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CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP 2014 (Satis Shroff) 

 

WELCOME to Creative Writing at the Freiburger Writing Center (Schreibzentrum PH-Freiburg). Satis Shroff is a published writer, and if you’re interested in Creative Writing he will be guiding you in your writings. We can’t offer you credit-points for your writing but if you write for fun and want to take your writing forward then just come along and give it a try. Satis Shroff is an experienced lecturer, poet and writer and the published author of five books. You can read his books on http://www.Lulu.com/spotlight/satisle.

 

 Satis Shroff describes himself as a mediator between western and eastern cultures and sees his future as a writer and poet. Since literature is one of the most important means of cross-cultural learning, he is dedicated to promoting and creating awareness for Creative Writing and transcultural togetherness in his writings, and in preserving an attitude of Miteinander in this world. He lectures in Basle (Switzerland) and in Germany at the Academy for Medical Professions (University Klinikum Freiburg) and the VHS-Freiburg and VHS-Dreisamtal. He has worked as a Lehrbeauftragter for Creative Writing and Scientific English at the Uni Freiburg, and now at the PH.

 

Die Termine sind am: Montag, 12. Mai 2014 (von 18 Uhr bis 21 Uhr), Montag, 2. Juni, 2014 (18.00 bis 21 Uhr) und Montag, 7. Juli 7, 2014 (18.00 bis 21 Uhr).  

 

Creative Writing Workshop (Englisch): Öffnungszeiten: Mo 12-16, Di 14-16, Do 10-14 Uhr , (Telefon: 0761-682-191)  

 

Verbindliche Anmeldung unter: info@schreibzentrum-freiburg.de Gerd Bräuer PhD, braeuer@ph-freiburg.de Satis Shroff: satisle@myway.com What others have said about the author: Satis Shroff writes with intelligence, wit and grace. (Bruce Dobler, Associate Professor in Creative Writing MFA, University of Iowa). 

 

 ‘The manner in which Satis Shroff writes takes the reader right along with him. Extremely vivid and just enough and the irony of the music. Beautiful prosaic thought and astounding writing.  ‘Your muscles flex, the nerves flatter, the heart gallops, As you feel how puny you are, Among all those incessant and powerful waves.’

 “Satis Shroff’s writing is refined – pure undistilled.” (Susan Marie,Journalist & Writer, http://www.Gather.com)

 

  “I was extremely delighted with Satis Shroff’s work. Many people write poetry for years and never obtain the level of artistry that is present in his work. He is an elite poet with an undying passion for poetry.” Nigel Hillary, Publisher, Poetry Division – Noble House U.K.

 

 Copyright © 2014, Satis Shroff (Freiburg). You may republish this article online provided you keep the byline, the authors’ note, and the active hyperlinks. ———————————————————————————————————– COMMUNICATION 

 Module: Creative Writing: Poems, Short-stories, Microstories Lecturer: Satish Shroff, B.Sc. (Zoology, Botany), Dipl. Social Sciences, Creative Writing Uni Freiburg and Manchester (UK), writer, poet, journalist and artist. Max. students: 

 

20 ECTS Points: none

 

 Ziel: The aim of this course is to develop and improve language creativity in English, learn successful writing habits, work on one’s creative impulse, learn basic writing techniques, and develop an idea factory, improve writing skills and try different genres. Whether it’s poetry, short-stories, microstories, fiction or non-fiction, you have to learn the precise use of language and that’s where Creative Writing comes in. If you’ve always wanted to write an anthology or a book, then join us in an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance, cooperation and fun in writing. Creative Writing leads to the critical appreciation of literary works and through it you learn to be a critical writer and a demanding reader. It offers a challenge to the mythology of a writer as a ‘genius.’ The idea of a Creative Writing course, seminar or workshop is nothing new, for writers and poets have in the past such as Lord Byron and Mary Shelley and her husband PB Shelley and Goethe and Schiller have always worked together. It was Ezra Pound who advised TS Eliot to rewrite The Waste Land. I like George Bernard Shaw’s advice: ‘If you do not write for publication, there is little point to writing at all.’  

 

Public Reading: At the end of the course you will get the opportunity to have your submissions (poems, microstories, short-stories printed in an anthology in the internet, if and when, you give your consent. I think it’s fun to share your creative works. There will also be a public reading with Annette Pehnt’s students (German Literature) who will be doing Kreatives Schreiben in a parallel course in German.  

 

Inhalt: Every student has to write when he or she studies at the university. In this course we do the basics of writing techniques which can be used for poetry, fiction, non-fiction and short-story and microstory writing. 1 . Microstories (flash fiction, prose poems) 2. A Cross-pollination of Forms (Imagery, Inspiration, Poetry) 3. The Interview 2 4. How to gather stories: Notebooks, Journals, Mining Memory 5. Variety in Your Writing 6. Fiction Techniques in Non-fiction Writing 7. Dialogue and Plot 8. Writing the Short Story  

 

Zu erbringende Leistungen: Active participation throughout the course, writing classwork and homework submissions,writing exercises during the extended weekend courses,The writing workshop at the PH-Schreibzentrum is open for non-PH people as well. A one-time fee of 10 euros has to be paid for the entire series of workshops.  

 

Bemerkungen: Knowledge of English literature welcome but not a necessity. Students from all PH faculties and non-PH faculties (University students, Fachhochschule,FH) and scribblers from all walks of life are welcome. Curious? Just drop in at the Schreibzentrum. Die Angebote des Schreibzentrums sind für die Studierenden der PH Freiburg kostenfrei. Alle anderen Nutzer/innen der Creative Writing Workshop bezahlen 10. Die Bezahlung erfolgt bar und gegen Quittung im Schreibzentrum.

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Review: Love, Money, Home & Chinese Philosophy (Satis Shroff)

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Genre: Memoir

Sophie Boswell: The Power of Feng Shui Living Proof. Strategic Book Publishing, NY, 2008,  230 pages, Hardback $ 25,95

 

The purpose of this book is to give readers evidence of how the ancient Chinese philosophy works as the author herself is the ‘living proof.’ She’d applied it in her home-setting, relationships and business successfully. It’s a book about change and how to make it happen with you remaining in command. This knowledge is packed in the form of an enchanting love-story after two wrecked marriages, and a third endearing one, full of bliss and passion, thanks to Feng Shui.

 

Feng Shui? An Asian martial art? No, Feng Shui means ‘wind’ and ‘water’ and is the science of life in harmony with your direct environment. Feng Shui belongs to daily life in China. Wind and water belong to the taoistic knowledge that change is the fundamental principle of the universe. And we humans (and other species) as a part of this universe participate in a dynamic principle and are subject to eternal change. Feng Shui also gives you the opportunity to understand your fellow human being. Which theme belongs to this person? What does he or she have to know or discover? According to Feng Shui, your environ, working place, even your visiting-card reflects your personality. This is more than non-verbal communication. Sofia Boswell uses these ancient Chinese philosophical principles in modern western society and lifestyle with amazing success.

