3. train

Discovering city (Day 1280)

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To discover a new city you have to experience the public transport. I did not travel by the train or by the bus on my last trip to Berlin but this time I wanted to experience the journey. We boarded the train from a station close to our home.  A small walk, a small bridge and we were on a deserted station. The train arrived empty as per schedule and as I found a window seat to watch the city go by I wondered where the people of Berlin were hiding.

Within ten minutes we had arrived at our destination and I was happy to discover a few passengers on the train and a few more at the station.  As I climbed the over the bridge to make it to the city I thought of Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hain where Preity Zinta is deserted on the station harassed by a vagabond until Farhan arrives in time to save her from the scare. I asked my companion if such incidents are common in Berlin and he clarifies that as such there are no beggars in the city “And if in case they are found the police is alerted and they are taken away at once”.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

2. a. mall 1

Malls are identical

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In the good old days for most Indians traveling abroad meant spending all your time in the malls. The hostess dropped her guests at a mall before she went to work and when she met them up during her lunch break we dumped the shopping bags into her car.

Post lunch usually made up of fast food, the hostess went back to her office and we, back to serious shopping. The adventure lasted till the hostess was ready to pick us again and we drove for a special sit down dinner, which was incidentally the only time we chatted and bonded.

2.b. mall 2Back home and back to our rooms, we reopened our shopping bags and evaluated our expedition. We counted our notes – dollars/ pounds/ euros and made a note to slow down the following day. We didn’t that time but we have now. Shopping is no more an attraction because all malls are identical and one gets almost the same things everywhere.

Before I leave the mall I make sure to take a picture against the festival backdrop. I have attended so many international film festivals over the decades, this time I am not in a mood for cinema.

@bhawanasomaaya

1. berlin

Hello Berlin (Day 1279)

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The last time I visited Berlin was in 1987. I was in London for work and decided to take a halt for a few days. My brother-in-law is settled in Germany since 1969 and is well acquainted with the history of the nation.  In the forthcoming days he gave me a tour of the city and explained the significance of the wall in the lives of the Germans.

 

We carried a camera with us on that day but did not take many pictures because it was difficult requesting a stranger to click a picture for us because very few spoke English in those days. Visiting the city after almost 37 years I discover that English has become a second language and strangers are far more cooperative in   clicking pictures for you.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

16.02.18

Constitution for all (Day 1278)

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Is it possible to frame a constitution that will be fair to all, how can we accomplish that? I believe that the only way we can accomplish it is by being personally responsible. As a woman and as a journalist I have led a secure life and feel fortunate about it.

The world is changing every day and to make our present and our future secure everyone, the media, the government, the police, the law enforcement agencies will have to be sensitized to the victim. We have to all jointly ensure that horrific crimes against women are penalized.

In my opinion cinema in present times has become a major influencer be it Toilet Ek Prem Kath talking about hygiene or Pad Man about menstrual hygiene.

@bhawanasomaaya

15.02.18b

Eliminating Discrimination (Day 1277)

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Discrimination is personal and unless you have faced discrimination you will never exercise it on others. Eminent speakers like Justice Darius Khambata, Sudheen Kulkarni, Divya Alexander, Harish Iyer discussed discrimination against women, media, disabled and most important, against LBGT community. Moderated by Harish M Jagtiani the sparkling discussion was a prelude to the 19th Moot Court Competition 2018.

15.02.18It was a long evening but the audience was patient and the questions kept pouring in so one had to wait and answer all the queries.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

14.02.18

Embracing Diversity (Day 1276)

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D M Harish Memorial Government College has for years celebrated Moot Court which is very popular and actively supported by leading law firms. Prior to the Moot Court, they host a panel discussion at Mumbai University’s Convocation Hall and I was privileged to be a part of that discussion this year.

The event started on time with lamp lighting and all the panelists took the position on stage. I was happy to be seated amidst my fellow journalist Siddharth Bhatia and young politician Milind Deora. The moderator began by asking all the panelists what was their definition of Diversity and it was interesting how all the speakers perceived the topic and connected it to personal anecdotes. The GLC students guarded the floor and the audience comprised distinguished lawyers.

 

@bhawanasomaaya