My European trip

(Theatre of Pompey)

Random phrases one picks up in life sometimes stay with you and keep playing in that background song of the mind. A few such words in my own little background ditty pull me to a Europe I want to explore.

The Ides of March : ‘Beware the Ides of March’ said a soothsayer to Julius Caeser. And sure enough on the 15th of March (the 15th day of a few months were called Ides by the ancient Romans), Caesar was assassinated in the Theatre of Pompey in Rome. There are many reasons to visit Rome, but for me personally, none as compelling as the vision of the soothsayer talking to Julius Caesar and the ensuing murder in one of classical buildings of ancient Rome.

Checkpoint Charlie : Some of the greatest ‘spy vs spy’ novels of my young days had an inevitable setting. Checkpoint Charlie, that brutal and brooding bridge separating communist Berlin from its capitalist part. Germany is not a country on my top list of holiday destinations – for some reason, I can never find a great enthusiasm for it. But the one thing that I would like to explore in Germany is Checkpoint Charlie and the peculiar psyche of a city torn apart by ideologies. It does seem to be one of those defining European things.

Frosted Fields of Juniper : Paul Simon sang –

…and when you ran to me

your cheeks flushed with the night

we walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight

i held your hand…

And no one one growing up in an urban (& the slightly westernised part of) Indian metro in the seventies and eighties could have escaped the good Paul. Nor did I. And have wanted to see ‘a frosted field of juniper’ ever since. Of course, once I figured out that Gin is made from Juniper berries, the idea kinda took firmer root (so to speak).

They grow in northern Europe and there is a little town in a quiet corner of Europe, where a granny’s house sits in the middle of a field of Juniper.

Anyone for my European trip?