 

Your inner life begins to influence your outer world in a cheerful, positive way, whereby there’s a reciprocal exchange between the inner and the outer world.

 

Sophie’s story is topical and begins in Sydney in 1996, she travels through blue Hawaii, Newport Beach, New York and ends in Dubai in 2003. A perfectionist at heart, she doesn’t believe in failure despite setbacks in her business and in her private life. She regards a mistake as a chance to find another way to do and to go about things by using a change in perspective. There’s no room for headlong collisions in life. The gentle power of Feng Shui if often behind her decisions because she has internalised this philosophy.

 

Sophie’s grandfather was a successful businessman, and she has inherited his business acumen in her genes. Her grandmother, Kathleen Boswell, was a talented portrait painter and musicians, so the grandchild has an artistic streak and plays the piano and even writes lyrics today.

 

She reveals that the first ten years of her life ‘produced a strong minded individual’ which makes us understand that she didn’t seem to fit in with her peers. She was brought up as a proper English girl with all its connotations. There was ‘pomp and ceremony’ inside her house in far-away Australia but the family didn’t have much money to go with the aristocratic mannerisms. Brisbane wasn’t exactly the Cotswolds and was ‘dry and dusty with poisonous spiders and snakes; flies and mosquitoes came in plagues along with crickets and locusts.’

 

In addition to demonstrating that Feng Shui works, the narrative is humorous and true.

 

‘What are the author’s thought?’ you might ask. She does some fast thinking when an annoying man named Prem tells her, after consulting his tatty tarot cards: ‘Your life won’t begin until you’re sixty.’ He says further in his Indian English, ‘Vot you should do it is, is to let go!’ To detach oneself from things that bog us down. He tells her in no uncertain terms that she’ll change her lifestyle, travel and meet people she never dreamed of. All under a new flag.

 

But why would she want to change anything?

 

Sophia doesn’t seek psychics. ‘I never sought them out,’ she says. They seem to hook up with her whenever she needed help in life. In 1982 she met a psychic named Margaret Dent, after her first divorce. She had been living in a small rented two-bedroom house with her three little girls. Her husband had been a controlling man. It was a financial fiasco for her. Magaret predicted, ‘I see you sitting in a big house, in lush garden surrounding, near the harbour.’ And it came true. After 1984 she became rich through the use of her own resources in her home-based business and by putting all her energy into it. That one hour with Margaret Dent in Sydney had changed her life. The significance of this story is that women can get along in a men’s world through the understanding of Feng Shui, and is useful for female managers who have to assert themselves in so-called men’s business domains.

 

It was Elyse, a girl-friend of hers, a spiritual soul with a great knowledge about people and why they did things called her. She advised her to ring Rupert White, a person who could unblock trapped energy and show her which way to go in life. Mr. White was a Feng Shui expert, and the story of change begins here.

 

The component part of the book contributes to the purpose of the book for Sophie is an open-minded person and she seeks advice from psychics and clairvoyants when her normal logical, western thinking fails to help her in life problems. This is the beginning chapter, which is followed by an introduction to Feng Shui, Grounding, Letting Go, Closure, Hawaii’s  Magnetism, Destiny, An Unbelievable Answer, Taking the Plunge, Popping the Question, Popping the Cork, A Blessing from Heaven, Metamorphosis and Living Beyond the Dream. There are also some poems: The Angels Must Have Sent Him (dedicated to her beloved Zayid), Earthly Angels and seven Hawaiian landscape paintings done by the author. Another poem ‘I’m Watching Over You’ was written, according to Sophie, after Zayid died on December 9, 2009. He communicated via a medium and mutual friend, who then took it down and emailed it to her.

 

A comparison of the work to others within the same genre: Whereas Sophia Boswell already has three daughters and two divorces behind her, and has mastered her life, environment and business successfully, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (published in 2006) is in her thirties, settled in a large house with a husband who wants to start a family. However, she doesn’t want any of it. After a bitter divorce and a rebound fling she emerges badly bruised. She goes on a quest to find out what’s missing in her life across Italy, India and Indonesia. I Rome she enjoys the Italian cuisine and handsome Giovanni, her Tandem Exchange Partner, almost Latin-lover, and puts on weight after all that pasta. In India she finds enlightenment, in an ashram frequented by westerners like her, through scrubbing temple floors. Liz even learns to chant the entire 182 Sanskrit verses of the Gurugita, the great, purifying basic hymn of the Hindus. She professes having felt happiness: better, truly than anything which included salty, buttery kisses and even saltier and more buttery potatoes. After that she’s glad to have made the decision to stay alone.

 

Unlike, Sophie, Elizabeth finds a toothless medicine man who reveals a new path to peace. She’s ready for love again. Filipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship, says he needs towards the end of the story, he needs Bali because of his biz, its proximity to Australia where his kids live. Much like Sayid and Sofie, Liz and Felipe are also survivors of divorce. Felipe needs to be in Brazil often, because that’s where the gemstones are for his biz, and he has his family also there. The quest is over and Elizabeth returns to her family and friends in the USA. Can they build a life together divided between America, Australia, Brazil and Bali? Liz says, ‘Hey—why not?’

 

In Sophie’s story Zayid, her tall, handsome, Bedouin Arab brings her to life because she’d been in a mental rut. Zayid had humour and for Sophie he was the most interesting man she’d ever met and she had nothing to lose and dreamt of Lawrence of Arabia’s world with her Arabian hero. As a woman in love she notices every nuance. Zayid smells of Verace’s ‘Blue Jeans’ cologne. When he visits her in Hawaii she says, ‘Stars fell on Honolulu this night.’ He, on his part, kept on saying, ‘Life is short,’ which was perhaps a premonition of things to come. Another of his favourite expression is. ‘It takes two hands to clap,’ and he thanks her for inviting him to Hawaii. To Sophie, he’s her soul mate, a wild yet gentle man, and she even seems to know that ‘We were man and wife in another lifetime.’

 

Whereas Elizabeth Gilbert describes a major catastrophe in the form of a tsunami of staggering destruction in Southeast Asia, in Sophie’s Boswell’s ‘Power of Feng Shui’ she’s in a plane with fire-men from other states who were coming out to help out in the aftermath of 9/11 and the captain gives these brave men a bird’s eye view. Sophie describes thus: ‘In the distance we saw smoke still soaring skyward, highlighted by searchlights. The digging continues non-stop. The Captain asked us all to sing Amazing Grace as he headed for GuardiaAirport.’

 

Sophie’s poem ‘September 11’ still lingers in my mind.

