German war time

Today Mathias my manager called me for a coffee… hmm quite surprising, because they hardly ever take a break over over here. But I guess nobody else was there in the office, everybody is on leave today so he was getting bored. It turned out to be quite a long coffee break – being in Germany for so long I started getting concerned about time running out – but thought ok maybe it might as well be termed official, he was the manager! We discussed about various things – education system, interaction between the university and industry and so on, and somehow eventually he ended up telling a really touching story about his family during the world war.

He was talking about how all the houses around his grandparent’s house was getting bombed and just by luck his alone got missed out. He said the whole family were returning from the bomb shelter, and then they saw planes throwing down bombs. Boom. Boom. Boom… neatly eliminating all the houses methodically in a line. But the one that was to hit his own house somehow didn’t drop… maybe some random technical glitch. And then it continued from the next one… boom boom boom….

Just imagine the kind of extraordinary luck!

And some other time, it was actually bombed, but the bomb didn’t go off, it just landed unexploded. They had to call in some emergency service to detonate it.

Later on there was a severe housing and rehabilitation problem all over the country. Anybody who had a house were made to accommodate as many other people as the government decided. His own grandfather’s house was three stories high and was jam packed with people during that time.

Actually he (my manager) is one of the minority who has stayed in the same house he was born and brought up in, until he started working. Really intersting to know such a similarity with me :-), I know very few people who live the same way, even in Bangalore.

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