Special Mention

Pankhuri Gangwal

When a German conductor said Namaste!

My mother and I went for a backpack trip across Europe; post my marriage.
Mummy had never been out of India and hence a foreign trip with her had been
on top of my bucket list. That epic travel made us flip our conventional roles. She
transformed into a curious child who wanted to know everything, hated the food
and got scared or excited without any particular reason; whereas I became the
responsible one, leading her through the journey, cherishing all her expressions
and exclamations as she marveled at every pretty color and view.
“waah yaar!!!” “kitttta sunder!!!” “maza aagaya!!!”

Travelling to an unknown territory with Mummy opened several new aspects of
her personality to me. I was falling in love with her; all over again. But this
particular incident made me the proudest daughter in the world.
She had consulted me before packing every piece of cloth and accessory. But she
also packed a few packets of her usual Laal bindi. I protested saying these are not
going to match with her western attires. She insisted, ‘the foreign lands should
be met with the identity of my country.’ I found it funny and trivial at that time.
But when we waited for the cable car to get to the tallest peak of Germany named
Zugspitze; the conductor of the car, welcomed us with a respectful accented
Namaste. That precise moment brought such a proud glint on Mummy’s face. I
was left speechless.

I never knew being recognized as an Indian in a foreign country would fill us
with so much pride and satisfaction. Mummy’s conviction and her tiny Laal bindi
reminded me, to carry my roots where ever I go!


Pankhuri Gangwal

My name is Pankhuri Gangwal. I am a writer by profession, based in
Mumbai. For me, to travel is as good as living within a story.
Unpredictable plots, twists at unexpected times and having to meet so many characters is what attracts me towards writing stories as well as towards travelling. I aim to see every corner of the world and store memories for many life times to come :)

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