The moment you think you have a hold over life, life laughs back at you. “Gotcha!”.
After this incident, I was trying to earn some money. By the time one of the multinationals responded with an affirmative, I had already three jobs and two projects. It’s practically not feasible and it did not take me much time to realise it. I needed a job with an 80 hours contract and on a domain where I would like to have my master thesis. After a really brief hunt, I was plain lucky to be offered a role by Prof. E. Deluca at the Georg Eckert Institut, Braunschweig.
But a day after my first meeting with my new team, Braunschweig had its first cases of Coronavirus and we’re asked to work from home. Anyway we were scheduled to meet at Braunschweig once every couple of weeks. But the little that should have happened, couldn’t.
The pace of life was slowing down. I was quick to realise I needed a little more discipline to get all the things done. If each day I could tick a few off from my To-Do list, a lot more were getting added. It was stressful not only because of the pandemic or because of my new role and new technologies which I had to work with Or it wasn’t stressful just because I was scaringly low on the bank balance. It was a mixture of everything and waking up to an increasing number of cases, reported deaths and the ambience of fear. Add to it, the fear at the back of my head about my parents back home; while the actions of the state government (Bengal) were somewhat reassuring, absolutely nothing else was. The entire combination of all these was a little too much to process inside the head.
But this time also gave me newer opportunities to find myself. I remembered I loved origami as a child, perhaps without knowing what exactly origami was. I was the younger of two siblings and my elder sister learnt from her friend how to make flowers and frogs by folding paper sheets. It was new, interesting so I liked it. After years, I had fun making things out of paper at a Christmas party in Magdeburg. The children’s section did not really have children. Instead it had this thirty-year old man cutting papers into flowers and Christmas trees. I came back home and searched more on the internet. Creating birds, flowers, butterflies made me happy. Simple happiness, you see!
During March last year, I was introduced to Magdeburg 2025. While our first interaction was a little awkward (I had broken my eye-glasses and could hardly see a thing), we stayed in touch. This February, I proposed an event around social media, more around blogging and story building around Magdeburg. At the onset of the pandemic, I realised we could not make what exactly I proposed, we stayed in touch.
During the pandemic, the officer there wanted to know if it would be a good idea to create stories around people for a campaign around “#StayAtHome”, similar to a NYPost’s campaign to contribute to “Europe at Home” project initiated by another city Faro. I really liked the idea. The officer made it happen and somehow a couple of my friends and I got roped in! I’m not sure of the impact this campaign had, but Madhu and I have a nice different photograph together. I realise I really do not have photographs with any of my close friends. At a certain point in time, I never thought anyone would ever leave Calcutta and I had always been behind the lens. Now everyone has left Calcutta and I am not sure when I would meet them. So any photograph with my now friends, matters. This definitely does! Thank you Magdeburg 2025.
In another conversation, the officer proposed a social media meetup, very loosely based on what I proposed. Even during the pandemic, the office worked towards creating an event “Social Media Meetup #MD2025” and planned it on 19 June 2020, which is the “Digital Day (DigitalTag)” for Europe. The event was organised in association with the ministry of tourism, ministry of economy science and digitalisation, ministry of regional cooperation, MDCC. I was invited as a speaker. It was funny because I was the only non-German speaker in the 7 hour-long events. I felt privileged nevertheless. I felt a little happy to see the event listed on the homepage of DigitalTag! I must mention that I do miss the days when Kolkata Bloggers existed and I miss my team. The last three years have been very new and very different from what I had been. While I do believe that it is for the better, I do miss it at times!
Social Media Meetup #MD2025
Social Media Meetup #MD2025 Wie digital ist #Magdeburg? Das Bewerbungsbüro Magdeburg 2025 fragt am #Digitaltag20 nach! Viel Spaß!Posted by Magdeburg 2025 on Friday, June 19, 2020
Life during a pandemic definitely feels stuck, but Magdeburg and its people offer you something to cheer about even during these times. It could be people maintaining “social distancing” and partying in the park, or getting together to fill designated public spaces with art. Very recently Madhu, Indranil and I went out to hunt for ice creams. There was no other intent. We walked, saw people around, went to ice cream shops (plural), bought ice creams, had ice creams, and came back. Trust me, this simple exercise made me so happy! Also, I’ve resumed my morning walks and bird watching. It’s perhaps the most refreshing two hours each day can offer me. Let me end this post abruptly, because why not? Let me know what you would like to read in “Magdeburg: Life beyond studies (4)”. Be aware that now I am not really expected to do anything except eating, sleeping, pooping and working on my thesis. Drop me a personal text.