 

On page 225 were the words she’d scribbled for me: To be continued..

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Life Sciences Are the Engines of Regional Development (Satis Shroff)

Subtitle: OB Salomon Meets Freiburger CEOs and Professors from the Life Sciences

 

 

Auf Einladung von Oberbürgermeister Dieter Salomon und Stiftungsvorstand Bernd Dallmann trafen sich am Mittwochabend (1. August) führende Persönlichkeiten aus Unternehmen und Forschung als Gäste der Technologiestiftung BioMed Freiburg zum diesjährigen Gedankenaustausch Life Sciences im Panorama-Hotel Mercure am Jägerhäusle.

 

Das wichtigste Ergebnis dieser Gesprächsrunde: „Der Life Sciences Standort Freiburg ist hervorragend aufgestellt.“ Zahlreiche Investitionen schaffen neue zukunftsorientierte Arbeitsplätze im Gesundheitsbereich, darunter etwa die beiden Labor-dienst-leister SGS Institut Fresenius und MVZ Clotten oder der US-Medizintechnikhersteller Stryker, der seine Freiburger Produktions- und Entwicklungsstätte erweitern wird. Hinzu kommen Neubauten von Universität und Universitätsklinikum wie beispielsweise die Erweiterung des Universitäts-Notfallzentrums oder das erst im Juni eingeweihte „Signalhaus“ des Zentrums für biologische Signalstudien. Mit dem neuen Universitäts-Herz-zentrum Freiburg – Bad Krozingen wurde bereits im Frühjahr ein bedeutender regionaler Brückenschlag vollzogen.

 

„Der Standort Freiburg ist attraktiv für Unternehmen, Fachkräfte und Studierende aus dem In- und Ausland“, so übereinstimmend die CEOs wichtiger Freiburger Life Sciences Unternehmen. Das renommierte Institut für Immunbiologie und Epigenetik der Max Planck-Gesellschaft, die weiter auf Expansionskurs befindlichen fünf Fraunhofer-Institute, eine exzellente universitäre Forschung und die zahlreichen High-Tech-Unternehmen machen Freiburg zu einem besonderen Think Tank im Bereich Life Science. Gesucht werden risikobereite und finanzkräftige Privatanleger für innovative Start-ups und junge Firmen. Die vor diesem Hintergrund gesuchte Nähe zum Finanzplatz Basel und die gezielte Ansprache kapitalstarker privater Geldgeber sind ein erfolgversprechender Ansatz, der weiterverfolgt werden soll. Hierfür sagte OB Dieter Salomon Unterstützung durch die Wirtschaftsförderung der FWTM zu. Mit Blick auf die Vereinbarkeit von Familie und Beruf investiere die Stadt getragen von einer breiten Unterstützung im Gemeinderat in zusätzliche Betreuungs- und Bildungsmöglichkeiten für Kleinkinder und Schüler. Darüber hinaus werden neue Wohnungsbauprojekte angeschoben, um auch künftig ausreichend und bezahlbaren Wohnraum vorhalten zu können.

 

Die Freiburger Unternehmen im Bereich Gesundheitswirtschaft entwickeln sich gut; auch für die Zukunft rechnen deren Geschäftsführer mit positivem Wachstum. Das Angebot an hervorragende ausgebildeten Universitätsabsolventen ist sehr gut, gesucht werden vor allem qualifizierte Fachkräfte in industrienahen technischen und handwerklichen Berufen wie MTAs, CTAs oder aber Feinmechaniker für die Herstellung präziser chirurgischer Instrumente. „Es bleibt deshalb eine ständige Herausforderung, ausreichend qualifizierte Fachkräfte zu gewinnen, um mit der steigenden Nachfrage nach Freiburger Produkten standzuhalten“, geben insbesondere die Vertreter der medizintechnischen Betriebe zu bedenken.

 

 Inzwischen sind mehr als 21 Prozent der Freiburger Arbeitsplätze im Gesund-heitsbereich angesiedelt; das ist ein Spitzenwert im Land.

 

„Mit seinen Arbeitsplatzeffekten entlang der gesamten Wertschöpfungskette im Bereich Life Sciences und den vielfältigen Aus- und Weiterbildungsangeboten – etwa in Form des trinationalen Studiengangs ‘Bio-technologie (ESBS)’ – ist und bleibt das BioValley ein wichtiger Baustein für die erfolgreiche Entwicklung am Oberrhein“, so das Resümee von Bernd Dallmann, Vorstand der Technologiestiftung BioMed Freiburg und von 2004-2006 selbst Präsident des BioValley Zentralvereins. Das trinationale BioValley zählt weit mehr als 600 Firmen mit insge-samt mehr als 50.000 Arbeitsplätzen, davon rund 300 Firmen im Bereich Biotech/Pharma.

 

Mit der Verlängerung der Förderungen für die „Spemann Gra-duiertenschule für Biologie und Medizin (SGBM)“ und das „Zentrum für biologische Signalstudien (BIOSS)“ sowie dem neu bewilligten Exzellenzcluster „BrainLinks – BrainTools“ wird die Universität Freiburg auch in Zukunft ihren Beitrag für eine weiterhin positive Entwicklung leisten, betonen die Vertreter der Universität. Mit rund 700 Patentanmeldungen sind Universität und Universitätsklinikum gemeinsam nach Dresden bundesweit die patentstärksten Einrichtungen.

 

Aktuell und in naher Zukunft sind weitere Veranstaltungen in Freiburg, bei denen der Austausch zwischen Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft im Bereich Life Sciences im Vordergrund steht:

• Bei dem laufenden „Plant Biology Congress Freiburg 2012“ vom 29. Juli bis zum 3. August 2012 an der Universität Freiburg“, dem in diesem Jahr größten europäischen Kongress der Pflanzenforscherinnen und Pflanzenforscher, geht es in mehr als 600 wissenschaftlichen Beiträgen um grundlegende Fragen des Pflanzenwachstums sowie um angewandte Forschung in der Ernährung, Biotechnologie, Bioenergie und weltweiten Klimaveränderung. Weitere Informationen unter: www.plant-biology-congress 2012.de

 

• Das diesjährige „Forum Biotechnologie Baden-Württemberg“ am 19. September 2012 im Konzerthaus Freiburg richtet sich an Biotech-Unternehmen, Forschungseinrichtungen, Cluster und Verbände, Pharma-, MedTech-, Energie- und Umwelttechnikunternehmen richtet und Gelegenheit für intensives Netzwerken bietet. Der Schwerpunkt Gesundheit deckt die

Pressemeldung Themen wie Antibiotika/Antimikrobielle Substanzen, Lab-on-a-Chip/Point of Care, Personalisierte Medizin und Kunststoffe in der Medizintechnik ab. Der zweite Fokus liegt auf Nachhaltigkeit mit Themen wie Industrielle Biotechnologie/ Bioökonomie, Wassermanagement und biologische Wasserstoffherstellung.

