Once in a lifetime, Maybe twice

I have been itching to write this post- believe me, I just didn’t write because I was travelling. Last week, DAAD had taken us (WISE) students to Berlin for the scholarship meet this year, promising a lot of fun, food and information about future steps for Masters and Post-grad. Though the meet itself was okay, this memory will be cherished by me for the sheer fact that I made some amazing new friends there.

I, Koushik and Jaydeep (not to mention the random continuous talk on Pratirupa) started on Wednesday morning on the I/CE to Berlin, reaching at around 2:00 p.m. We meet up with the Bong (Insti Lingo: Bengali) junta from Dresden, and proceed to the hotel, NH Alexanderplatz together, where we are not allowed to check in, as the hotel does not have the rooms ‘ready’. We wait- Koushik with Dresden junta and I with some friends of Jaydeep, when I hear my name being called- funny, whom did I know among these people?

At long last, I see him- Rajat Dandekar. The idiot was going to come to Munich, but packed coming for some random reason, and the same goes for the trip to Rome. He has this guilty smile on him face, but then, who would be angry after meeting a good friend after a long time? We check into the hotel, and find that we have been allotted partners already- mine was some guy named Parth Tiwary. We part ways for now, and check into our respective rooms, to find one of the guys whom I was talking to downstairs is Parth! So far so good 🙂 I dump in my stuff for I hadn’t had anything to eat in the afternoon, Rajat being in the same boat. So we, along with our mates from insti- Joel and Gautam- proceed to some restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we come back to find our senior from insti- Asmita! And she has arrived with two other people, whom at first we didn’t bother to talk to- but as luck would have it, they would turn out to be great friends later!

Asmita (also a Bong) introduced us to the two people- Srinivasan and Prerna, both from IIT- Gandhinagar, Civil engg. Apparently, Srinivasan (ob a Tam- Insti Lingo: Tamil), has been dying to talk to some person in tamil, and voila! He finds me(us). We talk for quite some time- apparently, he was from Chennai, and knows everyone in insti- KG, Akshay, Dhur, Pradeep, and some other people like Abhay. So far so good! We then, after the “soft opening”, have our dinner together, when Asmita comes up with an idea of playing some game at night. Well, since many other people were going as low as to go on pub crawl, etc, we think hard, and decide upon a game of ‘Contact’.

Contact basically involves one person thinking of a specific word, and only revealing the first letter of the word. The other people- who will have to guess the word- throw clues with the word starting with this letter for everyone, except the “guesser” to guess. If two people think they are thinking of the same word, they say ‘Contact’, and reveal the word at a countdown of 5. If the “guesser” is unable to guess the word within this time, then he/she will have to reveal the next letter of the word. But if the ‘Contact’ is broken, or the people get different words, then the game moves on. The game continues till the whole word is guessed. We play this game for 4 hours straight, before parting off to our rooms for sleep.

Next day, we have a very good session by DAAD on cultural training, after which we go to the Indian Embassy for dinner. After dinner, we (Me, Rajat, Sreeni, Prerna, Asmita and later Balaji) shamelessly play antakshari (singing game: pliss to google). Passers-by notice us, smirking and giving all sorts of expressions, but hey, Indian embassy== we are in India! This was the best experience, with shameless singing after a sumptuous meal!

We continue this on the bus too, and after reaching our hotel, continue playing the game, and later switch to contact. One particular contact with “Sh” made Rajat give a cryptic hint: “Zindagi mein generally 1 baar karte hain, kabhi-kabhi 2 baar bhi! “. Hindi word with such a meaning? Seems he was actually talking about Shaadi , or marriage.We roll down in laughter, and Rajat keeps it up the entire game! Soon, we finish off the game, and get ready for tomorrow!

Next day, we are taken on a boat tour of Berlin, where we play (yeah, antakshari and contact!), and also have a look at the beautiful city. Once we pack the hotel, we (now comprising of the original group+ Kvr, Karthik, Sudeep and Ritwik) have lunch, and go to see the Berlin wall.

I should mention here to please have a look at the history first, else the wall is a lame piece of Graffiti. We then go on to see the Reichstag,  which was awesome, and then put peace in a lawn there by playing Mafia/Wolf.

Suddenly, we realize we are out of time for our trains, and the game concludes with I and Rajat departing for our trains at the Hauptbahnhoff. We tell our goodbyes, and with a tear glistening in our eyes, part our ways.

It had seriously been one heck of a journey together- it just can’t be put into words. But it was then I realized even people who were friends with you for two days can move you to tears!

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