Home is where the heart
6: Still recuperating
from the road accident he met with on Tilak
Road, he coolly shrugs it off, ‘‘It had
to happen one day. I’ve escaped Pune traffic for so long!’’ With his
almost Indian accent, shudh Hindi and a vast knowledge of the
country he’s made his home, one would hardly think Rainer Hoerig, a
German journalist, to be a foreigner. He as puts it, ‘‘I’ve lived
here for 15 years and I’ve never wanted to go back!’’
relation with India began way back in
1977 when he was just 19. Travelling from Delhi to Kerala, Mumbai to
Varanasi, his fascination for the country grew and brought him back
several times, either to quell his curiosity or on work as a budding
‘‘In 1988, I knew that Pune would become my
hometown. I was visiting Max Mueller Bhavan on a research project
that dwelt on notions young Indians had about Germany. During the
course of my work, I met and fell in love with my wife Rajashree who
was working there. We married a year later and as destiny would have
it, I’ve been in Pune ever since,’’ reveals Hoerig.
talk about the city forever. ‘‘The quality of life is so good here.
It’s an advanced city with its ethical values intact. I’ve never
felt like an outsider here.’’ Living in Aundh, he continues, ‘‘Once
a week I go to the other areas of the city and when I do, I quite
like to pick up the German bread at German bakery. It’s truly German
and reminds me of food in Germany!’’ Speaking of
food, he has well adjusted to the spicy Indian curries and kebabs.
‘‘The food here has so many varieties but I do miss my mother’s
cooking at times,’’ says he.
somethings are still difficult for Hoerig, like the summer heat.
‘‘Come summer and I rush off to Germany for a holiday!
But, keeping that aside, Pune’s people have captured my heart. They
are more social, more religious; in Germany it’s a very fast
life,’’ he says.
work is with a German radio station, he adds, ‘‘In their cultural
shows, my work and writings on India are featured.’’
Hoerig loves being with his family. With a 12-year old daughter
Vanessa, he smiles proudly, ‘‘She speaks fluent German as well as
English and Hindi. She has values of both countries and hopefully,
she will grow up to love India just as much as I