This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
It is 5.00 AM. Abhinav gets up excited to begin his weekend. Peloton Cycling club members meet on Saturday morning for biking through various green trails during spring and summer. Today, they are going to bike 6.5 miles in Grunewald forest, which is spread over 7400 acres on the south- western side of Berlin. He gets ready, completes his breakfast and leaves his apartment with his bike and helmet. Four years after completing his engineering, he has learnt how to be organised – thanks to staying alone in Germany, first for completing his masters at Bayreuth and later working in Berlin. He sets the rack on his 14 month old Volkswagen Passat and places the bike on it. After clicking a mandatory selfie, he starts driving towards entrance to Grunewald forest biking route where he’ll meet other cycling enthusiasts at 6.30 AM. The forest is 9 miles away and will approximately take 30 minutes from his place; the navigation would ensure he reaches there on time!
Abhinav Lodaya completed his engineering in computer science from VJTI in March 2011 and was already prepared with his GRE score at the time of graduation. Germany excited him – he loved cars and was interested in doing masters in automotive engineering after taking the wrong field in engineering. In order to prepare himself for living in Germany, he had started learning German since 2010 in his free time. He graduated from University of Bayreuth in December 2013; his parents had travelled from Jaipur to attend the ceremony. The glow on his happy face made them realise he had taken the right step. Their faces beamed with pride when they got to know he was placed as a consultant in Booz & Co. in auto motives arm. His still remembers his dad exclaiming, ‘Fantastico!’
26 months into his job and Abhi couldn’t have asked for more – he loves his work, his boss adores him, he is the first employee to get promoted within 8 months of joining the organisation, he owns his dream car, travels frequently and works closely with production teams of various auto motive companies! He is extremely good with people – that’s a great asset to have in the field of consultancy. Over this period, he has also cultivated and honed an interest in photography and biking.
He misses India a lot – for his heart still lies there. He misses his parents the most. But he is extremely grateful that they allowed him to settle abroad. He is part of Non Resident Indians group in Berlin who meet up to celebrate festivals together and is proud to be a part of this closely knit community.
He reaches the entrance to the biking route of Grunewald forest, parks his car and gets ready for biking. As he puts on his helmet, his cell phone starts buzzing. He gets worried; afraid that something bad has happened at home – for his parents know he goes biking and do not call on Saturday mornings. He picks up the call from an unknown number in India; listening to the voice on the other side, his face goes pale, he gets restless, memories of 2011 start flashing across – its a call from his college friend Madhu.
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