Ranga Rao left Delft for Bangalore last week because of the condition of his mother. He was thinking that Dutch society is much more inward, mature and less emotional, and of course professional. But now he sees an ocean of empathy and friendship.
At the beginning of this year, I was in a pensive mood and I wrote a small piece of text, saying we need to go back to our roots.
I am writing this text sitting on the plane going back to Bangalore urgently. Many feelings and thoughts are going through my mind. I am writing just to streamline my thoughts and to structure them, and to get myself into a positive frame of mind. If I do not do this, it will be very difficult to keep myself in good shape to attend to the immediate tasks once I land.
I left Delft for Bangalore because of the condition of my mom. She is in ICU now. She lives with my extended family in Bangalore. It is stressful to note her condition and to live in that thought.
Me, as I am wired and because I am talkative, in the last 13 years I have made so many friends in the Netherlands. I always have something or other to talk about and share. Some people even run away if they are busy!
I believe in sharing both sorrow and happiness. By sharing, the former reduces and the latter multiplies. I did what I am best at, talk to some of my friends and colleagues and tell them what’s happening in my mind. The message spread to many. I started getting queries and consoling words. Many of them gave me the required strength. My colleagues/friends/students started taking my load and saying, just go and attend to the situation. Many started sending me wishes as soon as they came to know. Even as far as people three or four positions above me in management sent me emails and good wishes and prayers!
I want to confess here that I was wrong all these years. I was thinking that Dutch society is much more inward, mature and less emotional, and of course professional. But I see an ocean of empathy and friendship. I see that, like all the connected canals, the Dutch are much more connected and open to come out together and take the initiative to console a friend and a colleague. I was wrong and I am sorry.
I was seeking empathy and simplicity in my last letter. I immediately packed all those wishes and encouraging words. I am carrying two bags of those wishes for my beloved mom. I hope all this will give her fresh breath, with which she is having difficulty. Thank you, Delft! And I hope to come back smiling and bringing 1.3 billion wishes from India and also bringing sweets (some Dutch friends are afraid of the sweets I usually bring) for everyone in TU Delft.