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Elisabeth on storytelling and travelling - in conversation with "Der Berliner" in Pune

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

How refreshing it is to start the year with a conversation on storytelling and traveling - for “Der Berliner”, based in Pune, India.

"There is a magic in every beginning that protects us and helps us to live”, writes Hermann Hesse 1941 in “Steps”, after a long sickness, in the midst of World War II. In Thalassary, Kerala, the new Dr. Hermann Gundert Museum and Study Center opened in 2022, in memory of Hesse's grandfather, and that's one of several themes we're talking about during our “Kaffeeklatch, and I pulled out some photographs from my archive for the piece.

Beginnings offer a universal human cipher for storytellers, closely associated with hoping, transforming, growing, and also being free to expand one's horizons or reinvent something. It is hard to put this into words more beautifully than Hannah Arendt in “Vita activa”, 1958: "Because every human being, by virtue of being born, is an initium, a beginning and a newcomer to the world, human beings can take initiative, become beginners and set something new in motion.”

Pune is located in the Western state of Maharashtra, only three hours by train from Mumbai, and happen to be twin city and twin state to Stuttgart and Baden Wuerttemberg. We had a lot of fun during the video interview. I got to know Isha Pataskar, a diplomacy student and the young founder and CEO of Der Berliner, as well as the newsroom team of writers and editors. I was invited for a coffee and a conversation about my career and life for their online magazine “Das Sprachgefühl”, the first Indo-German Online Magazine for students. Everyone was in different places in Pune, some at their desks, some on the road, in what I find a familiar soundscape of urban India.

We chatted in German and in English, and the publication offers contents in both languages. Soon the magazine is to be supplemented by their newly developed podcast "Kaffee und Kuchen”.

At the beginning of January 2023, “Der Berliner” turns two years. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, keep rocking! 🤍🥂🤍


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