To my teachers, with love (and repentance)

Sometimes you repent for being what you are. And that’s pretty painful. I repent for my habits, for the way of my life and for being what I am. Because that made me lose something that was too precious for me.
Yesternight I resolved to get up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, I got up at 7. My bus is supposed to halt at 8:45 at my stop. It came at 9:03. Yesterday it came at 8:37. My office starts at 9:30. I punched in at 9:48. I was to submit my task to the client at 11, I sent it at 12:30. The client sent a note of appreciation for quality and punctuality (seriously!) Yesterday, I took my son to the doctor’s clinic. We had decided to be there just when the clinic opens to avoid getting delayed (as we both had to go to work just after that). We reached there half an hour late… and saw the clinic still closed. After 5 more minutes the peon came sleepily and pulled open the shutter. The doctor took 20 more minutes to start with his work.
You know what… That’s India. We Indians are so lax. We take our own sweet time to do things and never hesitate to keep others waiting. Somehow, we have learned to wait as well. But taking Indianism in my character makes me repent. I somehow forgot. Playing with punctuality is only allowed in India.
Early in the year 2009, I met with Karin Daniella, an Austrian Psychotherapist and avid Bible reader and teacher, who wished to learn Hindi. I met her at one of the language and culture exchange sites called, mylanguageexchange.com. Soon, we got along very well. I was (and am and with this attitude will remain) a beginner in German and wanted to learn it a bit more. We became great acquaintances and shared bits about our family too. Karin told me that her husband Alexander was on another language exchange site called Livemocha.com and even he is willing to learn Hindi. In return, I asked my husband to make friends with him.
Without much ado, we started chatting on Skype. Later in April 2010, we had our first Firangi guests at home. I had a feeling of jumpiness in me. (Ohh! The paint of the house, dull and chipped; The curtains aren’t impressive; I hope they like the food; Damn, I should have bought a much refined set of cutlery; should I drop the idea of cooking for them at home and take them to a restaurant instead?; my goodness, the electricity’s gone!!! And the inverter isn’t working too!!!!)
And there we were, welcoming our guests with a wide smile, and faces wet with sweat smiling like stupid at our messiness. Fortunately, Alex and Karin were sweet enough to take this as just another adventure on their trip to India and seemed to relish the food.
For us, it was more about cementing the fraternity and less about learning the language. But Karin and Alex were serious teachers. Sadly, we could neither help them much in Hindi, nor we could learn any Deutsch from them. Out of utter Indianism, we missed our appointments with our revered teachers, or came in late; apologized for the bad connection and smiled stupidly for not coming prepared for the lessons.
On the other hand, Alex and Karin made great accomplishments in learning Hindi. They learnt to read, write and speak it so fluently, that we couldn’t help but marvel at their brilliance.
I apologize publicly for our carelessness and insincerity. We don’t want to lose friends and teachers like you. Alexander, Karin, please come back to our lives and this time we wish to learn few virtues of life from you.
And I apologize for blaming India for my slacked behavior. I know there are many Indians who very well know the value of time.

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