Today was the last day here in Berlin. We were free for most of the day. I didn’t even have any film ticket for the day. So I took time in sending some mails to India, and then took real long time to pack everything as there were lots of books, catalogues, cards that I had collected during my stay in Berlin. Had to sort them out, leave some things behind. By the time I finished everything, it was about 12 and we were supposed to meet for lunch by 12:30 at the hotel lobby. Since these were the last chances to get together as a group before we leave for our own countries, I didn’t want to miss it.
We went to a restaurant near Potsdama Plasta. It was a classy restaurant. But they took more than one and half hour to deliver the food we had ordered! I had to meet Conny and Sabina at Maritim Hotel. They are my friends from my last visit to Germany (To Cologne) Conny had helped me as a cinematographer for the short film that I had shot in Cologne last time.
However, I made it just in time for the meeting thanks again to the wonderful tube system of Berlin. We had a wonderful meeting back in the hotel for about an hour or so. We spoke about old times. Sabina is a director and she is now preparing to shoot her first feature film soon. We spoke about that. It was very nice to meet them after a long time.
After this meeting, they were leaving to Cologne. It was their last day at Berlinale. I had to rush to a screening. That was my last screening for Berlinale too! I hopped few tubes and crossed few roads to catch the screening of the film 9. Remember Eight and Half? Yes! This film, Nice comes straight from that film. This was a musical. I was enjoying the film. But unfortunately, I had to leave the screening mid way as I had to catch up with the group for the good bye dinner.
We went to a beautiful restaurant near to our hotel Maritim Pro Arte. The entire group was there. We had a wonderful dinner. But most of all it was very emotional to be saying good bye to the entire group. We had some wonderful, memorable days together in Berlin. Now it was already time to say good bye! These good byes are always a sad thing. But unavoidable! So it was a good bye after all for Berlin. Next morning I had my return flight by 9am. So had to leave the hotel by 7am. However, It was about 1am when I slept.
5am! And trrrrrrring went the alarm! Following things went in 12 frames per second and we were at the airport by 8am. I was with Mr. Mohammad one of the elderly gentleman from our group. We were traveling together till Frankfurt. Our guide Anna had accompanied us till the Airport. And we were in the cold air in a pressure controlled, warm air craft of Luftansa. Rest of my 9 and odd hour of flight was quite uneventful. I was sort of tired from the 10 days experience. I was overwhelmed by these 10 days. I had met so many wonderful people. I had seen so many amazing things. I had learnt so much. I just slept for most of the journey. I was trying to adjust to the Indian timing already.
Flight landed in India by 2 am Indian Standard Time. Took a pre-paid taxi and started driving towards home. The cab driver switched on the FM Radio and it started playing an old Kannada song. Ironically, the lyrics were sing ನಾ… ರುಕ್ಕಮ್ಮಾ… ನಾ… ನೂರು ಊರು ನೋಡಿ ಬಂದೆ ರುಕ್ಕಮ್ಮಾ… ನೂರರಲ್ಲೂ ನಮ್ಮ ಊರೇ ಊರಮ್ಮಾ… ಏಳು ಕೆರೆಯ ನೀರು ಕುಡಿದೇ.. ನಮ್ಮ ನೀರೇ ನೀರಮ್ಮಾ…. (means: I have seen so many places, but there is no parallel to our own soil. I have drunk from so many rivers but none tastes as sweet as our own water!)