Freitag, 31. Dezember 2010

Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2011 from Agra!

Having travelled India throughout the last 5 weeks it is time to make a comeback on this blog. Pictures and some text of the many impressions will follow once I have more time. But since 2010 is coming to an end I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year 2011! Today we have arrived in Agra after 9 hours of adventurous bus driving and will celebrate the evening at the Taj Mahal. The view from the hotel's rooftop is spectacular. All the best and see you again in 2011!!!

Mumbai sunset - city with a thousand faces

Beautiful Karnataka

Mittwoch, 17. November 2010

Diwali 2010

Diwali is a loud, spiritual and colorful festival. It is what Christmas is for Christians. The biggest religious celebration and the time of the year when families reunite at their homes. If it had not been for the upcoming exams, the campus would have been deserted. But this year most students stayed, which allowed us to experience this unique Indian holiday with all its colours, tastes and activities.

Donnerstag, 4. November 2010


Sometimes I find it hard to believe I am in India. When exam stress is high and I am spending nights studying boring scripts, I could well be anywhere else in the world. That is why I like taking pictures. They show what I have long gotten used to. Single moments and impressions, may they be beautiful, interesting, shocking or just utterly strange. They catch what is going on around me, not letting loose even when daily routine comes out on top. I can well leave it to these pictures to tell the story. This time the story of historic Hampi and its people.

Montag, 25. Oktober 2010


Timbaktu is a 3-hour drive from Bangalore. Early Sunday morning we are sitting in a cab together with Prof. Sastry. Today we want to visit the small village in Andhra Pradesh that lives from the cultivation of groundnuts. It is a big day for the farmers, because they will inaugurate their first production building. Facing difficulties to make enough money for survival they have organized in form of a co-operative and together invested in the new building. Here they want to sort the groundnuts according to quality and later on  also further process them.

It is a success story. The non-governmental organization (NGO), which our professor has founded, has provided the farmers with a loan for the building. The farmers themselves had accumulated enough savings in order to buy the necessary land. If everything goes according to plan, the investment will pay off within two to three years and thereafter the farmers will enjoy greater income. With greater income will come higher security, less vulnerability to droughts or illness and better living conditions. If this project will turn out to be a success, the concept might be a role model for the fight against poverty in all of India.

The farmers have gathered to celebrate this important day that promises to improve life in Timbaktu and the surrounding villages. The village head enters accompanied by a priest. They have brought flowers and candles with which the machines are blessed. The priest walks around and mumbles verses in Sanskrit, the Latin of India. We then sit down in a circle and the project is discussed. Unfortunately the farmers talk in Telugu, so I can´t understand what is being talked of. But apparently there is much to discuss, the meeting lasts for almost two hours. As I get to know later, the details of the project were discussed. Which farmers are involved, how to deal with the limited availability of electricity, under what conditions to rent the facility to other farmers and how many sacks of groundnuts to process daily. With a round of tea and cookies the meeting is declared as closed. The farmers are in agreement and seem to be excited about the months and years to come.
It is experiences like this that I have come to India for.

Dienstag, 12. Oktober 2010

Munnar Tea

Munnar is a small city at the heights of 2.400 meters in the Sahyadri Mountain range of Kerala. When our bus drives up the serpentines we are stunned by the color of this place. Green hills as far as we can see, tea plantations everywhere.
Year around the tea is harvested by women which scramble up the hills and collect the leaves in bags. Their harvest is then weighed on the raodside and driven to the nearby tea factory where the leaves are oxidated and dried. Looking at the picture to the left, who would have thought that harvesting tea is such a strenuous process? 
The city itself is bustling with life. Even though it is a small place also here rikshaws are omnipresent and give Munnar the hectic touch that is typical for Indian urban areas.
Next time I boil water for a tea I will certainly think of this place.

Freitag, 8. Oktober 2010

Peaceful Kerala

Gliding through the endless channels of backwaters in Kerala, Southern India, one cannot but wonder how much closer it could get to paradise. Over the full length of 900km umpteen rivers wriggle through dense palm tree jungles. The  quiet scenery conveys an incredible atmosphere of peacefulness and yet at the same time the watersides are filled with life.  

Locals take baths, wash their clothes, go fishing or collect coconuts. They have built their houses right next to the water, inbetween the palm trees, have opened up little shops or ayurvedic centers for the tourists passing by on their boats. All this is ten hours away from Bangalore, and yet a completely different world.

Discover the most fascinating waterworld on earth.
Visit: and

Dienstag, 28. September 2010

Behind the Scenes

They are invisible. In the background, quietly working, probably more dutifully than any of us has ever worked. The IIMB campus would not be the same without its countless staff tirelessly ensuring that everything goes according to plan.

Up on the second floor in a small corner a man hits the pedal of his mechanical script-binder. Meanwhile his colleague patiently turns roti (typical Indian bread) over an open flame to serve us students for lunch. Up to twenty women at a time move centimeter for centimeter across the cricket field. Their job is to gather the newly cut grass and they only take breaks when students come to do sports. Also without the ubiquitous security guards campus life would not be possible. They guard the main gate, roam through empty corridors and protect the construction sites. Here, small teams of workers slowly but steadily create new rooms and hostel blocks.

And there are many more of them. Delivering the daily newspaper ( 2 Eurocent), selling sandwiches, cleaning, making photocopies, cutting hair (80 Eurocent) or doing your laundry. Labour in India is cheap, maybe a little too cheap. As omnipresent as these people are as little does one take notice. Most of them work quietly, because they are either not supposed to make contact with students or they don´t speak English. Only on the rare occassion of a direct encounter a whole new world opens up. Happily they pose for a picture and are eager to get to know more about you and the world you are coming from. It is not a secret that there are divisions in the Indian society, but it is shocking how easy it is to get used to them, to accept them without a second thought.

The little fellow on the picture to
the right is not a member of staff,
by the way. He rather seems to be
complaining about the food he
gets for lunch in the canteen.