There is so much I want to say about the German Bakery and yet still I can’t seem to find the words. How is it that I place that I knew for such a short period of time, can get under my skin and become a part of me so quickly? Little did I know that when I blogged about it on January 14th, that less than a month later I would be writing about it again for such a horrid reason.
But the Bakery probably got under my skin the same way that India has.
With all her quirks and hardships, with all her irrationalities and craziness, I love India for all her beauty and hope and possibilities.
The German Bakery in Pune was a piece of me as much as I felt that it was a representation of me.
It was quaint and off center but also perfect in its quirkiness. Under that bamboo and PVC piping “ceiling” you could be who you were, surrounded by other people being who they were. You could have your Indian Chai and eat a westernized egg omelet and round it out with a perfectly delicious apple strudel.
You could sit back and listen to German, English, Marathi, Hindi, or any other number of languages being spoken. You could watch an old and wise looking Rabbi sitting in a corner with his glasses half down his nose, his white curly beard barely moving as he whisper read over his literature. You could wonder in amazement at the maroon clothed Osho’s and revel in their completely open and happy smiles. You could share a nod of encouragement and “oneness” with the backpacker sitting on a bench eating a veg sandwich and drinking herbal tea. You could chat with your Indian friends and pick what to do for the rest of the day….eventually.
Listen to the employees calling out orders. Listen to the sounds around you. Smell the freshly baked wheat bread. Count your rupee’s and pray you have enough for one last piece of apple strudel. Feel the fresh breeze as it wafts from the ceiling and from between the cracks in the “wall” surrounding the outside sitting area.
When you leave, you wonder when you’ll get a chance to walk back into the oasis known as German Bakery. You wonder if you’ll EVER actually get up at 6am to make it over to stand in line for their famous breakfast rolls. You smile and say “Someday”.
But now Someday may be gone. For nine people it’s gone forever. For their families the days after are filled with pain and memory and struggles to recover. For a city, Innocence is lost. For those left behind, it’s feelings of confusion and anger and guilt over moving on.
Dear German Bakery, they may have destroyed your body, but for the rest of us we can still hear your heart beating. Pune waits for your return and till then, we will stand in your place and say “You did not destroy us, we are not afraid.”