Love without boundaries

Expat zone

Love without boundaries

They are a young, gorgeous couple from two nations. Robert Maier, who is from Germany, had come down to India on work when he met Rachel David, a girl from Bengaluru. “I was on an exchange programme at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and had come to Bengaluru for an internship,” he recalls.

Sparks flew when the two met in church and soon, they started dating. “Both the families were very encouraging and supportive. In fact, before our marriage, my parents had gone to Germany on a business trip where they met his parents,” says Rachel, who is currently pursuing masters in psychology in Montford College.

“I am from an industrial town called Stuttgart in South West Germany, which is the centre of mechanical and automobile engineering. Companies like Bosch, Mercedes and Porsche are from there,” explains Robert. The interesting opportunities available in India made him come here.

    “When I started my career, everyone wanted to be part of an exchange. I always thought it was good to see new places and explore new ideas. I was excited to experience a place that I was so uninformed about and had no pre-conceived notions of. All I had heard was that India was a colourful place,” he recalls. When he told his parents that he wanted to come to India, they were pleasantly surprised. “We had no idea about the country. We had never dealt with Indians before but my dad said he had some colleagues here,” he adds. 

During his stay in Ahmedabad, he often wanted to come to Bengaluru as he had heard a lot about it. “Over there, people would say that ‘Bengaluru is amazing’ but over here, people rave about the North,” he jokes.

Ask him how his parents reacted when they found out he wanted to marry an Indian girl and he laughs, “They weren’t surprised at all. I think they were expecting it!” He adds as an afterthought, “I guess they just trust me a lot.” For Rachel, life hasn’t changed much after marriage as she is still in the City that she was brought up in. “Robert definitely has had more to deal with as he is in a totally new country. He has been here for two years now and considers the City as home. But he still is treated as an outsider,” she says to which Robert adds, “People have this notion that I don’t know my way around and that they can play with me.” However, he is all praises for the autos. “When I first came here, I used to cycle my way around. I’d go from my house, which was in Babusapalya, to places like Fraser Town, MG Road and Koramangala. So I’d ask the auto drivers the way to these places and they would always oblige. But I assume if you want to take a ride from them, they are not helpful,” he notes.

Though certain problems of the country like discrimination bother him a lot, he has learnt to live with them. “There are days when I am really fed up with the way things work here. But I have made friends with many other Germans and feel uplifted whenever I meet them,” he says. Another thing that he misses about Germany is the greenery.  “I really love nature. So I enjoy going to Cubbon Park and Lalbagh during my free time.” Sometimes, like other expats, his health too gets affected here. However, he still enjoys Indian food. “I love ‘masala dosas’, ‘upma’ and ‘vada’. When I had first come to the City, I would cycle in the mornings to Indiranagar and Cox Town and often stop at small joints to eat these items for breakfast,” he says.

Currently a design consultant, Robert has travelled across the country on work.
    “I have been to places like Rajasthan, Darjeeling, Nepal, Varanasi and Udaipur. I have even been to many villages on work and I am amazed to see the life over there. A large part of the population of India still lives in the countryside,” he explains. Rachel, being a student, is unable to travel as much. “He has definitely seen more of the country than me,” she laughs. “But we have been to places like Goa, Mumbai, Pune and Daman and Diu together and it has been a lot of fun,” she notes.

    As much as he loves the City, Robert doesn’t mind exploring job opportunities elsewhere. “A cultural change is always good but let us see how things work out,” says Rachel to which Robert adds, “Though we may move out, we will definitely keep coming back.”

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