Chapter 1

Raman read the letter from his uncle for the umpteenth time. It was from his uncle who lives in Hamburg, Germany. Raman has just finished his B.E. His uncle has presented him a week’s holiday in Singapore for his good B.E. results.

“Go to Singapore for a week and see the difference between India and Singapore and dream to make something good for India”, was the main message in his uncle’s letter.

Raman tried to remember his days in Germany with his parents when they visited his uncle. He was at that time 7 or 8 years old. For a boy at that age everything was wonderful and unforgettable; from the flight to everything else that he saw and understood. Hamburg, where his uncle lives, is the greenest city in Europe, has more bridges than Paris and more canals than Amsterdam. It is the cleanliness everywhere and the German technique that went deep and stayed in his mind. It is green everywhere in spring with lot of different colourful flowers. The cleanliness everywhere and the precision in the technique were surprising to his young mind.

Three things he could still remember very well:

The old Elbe Tunnel where the car was taken down and then up with a lift to drive below the river Elbe. He even saw pedestrians walking through that tunnel under the river.

Next was the modern Elbtunnel below the River Elbe where every tube has two lanes for the cars. It is also a part of the highways. As he came out of the Tunnel he could see the Hamburg-Harbour with its big ships. Hamburg is a river harbour, 7th biggest in the world and to reach the North Sea the ships have to travel in the river Elbe 120 km.

Finally the most interesting thing he saw was in Heidelberg, the University City in South Germany. During the boat tour in the river Neckar he found that the ship was carried up more than 10 metres upwards and then brought down to travel downwards. This was done in an interesting way. The ship entered inside the tank and then the door was tightly closed. Now lot of water was pumped inside the tank and the ship went up automatically with the water level. When the required level is reached, the door of the tank was opened and the ship travelled further upwards. It happened several times in the river of Neckar. It was also interesting if the ship has to come down. The tank was closed when the ship was inside and the water was let out and the ship went down automatically till it reached the lower level of the river. When the door was opened the ship could travel downstream without any problem. These are the master works of German engineering. As a boy he never forgot these experiences and as a young man he saw the world with full of opportunities. He also realised that he was in the right place - the emerging India.

Raman decided to accept the tour to Singapore; he had his passport already and the rest was only a routine with the travel agent. He has prepared well for the places he wanted to see in Singapore and slowly his mind also accepted this fun for few days before he has to start his work.