prams and many people with their dogs.

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There are fields too where different crops are grown at different times. In one field turnips were growing, some were as big as coconuts.

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Yesterday morning Vinay, Advaith and I went to Heidelberg, about 15kms from Walldorf to see the Heidelberg castle . We had been to Heidelberg much earlier and had just walked on the main road of the old town. We walked on this street towards the castle.There is a small mountain train called Bergbahn in German. We have to buy the entrance ticket there . There is a road too.

Long back we had gone to Palani , to the temple of Lord Murugan on top of the hill in such a carriage.It was called a Winch.

This castle was built in the year 1214.  A large part of the castle was destroyed by lighting strikes in the years 1537 and 1764. We walked around and from the top we get a beautiful view of Heidelberg town and the Neckar river.

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There is a Pharmacy museum which is fascinating. We can go to the cellars of the castle which has the world’s biggest wine barrel that holds 220,000 litres of wine.

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Many tourists come to the castle. It was a nice experience.

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On our way back we ate ice-cream. I ate pista ice-cream in a cone. I was wondering what server was doing and the end result was so beautiful.

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On our way back we went to that Asian shop . Gayatri buys Sona masoori rice, dals and vegetables when they go there to buy rice. I saw boiled rice in 5 kg packets and our spices and snacks too.

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15-1-18

Here¬†there are forest lands between towns. They are not wild forests. People go cycling and walking here. No vehicles are allowed inside. From Advaith’s kindergarten, teachers take children to the forest once a month. The children like this outing. Yesterday afternoon Gayatri and I walked in the Wald (forest land) not far from her home. Now most of the trees are bare. At other times it is green and beautiful. There are lot of wild flowers.

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16-1-18

Today afternoon I went for a walk around Fluggelande for the last time. It was very windy and fields were harvested. I think they are turnips but I am not sure.

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I am leaving on the 18th morning. I will write after I return home.
With love,
Lakshmi

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