October 29, 2008

Homoeo'podi' (TBE # 1)

Well, I would not exactly include this incident under the topic "The Bhuvan Effect / TBE"), as it is not exactly an event where something that could not go wrong went wrong nonetheless. I have included it in the topic, as it was one of those events which reflect my "adventures" over the past 7+ years in Germany.

This occurred a few years back, probably sometime in 2002. A neighbour of mine from Vellore, India was travelling to USA, via Frankfurt. I had asked my mother to send me some 'podi's (spice powders) through him. What I did not know was that since his transit time was not more than 4 hours (or something like that), he was not entitled to a transit visa wherein he might leave the boarding area at Frankfurt airport, and I naturally could not enter the departure lounge as I did not have a boarding pass. Well, I went to the airport, was refused any access to this guy, and was disappointed. I was then directed to the Chief Duty Officer of the Frankfurt Int'l Airport, who said that only an emergency would entitle us to meet.

Naturally, I asked him what I should do to create an emergency. She was perplexed, and told me that an emergency usually "happened" and could not be "created". Hmm, but that gave me an idea. I told her that this friend was actually bringing some medicines for me. "What sort of medicines do you need that can not be obtained here in Germany?", she asked me. "Hmm, well, er, Homoeopathy medicines", I retorted. "Germany is the home of homoeopathy. Tell me the nature of the medicine, and I will decide if or not to let you get them from him." Oops, there I was caught. But not so fast...

I told her that I could explain her better if I actually had the stuff with me, instead of describing my illness that needed the medicines. Good, she ordered an airport officer to get into the plane and get the medicines from this friend. The "medicines" were brought to customs, where a small group of officers had gathered wondering at the various "podi's" that my mother had sent me. They suspected it was probably some kind of drugs. Allmächdna!!!

I was in a quandary, and had a good deal of explanation to do. "Where are your medicines?". "Yes, where are my medicines?" "And what are these powders?" Well, this is what i told them. "Oh my God, you have got the wrong powders. These are indeed not the medicines I was looking for. They are spice powders. This, for example is coriander powder. This one here is pulse powder (paruppu podi). To make this, you do this, bla bla bla...". But then hey, where are my medicines? The idiot forgot my medicines.

I guess the explanation was either too convincing, or too confusing. More probably the latter. It has always been my principle - "If you can't convinve them, confuse them". The customs official just said: Get lost!!! And did I have a message for my friend, which they could give him on the plane? Why, of course, yes!!! On a piece of paper, I wrote in English: "You idiot, where are my medicines? Am pissed off!!!" Immediately below that, I wrote in Tamil: "Hey, thanx. I got 'em".

Well, looking back at that incident now, I feel that I was taking too much risk for nothing. But then, that is the thrill in it. In my life, I have always done things just for the thrill of it, overlooking the underlying risks. And have suffered the consequences a few times, too.

But then tell me, what is Bhuvan if not the risk and thrill factor? No risk, no Bhuvan. No thrill, no Bhuvan effect!!! Carpe diem.

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