Weitere Informationen unter: www.bio-pro.de

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Satis Shroff: MEMOIR

 

I could see Madame Defarge knitting the names of the noblemen and women to be executed. Dickens was a great master of fabulation. I was ripe for those stories and was as curious as a Siamese cat I had named Sirikit, reading, turning page for page, absolutely absorbed in the unfolding stories..

I like writing which means sitting down and typing what you’ve thought about. Writing is a solitary performance but when I sing with my croonies of the MGV-Kappel it is sharing our joy and sadness and it’s a collective song that we produce and that makes our hearts beat higher during concerts. When an idea moves me for days I have the craving to pen it. I get ideas when I’m ironing clothes and listening to Nepali songs or Bollywood ones. When I don’t have time, I make a poem out of it, for poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity. When I prepare my medical lectures I’m transferring knowledge from my university past and bringing them together verbally, and I realise it’s great fun to attain topicality by connecting the medical themes with what’s topical thereby creating a bridge between the two. That makes a lecture interesting, which is like a performance, a recital in which you interact with the audience. 
At school I was taught art by a lean, bearded Scottish teacher who loved to pain landscapes with water-colours. Whenever I travel during holidays, I keep an ArtJournal with my sketches and drawings, and try to capture the feelings, impressions of the place and people I meet, and it’s great fun to turn the pages years later and be reminded how it was then. I like doing all these things and they’re all near to my heart. 

* * *
Literature is translating emotions and facts from truth to fiction. It’s like a borderline syndrome; between sanity and insanity there’s fine dividing line. Similarly, non-fiction can be transformed into fiction. Virginia Woolf said, ‘There must be great freedom from reality.’ For Goethe, art was art because it was not nature. That’s what I like about fiction, this ability of transforming mundane things in life to jewels through the use of words. Rilke mentioned one ought to describe beauty with inner, quiet, humble righteousness. Approach nature and show what you see and experienced, loved and lost.

* * *

At school I used to read P.G.Wodehouse (about how silly aristocrats are and how wise the butler Jeeves is) and Richard Gordon (a physician who gave up practicing Medicine and started writing funny books). For me Richard Gordon was a living example of someone who could connect literature with bio-medical sciences. Desmond Morris, zoologist (The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo) was another example for me. He has also written a book about how modern soccer players do tribal dances on the football-field, with all those screaming spectators, when their team scores a goal. That’s ethnological rituals that are being carried out by European footballers. 

Since I went to a British school I was fed with EngLit and was acquainted with the works of English writers like Milton, Shakespeare, Dickens, Hardy, Walter Scott, RL Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, Victor Hugo, Poe, Defoe, Hemingway, and poets like Burns, Keats, Yeats, Dante, Goldsmith. Since we had Nepali in our curriculum it was delightful to read Bhanu Bhakta, Mainali, Shiva Kumar Rai and other Nepali authors. At home I used to pray and perform the pujas with my Mom, who was a great story teller and that was how I learned about the fantastic stories of Hindu mythology. At school we also did Roman and Greek mythology. My head was full of heroes. I was also an avid comicstrip reader and there were Classics Illustrated comic with English literature. I used to walk miles to swap comic-books in Nepal. It was mostly friends from the British Gurkhas who had assess to such comics, gadgets, musical instruments they’d bought in Hong Kong, since it was a British enclave then.
Science can be interesting and there is a genre which makes scientific literature very interesting for those who are curious and hungry for more knowledge.

In Kathmandu I worked as a journalist with an English newspaper The Rising Nepal. I enjoyed writing a Science Spot column. One day Navin Chandra Joshi, an Indian economist who was working for the Indian Cooperative Mission asked a senior editor and me:

‘Accha, can you please tell me who Satis Shroff is?’ 

Mana Ranjan gave a sheepish smile and said, ‘You’ve been talking with him all the time.’ 

The elderly Mr. Joshi was plainly surprised and said, ‘Judging from his writing, I thought he was a wise old man.’ 

I was 25 then and I turned red and was amused. 

As I grew older, I discovered the works of Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Authur Miller, Henry Miller, Doris Lessing and James Joyce. The lecturers from the English Department and the Literary Supplements were all revering his works: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake. His works appealed to be because I was also educated by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in the foothills of the Himalayas, with the same strictness and heavy hand. God is watching you.. 

Since my college friends left for Moscow University and Lumumba Friendship University after college, I started taking interest in Russian literature and borrowed books from the Soviet library and read: Tolstoi, Dostojewskije, Chekov and later even Solzinitzyn’s Archipel Gulag. I spent a lot of time in the well-stocked American Library in Katmandu’s New Road and read Henry Miller, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Thoreau, Whitman.

Favourite books and authors:

Bhanu Bhakta Acharya’s ‘Ramayana,’ Devkota’s ‘Muna Madan,’ Guru Prasad Mainali’s ‘Machha-ko Mol,’ Shiva Kumar Rai’s ‘Dak Bungalow,’ Hemingway’s Fiesta, For Whom the Bells Toll, Günter Grass ‘Blechtrommel,’ Zunge zeigen, Marcel Reich Ranicki’s ‘Mein Leben,’VS Naipaul’s ‘ ‘Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness,’ James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses, Stephan Hero, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Faust I, Faust II’, Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace,’ Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Briefe an einen jungen Dichter’ Goethe’s ‘Die Leiden des jungen Werther,’The Diaries of Franz Kafka’ Carl Gustav Jung’s ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections,’ Patrick Süskind’s ‘Perfume,’ John Updike’s ‘The Witches of Eastwick,’ ‘Couples,’ Peter Matthiessen’s ‘The Snow Leopard,’ Mark Twain ‘A Tramp Abroad,’John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pearl,’ Rushdie’s ‘Midnight Children,’ Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Corrections,’ John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River. 

Position of Nepali as world literature in terms of standard:

Nepali literature has had a Cinderella or Aschenputtel-existence and it was only through Michael Hutt, who prefers to work closely with Nepalese authors and publishes with them, under the aegis of SOAS that literature from Nepal is trying to catch the attention of the world. We have to differentiate between Nepalese writing in the vernacular and those writing in English. Translating is a big job and a lot of essence of a language gets lost in translation. What did the author mean when he or she said that? Can I translate it literally? Or do I have to translate it figuratively? If the author is near you, you can ask him or her what the meaning of a sentence, certain words or expression is. This isn’t the case always. So what you translate is your thought of what the writer or poet had said. I used to rollick with laughter when I read books by PG Wodehouse and Richard Gordon. I bought German editions and found the translations good. But the translated books didn’t bring me to laugh. 

