Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Whole New World


When you are not sure about what to do, just toss a coin, because when it is in the air you will know what your heart really wants”.Add Image


The deep blue of the Indian Cricket team has found a replacement in all possible manners- the color, the country and the sport as now I am surrounded by Orange color of the footballing nation- Netherlands. After 20 days of indecisiveness regarding visiting this country and all the painstaking efforts which followed to obtain VISA, finally I can rejoice my entry into this whole new world. In my moments of indecisiveness, I didn’t have to even toss a coin to find out how desperately I wanted to flee to Netherlands when I found the VISA hassle obstructing my visit.


The flight- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines raised my hopes, with the TV, movies, music available along with the food and the drinks. Not a trace of jet-lag, and I knew I was approaching paradise. Landing was a mixture of fascination and confusion in the beautiful airport and the even better city, but with Dutch signboards everywhere and the knowledge of being alone for 2 months. But within hours, the positive impressions of Netherlands kept on building and multiplying as there was not a minute sign of racism, and people indeed stepped out of their way to help a confused tourist like me. The automated system driven by technology was fascinating at the stations, bus-stops and all these when combined with the picturesque surroundings gave me the sensation of having entered utopia.


Within hours, I noticed the differences in people- they were self-reliant, even in the hotel there was nothing like constant room service and they were dutiful. And the absence of room-service and the other door-to-door services made me glad, for here people weren’t pampered and knew money didn’t grant them the right to be lazy, or an expectation to be mollycoddled. In the streets, it made me wonder what made the people stop at the traffic lights, even the cyclists, without the presence of a police. Thus, I had a firmer aim- to study Dutch administration and people’s mentality. After reaching the “International Conference” I dwelt into a plethora of facilities like an office for myself (shared with 3 others), PC, password, a coffee mug and a key apart from accessories around myself. The workshop coordinator guided me nicely, and even more pleasing was my first meeting with the Professor who would supervise my intern- jovial people, treating me as a friend despite the age and country (and qualifications) difference. There were lectures of high level which I didn’t understand but nevertheless attended all, unless I began understanding slightly. Apart from the infinite supply of coffee, tea and juice, there was the wine/ cheese party and an auspicious barbecue dinner at a beach, letting me enjoy every moment to the fullest, and at times shout from within “Yippee, I am in Netherlands!”


I developed friendship with an interesting duo of a PhD student and his supervisor (University of Surrey, UK) who were comfortable with my British accent and joked about religion, people, politics and maths. I ventured consistently in learning new topics of Mathematics and being successful at a rate, I hadn’t anticipated. The Greek guy with whom I am supposed to work for the project (yes, I would work with a PhD) occasionally paid for my lunch, and spoke to me very nicely. Even girls are friendly (and hot- the Mathematicians being the hottest till now). Walking alone in the market for 4 hours felt heavenly, as light doesn’t fade here till 11 in the night (Dutch standard time) and the orange streets regenerated the excitement within me, as I even ended up buying 2 pieces of the Dutch jersey in different shades. Every aspect of this new world has thus become entertaining, and although I know I must return to the nation where I was born 2 months later, I have been planning full-time about how best to tap this opportunity and live to the fullest.

6 comments:

HacKitT said...

Nothing about the post... but the blog now seems much livelier than before.

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

Thanks, Tulsyan... It's the Dutch effect!!

Mrinal Mech said...

How did you go to Holland? Some kind of internship? Is it possible to do international internships from IIT

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

@ Mrinal:
yeah, yeah.. International internship. IIT doesn't help an iota, only causes obstructions.
You have the brand name of IIT, just keep applying. Some Professor will become emotional and call you.

Mrinal Mech said...

By professor you mean professor under whom we want to do internship?

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

Yes. Go to the Department Websites of Universities, see whose subjects you understand even a little, and sight your interest to do an internship. Somebody should call you.

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