Tribhuvan University has been educating hundreds of teachers at the Master’s Level but the teacher’s haven’t made a big impression on the world literary stage because most of them teach, and don’t write. Our neighbour India is different and there are more educated people who read and write. The demand for books is immense. Writing in English is a luxury for people who belong to the upper strata of the Nepalese society. Most can’t even afford books and have a tough time trying to make ends meet. The colleges and universities don’t teach Creative Writing. They teach the works of English poets and writers from colonial times, and not post-colonial. There are a good many writers in Nepal but their works have to be edited and promoted by publishers on a standard basis. If it’s a good story and has universal appeal then it’ll make it to the international scene. Rabindra Nath Tagore is a writer who has been forgotten. It was the English translation that made the world, and Stockholm, take notice. 

Manjushree Thapa and Samrat Upadhya have caught the attention of western media because they write in English. One studied and lived in the USA and the other is settled there. Moreover, the American publishing world does more for its migrant authors than other countries. There are prizes in which only USA-educated migrants are allowed to apply to be nominated, a certain protectionism for their US-migrants.

(The lecturer with his Creative Writing students in Freiburg)

Motivation to write:
The main motivation is to share my thoughts with the reader and to try out different genres. Since I know a lot of school-friends who dropped out and joined the British Gurkhas to see the world, it was disgusting to see how the British government treated their comrade-in-arms from the hills of Nepal. On the one hand, they said they are our best allies, part of the British Army and on the other hand I got letters from Gurkhas showing how low their salaries are in the Gurkha Brigade. A Johnny Gurkha gets only half the pay that a British Tommy is paid. Colonialism? Master-and –Servant relationship? They were treating them like guest-workers from Nepal and hiring and firing them at will, depending upon whether the Brits needed cannon-fodder. All they had to do was to recruit more Brigades in Nepal. This injustice motivated me to write a series on the Gurkhas and the Brits. I like NatureJournaling too and it’s wonderful to take long walks in the Black Forest countryside and in Switzerland. As a Nepalese I’m always fascinated and awed by the Alps and the Himalayas. 

Writing style:

Every writer in his journey towards literature discovers his own style. Here’s what Heidi Poudel says about my style: ‘Brilliant, I enjoyed your poems thoroughly. I can hear the underlying German and Nepali thoughts within your English language. The strictness of the German form mixed with the vividness of your Nepalese mother tongue. An interesting mix. Nepal is a jewel on the Earths surface, her majesty and charm should be protected, and yet exposed with dignity through words. You do your country justice and I find your bicultural understanding so unique and a marvel to read.’ Reviewed by Heide Poudel in WritersDen.com.

I might sound old fashioned but there’s lot of wisdom in these two small words: Carpe diem. Use your time. It can also mean ‘seize the job’ as in the case of Keating in the book ‘Dead Poets Society.’ When I was in Katmandu a friend named Bindu Dhoj who was doing MBA in Delhi said, ‘Satish, you have to assert yourself in life.’ That was a good piece of advice. In the Nepalese society we have a lot of chakari and afnu manchay caused by the caste-and-jaat system. But in Europe even if you are well-qualified, you do have to learn to assert and ‘sell’ and market yourself through good public relations. That’s why it’s also important to have a serious web-presence. Germany is a great, tolerant country despite the Nazi past, and it’s an economic and military power. If you have chosen Germany, then make it a point to ‘do in Germany as the Germans do.’ Get a circle of German friends, interact with them, lose your shyness, get in touch with German families and speak, read, write and dream in German. If you like singing then join a choir (like me), if you like art join a Kunstverein, if you like sport then be a member of a Sportverein. If you’re a physician, join the Marburger or Hartmann Bund. Don’t think about it. Do it. It’s like swimming. You have to jump into the water. Dry swimming or thinking alone won’t help you. Cultural exchange can be amusing and rewarding for your own development. 

Current and future projects: I always have writing projects in my mind and you’ll catch me scribbling notices at different times of the day. I feel like a kid in a department store when I think about the internet. No haggling with editors, no waiting for a piece of writing to be published. I find blogs fantastic. Imagine the agonies a writer had to go through in the old days after having submitted a poem or a novel. Now, it’s child’s play. Even Elfriede Jelenek uses her blog to write directly for the reading pleasure of her readers. The idea has caught on. In a life time you do write a lot and I’m out to string all my past writings in a book in the Ich-Form, that is, first person singular and am interested in memoir writing, spiritual writing, medical-ethno writing and, of course, my Zeitgeistlyrik . Georg F. Will said: A powerful teacher is a benevolent contagion, an infectious spirit, an emulable stance toward life. I like the idea of being an ‘infectious spirit’ as far as my Creative Writing lectures are concerned, and it does your soul good when a young female student comes up to you after the lecture and says: ‘Thank you very much for the lecture. You’ve ignited the fire in me with your words.’ I love to make Creative Writing a benevolent contagion and infect young minds with words. 

To my Readers: Be proud of yourself, talk with yourself as you talk with a good friend, with respect and have goals in mind. If your goal is too high you must readjust it. My Mom used to say, ‘Chora bhayey pachi ik rakhna parchha. When you’re a son you have to strive for higher goals in life. I’d say a daughter can also adopt this. Like the proverbial Gurkha, keep a stiff upper lip and don’t give up. Keep on marching along your route and you’ll reach your destination in life. But on the other hand, be happy and contended with small successes and things. We Nepalese are attributed with ‘Die Heiterkeit der Seele’ because we are contented with small things which is a quality we should never lose. Keep that friendly Nepali smile on your face, for it will bring you miles and miles of smiles; and life’s worthwhile because you smile. 

On literature: When you read a novel or short-story, you can feel the excitement, you discover with the writer new terrain. You’re surprised. You’re in a reading-trance and the purpose of literature is to give you reading experience and pleasure. Literature is not the birth-right of the lecturers of English departments in universities where every author of merit is analysed, taken apart, mixing the fictive tale with the writer’s personal problems in reality. The authors are bestowed with literary prizes, feted at literary festivals and invited to literary conferences and public readings. 

Literature belongs to the folk of a culture, but the academicians have made it their own pride possession. Would like to hear Hemingway telling you a story he had written or an academician hold a lecture about what Hemingway wrote? I’d prefer the former because it belongs to the people, the readers, the listeners. In India and Nepal we have story-tellers who go from village to village and tell stories from the Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. Story-telling has always appealed to simple people and the high-brows alike, and has remained an important cultural heritage. The same holds for the Gaineys, those wandering minstrels from Nepal and Northern India, with their crude violins called sarangis. They tell stories of former kings, princes and princesses, battles, fairy tales, village stories, ballads accompanied by the whining, sad sound of the sarangi. 

Literature has always flown into history, religion, sociology, ethnology and is a heritage of mankind, and you can find all these wonderful stories in your local library or your e-archive.

My first contact with a good library was the American Library in Katmandu. A new world of knowledge opened to me. I could read the Scientific American, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, The New York Times, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, the Christian Science Monitor. The most fascinating thing about it was , you only had to be a member and you could take the precious books home.

OMG! It was unbelievable for a Nepalese who came from a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nobody bothered about what you were reading: stories, history, new and old ideas, inventions, theories, general and specific knowledge. The sky was the limit. I had a voracious appetite, and it was like the opening of a Bildungsroman.

Historical novels tell us about how it was to live in former days, the forms of society involved that the writer evokes in his or her pages. In ‘A Year in Provence’ Peter Mayle makes you almost taste the excellent French food and wine, and the search for truffles with a swine in hilarious, as well as the game of bol. On the other hand, James Joyce evokes a life-changing experience with his protagonists Leopold Bloom and Stephan Daedalus in Dublin on June 16, 1904. Ulysses is a modern interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, an inner monologue recalled as memories of places, people, smells, tastes and thoughts of the protagonist . The Bhagwad Gita is a luminous and priceless gem in the literary world, possesses world history character, and teaches us the unity in diversity. It is a dialogue between the hero Arjuna and Krishna, who is the chariot-driver. Krishna is an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. The Mahabharata alone has 18 chapters and the epic has 18 books with legends, episodes and didactic pieces that are connected with the main story. It is a fascinating reading about the war between relatives, written in the 4th and 3rd centuries before the birth of Christ. He who reads knows better than to be indoctrinated, for he or she learns to think, opening new worlds and lines of thought.

In my school-days I read Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and it became alive when I went to the Bastille Museum in Paris with a fellow medical student. My memory of A Tale of Two Cities took shape there, as I peered at the old, historical exhibits and the guillotine. Later in the evening my friend Peter’s sister, who was married to a Parisian said, ‘Oh, Satish, there are so many things to see in Paris than a museum the entire afternoon.’ For me it was like time-travelling to the times of the French Revolution, because I’d soaked up the story in my school days. I could see Madame Defarge knitting the names of the noblemen and women to be executed. Dickens was a great master of fabulation. I was ripe for those stories and was as curious as a Siamese cat I had named Sirikit, reading, turning page for page, absolutely absorbed in the unfolding stories. Time and space and my personal demands were unimportant. It was the story that had to be read, even with a midnight candle when the local hydroelectric power supply failed. That happened to me when I read ‘The Godfather’ (Der Pate) while visiting a friend from Iceland. I couldn’t put the book down.

I felt sad when a 14 year old computer-crazy schoolkid said: ‘Who reads books these days? Everything’s in the internet.’ The question is: do kids read books on their laptops and eReaders? School websites, Facebook and You Tube and their apps have added new hobbies for children who’re growing up. Does the cyberspace-generation have only time for games? I tell them they should use: Google Scholar, Pubmed etc. to gather knowledge and learn to transfer it.E-books are in: I think it’s great to have such a lot of authors in e-format in your pocket. Never a boring moment: the world of lit, science-fiction, thrillers all unfurl as you read or even listen to these, plugged in to your MP3. Watch the traffic though..

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Upper Rhine Valley (Satis Shroff)

 

Mehr als 750 Reiseveranstalter und über 600 Journalisten wurden seit 2010 in den sechs Zielmärkten auf Upper Rhine Valley aufmerksam gemacht; außerdem wurden bislang aus jedem Markt jeweils rund ein Dutzend Reiseveranstalter und Journalisten im Rahmen von Famtrips zu unterschiedlichen Highlights der Region geführt. Mit E-Mail-Newslettern werden monatlich detailliertere Informationen zu jeweils einer Stadt bzw. Region versandt.

Die ersten Rückmeldungen auf Marketingkampagnen in den Zielmärkten machen Mut für den kontinuierlichen Ausbau des Angebots. Zwei der großen chinesischen Reiseveranstalter, drei koreanische Reiseveranstalter und einige indische Spezial-Anbieter für Individualreisen nach Europa haben Upper Rhine Valley gelistet und nach den ersten Reisen schon sehr positives Feedback erhalten.

 

Gerade für kleine und mittlere Hotels ist es eine Chance, durch zielgerichtete Bearbeitung von Marktnischen oder konsequente Ausrichtung der eigenen Dienstleistungen auf neue Zielgruppen am boomenden Tourismusmarkt teilzuhaben. Upper Rhine Val-ley bietet bei regelmäßigen „Info-Stammtischen“ in der gesam-ten Region Erfahrungen und Fachwissen für Hotels, Gastrono-mie und regional ansässige Reiseveranstalter. Ob e-mobility, green labels oder online-Marketing, best practise-Beispiele in Sachen Hotelzimmerrenovierung oder die Vermittlung von In-formationen über Verhaltensweisen und Wünsche chinesischer oder indischer Gäste – die Info-Stammtische bringen das Know-how an die Basis und bieten außerdem Gelegenheit zum Austausch über die Grenzen hinweg.

 

In Anbetracht des zu erwartenden Fachkräftemangels ist auch die Nachwuchsgewinnung und -sicherung in der Tourismus-branche in der Region ein Thema des Projekts. Mit dem Ziel, die Ausbildungssituation im grenzüberschreitenden Zusam-menhang transparent zu machen und so Doppelungen bzw. Lücken im Bildungsangebot aufzudecken, finanzierte Upper Rhine Valley eine Studie zu touristischen Ausbildungseinrichtungen in der Region. Die Ergebnisse der vom Euro-Institut Kehl angefertigten Studie führten zur bevorstehenden Einrich-tung eines binationalen Masterstudiengangs im Tourismus, der von der Ecole de Management de Strasbourg und der Dualen Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Lörrach ab dem Winterse-mester 2012/13 angeboten werden soll.

Auf dem Fundament der bisherigen Maßnahmen und Erfahrun-gen soll auch nach 2012 die gemeinsame Vermarktung der tri-nationalen Tourismus-Destination ‚Upper Rhine Valley‘ voran-getrieben werden. Die Partner auf deutscher, französischer und schweizerischer Seite haben vor Kurzem auf ihrer Gesellschaf-terversammlung die Fortführung des Projekts vereinbart. Ent-sprechende Verhandlungen über die Kofinanzierung werden derzeit auch mit den staatlichen Institutionen geführt.

 

Neben der Fortführung der bisherigen Aktivitäten wurden für die nächsten Jahre folgende Projektschwerpunkte vereinbart:

Nachwuchssicherung / Informationsbasis verbreitern im Touristikbereich, (Nachbarschafts-)Sprachförderung und Etablierung eines online-Schulungs-Tools.

– Entwicklung einer Art Tarifverbund in Form einer „Ober-rhein-Pass“ zur Erleichterung und Vereinfachung der grenzüberschreitenden Mobilität. Dieser Pass – evtl. in Kombination mit Besichtigungsangeboten – soll sowohl für Touristen als auch die Bevölkerung selbst Anreiz bie-ten, grenzüberschreitende Kultur-, Sport- und sonstige Angebote wahrzunehmen.

Durchführung von „Welcome“-Tagen für Studierende an Upper Rhine Valley Universitäten, die aus den Zielmärk-ten stammen mit dem Ziel, diese Studierenden als „Bot-schafter“ heranzuziehen, die langfristig die Funktion von Multiplikatoren in ihren Heimatländern wahrnehmen wer-den.

„Rad-Touristik“ – grenzüberschreitende Vernetzung der Wege und Karten dient als Basis für zielgruppengerecht zu entwickelnde Ein- und Mehrtages-Programme unter Einbindung privater Dienstleister.

 

 

-„Zeitgenössische Kunst“ – Aufbau einer trinational ein-heitlichen Werbe- und Kommunikationsstrategie; Ziel ist es, die Reichhaltigkeit des Angebots an zeitgenössischer Kunst im grenzüberschreitenden Zusammenhang darzu-stellen.

– „Technical Visits“ – Insbesondere auf der Basis der gu-ten Reputation z.B. von Freiburg-Green City und Karls-ruhe im Bereich der Mobilität sowie der am gesamten Oberrhein in vorbildlicher Weise vorhandenen Beispiele zukunftsweisender und nachhaltiger Städteplanung, sol-len verstärkt mehrtägige grenzüberschreitend angelegte Besuchsprogramme in den verschiedenen Themenbe-reichen der Nachhaltigkeit entwickelt und beworben werden.

 

 

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Satis Shroff writes this time a triology of poems about Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher from Meßkirch who became the Rector of the Freiburger University in the Third Reich. He takes you into his thoughts and the reason why he collaborated with the Nazis. He repented it a long time in the Black Forest and was rehabilitated later..


The Silence of Existence (Satis Shroff)

Plato once said:
‘Megala panta episphale,’
Questionable,
Destined to fall, Endangered.
This was Plato’s philosophic answer
To the tyrant Syracus,
Who was doomed to fail.

But why did I follow
Plato’s words,
And took them
To a heroic sturm-and-drang?

It is true,
I sympathised with the inner truth
Of the National Socialism,
For a short while.
But this short episode cost me
My very existence.
The human being has to grow big
In his own self,
In order to see big movements
And to be aware of it.

I came from a small family,
Didn’t want to be involved
In petty matters,
Donning the mantle
Of stubbornness and refusing
To accept new challenges.
I wanted to understand
The secrets of powerful men,
To ultimately be a part of them.

But in the course of time,
The powerful persons for which I yearned,
Changed their countenances.
My philosophic thoughts
Dwelled on my homeland,
God,
Existence,
Being,
Nothingness,
The German folk,
Original thought and great poetry.
Towards the end came the planetary technology,
Which grew big.

My works of philosophy
Went through the illusions and catastrophies
Of the 20th century.
All striving for greatness
Leads to downfall.

At the beginning of the war
The German nationalism was awakened.
The people were collectively enthusiastic,
Hitting us all,
Like a tidal wave.
I didn’t care much
About what was happening
Around me.

In my thoughts I was living,
Thinking about people in the Middle Ages.
I was following a metaphysical imperative.
In the battlefield of Verdun,
Half a million soldiers perished.
But I was disappointed
For I didn’t get a professorship
At the University of Freiburg.

The Führer once wanted to be an artist.
I wanted to be a priest
The Jesuits and the Catholics in Freiburg
Turned me down.

Similar to Friedrich Nietzsche’s
Forty-year old Zarathustra,
Who after ten years of solitude
In his mountain cave,
Went down to the humans,
To teach them the incredibility
Of being,
The meaning of their being,
I also wanted to reveal and teach
The essentials of human existence,
Which deals with one’s own being.
For the world of being or Sein,
Is not only the self-world,
But also the world of togetherness,
In which the being-in
Is always the being-together.
Existence is threatened by anxiety,
Behind which lies
The temporality of existence.
The aim of philosophy
Is to listen to the silence of existence.

* * *

The Führer of the Mind II (Satis Shroff)

In his ‘Seventh Letter’ Plato wrote

About his three journeys to Syrakus and Sicily

Between 389 and 361 BC.

Plato had close relations to the ruling tyrann:

At first with Dionysios I,

Later with his son Dionysios II,

Who he tried to educate and lead.

Among other philosophic questions,

Socrates had to answer this one:

In which way does a state have to use philosophy,

In order not to go under,

For all greatness is questionable.

Platon was defeated in Syrakus,

Because Dionysios II refused to overtake

His ideas about State,

Education, laws and constitution.

Plato became frustrated.

His state-philosophical plans had failed.

I hoped that history would repeat itself,

This time with a happy result.

So I chose Plato as my own hero,

For the political battle,

With Adolf Hitler in the role of Dionysios II.

On January 19,1933 after the big elections victory

In Lippe,

A great storm has come over me,

In which I’ve set out my full sail.

With this, a lot of old ties

Were torn or broken.

I can’t mend them now.

O what a storm it was,

In which you and I and all

Were swept away.

It was the greatness and exemplary Greek philosophy,

Waking up anew,

Albeit, the dark orders of a state and society,

Undergoing a massive change.

After Hitler was given the right

To govern by the old Reichspresident

Paul von Hinderburg,

My will to work for the Third Reich

Became stronger.

In order to stabilise the NS-rule,

My philosophy became a part

Of the Nazi ideology.

I had my doubts when deeds were done,

To lift the needs

Of the folk and the Reich,

But I believed that the political changes

Were a challenge to me,

My country needed me.

Between the Greek philosophy

And the NS movement,

I wanted to fight

Against the dying spirit of Christendom,

And the spectre of the communist world.

The Greeks and the German folk,

A politic of Being and Führer-state,

Platon and I myself.

I was a convinced National Socialist,

At the beginning of the Third Reich.

It was in the solitude

Of the autumnal and wintry Black Forest,

That I decided to be involved

In building a world,

Created by a folk.

That was the new reality.

The ‘Being’ I’d learned from Parmenides,

Platon and Aristoteles,

Should be used to make the NS-spirit,

A part and parcel of German history.

The NSDAP became my political home.

The Rectorat gave me the institutional confirmation.

I became a member of the NSDAP

On May 1, 1933

With the No. 3125894,

Gau Baden.

* * *

 

BACK FROM SYRAKUS III (Satis Shroff

My first act as the Rector

Of the Freiburger University,

Was to send a circular letter

To all lecturers.

The construction of a new mental world,

For the German folk is the essential duty

Of the German university.

This is national work

Of the highest meaning and priority.

In 1933 I craved for power,

In the field of Political Science.

I wanted to be a Führer of the Mind,

To create a real geistige world

For the German folk.

I found a suitable forum

In the NS-Führer-State.

I greeted the Freiburger students

With the authoritative imperative words:

‘Not teachings and ideas

Are the rules of your being.

The Führer himself alone

Is the German reality

And your law today

Till hereafter.’

The teachers had to be taught again,

So I transformed my philosophical thoughts,

To political activities.

Again and again,

The being, the Germanvolk,

And the Führer were connected

In all my speeches.

At the beginning of 1934 ,

It became clear to me,

That the greatness (Hitler) which I desired,

Was destined to fall.

I noticed that the liberals and conservatives

Were disgusted with Hitler’s propaganda.

Erich Jaensch characterised my philosophical thoughts

As ‘tamundic-rabulistic,’

Which would have a magnetic attraction

For Jews and people of Jewish descent.

To Erich Jaensch,

I was a dangerous schizophrenic

And my pathologic writings

Would only be admired by weird people.

Ernst Krieck saw in my philosophy

A ferment of decay and decomposition

For the German folk.

I saw in the Führer not the egocentric powerful man,

But an instance of political knowledge,

With a concentration

Of the new spirit of state-and-folk community.

There is only one will for the state to exist.

The Führer has awakened this desire

In the entire folk and made it

To a common goal.

In lieu of the objective he-she-it,

I preferred the meaning of being ‘I am.’

I became a follower of the NSDAP,

The propagandist of national socialism.

I wanted to see people who had the will,

The inner power to make greatness even bigger.

Most people made the usual snarls

Of ordinary citizens,

Who cling to small and half-things;

They don’t want to see,

Never can see the big and farthest,

The unique and all-powerful.

My friends wrote to me on my 80th birthday:

‘Mr. H.,

Are you back from Syrakus?

Back from my escapade.

I felt like Plato,

Who was disappointed by Dionysios II.

My disappointment was much bigger

Than that of Plato,

Because the tyrant and his victim,

Were not beyond the seas,

But in my own country.

My thoughts moved to Being,

Das Sein.

In my search for heroes I came across:

Parmenides, Heraklit, Holderlin and Nietsche.

I abandoned political thought,

Embraced the thoughts of the poet,

Poetic thoughts,

For in the language of poetry,

You find the purest essence of language,

Which can begin and develop.

I wanted to show that language

Is not an expression of biological-racist humans.

The essence of humans through language,

Is the basic reality of the mind.

To the Nazis I became suddenly

A suspected person,

Who needed to be shadowed.

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Courtesy: Badische Zeitung, Freiburg

Courtesy: Badische Zeitung, Freiburg

Courtesy: Dreisamtaeler, Kirchzarten

Green City Freiburg Honours Satis Shroff

At an official ceremony in Freiburg’s Exhibition Hall Ulrich von Kirchbach, the mayor in charge of Culture and Integration honoured the life work of Satis Shroff. In his laudatio, von Kirchbach presented an Urkunde from the City of Freiburg as a special acknowledgement for Satis Shroff’s commitment and prolonged support and assistance to refugees and foreign students, and as a member of the managing committee of the Männergesangverein (men’s choir) ‘Liederkranz’ Freiburg-Kappel.

Satis Shroff was awarded the DAAD Prize in 1998.

Culture can give you insight into the living world of refugees, it can help remove boundaries and open new horizons, thereby enhancing the development of creativity in humans. Accordingly, Satis Shroff said in his thank-you-message: “I’d advise migrants to join a German association (verein), for that’s the place to meet the Germans and interact positively with them. I’m a member of the MGV Kappel, where we sing old and new German and English songs. After the singing we invariably go to one of the two taverns in Kappel to joke, laugh and talk about what moves us. There’s respect, tolerance, compassion among the singers and a good feeling of togetherness within the community. Whether it’s religious or seasonal events, funerals or initiation-rites, the men’s choir is always there, taking part in all walks of life. In this way, we get to know our strengths and weaknesses and help each other with sound advice and action. As we say in Germany: I really feel ‘Sauwohl in Kappel,’ which means I feel great. I can’t imagine a better integration in the German mainstream.”

In the past, and even now and then, Satis Shroff has cared for refugee children from Bosnia, Madedonia and Kosovo-Albania and did pedagogic work with them. Many children were able to make the necessary grades and others were sent to their home-countries as soon as the krieg ceased in their country of origin. He remembers cases of refugee-families who were woken up from their sleep in the wee hours of the morning by the police and whisked away to Frankfurt, put in a plane and escorted to their countries. This is the other side of the world-wide refugee problem.

“One day, a tall and burly, unshaven Albanian man came to the social office and took us as prisoners. He hand a big plastic bag with a canister of petrol and a gun in his hand and said, “If you don’t do what I say I’ll blow you all up.” We were terrified. He was a father who’s daughter had been taken away by the social department because he’d been maltreating her. Whew! That was a traumatic experience. I thought my life was going to end there,” said Satis Shroff.

As a contact person and counsellor for the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Stipendium he worked in cooperation with the Academic Foreign Office in Freiburg and cared for students and scientists from Nepal, India and the United Kingdom and he still maintains good contacts with these academicians.

Satis Shroff speaks English, German, Nepali, Hindi and Urdu and has also worked as a translator with the Amtsgericht on a honorary basis. He has assisted the migrants where he could and he says: “Migrants are helpless in a foreign country and there are cultural, social and language barriers. They a confronted with a strange administrative system and unusual laws and jurisprudence. All this makes the migrant raise his or her hands in despair.”

He was officially requested by the town of Ilmenau to translate Goethe’s famous poem: ‘Wandrers Nachtlied. He has also translated Nepali literature into Nepali. His German book of poems ‘Im Schatten des Himalaya’ has been printed by http://www.lulu.com/satisle. He has also written two Nepali language books for German development workers of GTZ, Goethe Institute, DAAD and the members of the Carl Duisberg Society.

Before he came to Germany for further studies, he worked as a Features Editor with the Rising Nepal, where he wrote editorials and a science column, and commentaries for Radio Nepal on themes pertaining to the country’s development, wildlife and culture.
Satis Shroff is a lecturer, poet, journalist and a passionate singer. ‘I simply love singing Nepali, Hindi, English and German songs,’ he says. He’s a prolific writer and a contributing writer on http://www.americanchronicle.com/authors/view/1207
and on http://www.blogs.boloji.com/satisshroff and satisshroff.tigblogs.org to name a few.

He likes to describe himself a mediator between western and eastern cultures and sees his future in social engagements in the French sense of the word, and in writing and teaching medical subjects and English and German literature.

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