Dorothea's Karmic Connect with India

Posted on 2009-01-25
Well-known photographer and poet Dorothea Nuernberg, 44, has a dozen books to her credit. Yet, none of these accomplishments soothe the restless soul of this Viennese writer. "I still have to conquer my own nature. I want to awaken my sleeping spirit and stand face-to-face with my true consciousness," says Nuernberg, during a chat at an Italian café in the heart of Vienna's affluent 19th district.
Nuernberg admits that she does not know too many people in Central Europe who are interested in this aspect of life and suspects that some see her as 'somewhat' esoteric. "Ever since the French Revolution, Europeans have been told that only the flesh matters because it is tangible. Reason and logic are encouraged but all other facets of life, like the intuitive and the spiritual, are negated. Europeans seem to be interested in human beings only as bio-chemical components, devoid of divinity," she sighs.
The intelligentsia, particularly university professors, infuriate her for being completely absorbed with the outer world. "After having organised the material world the next step for us in developed western societies is to embark on a journey within. Most of us are not interested in this. We still concentrate on having and not on being. We have to distract ourselves from consuming, before questions such as 'where have we come from?' and 'where are we going?' even begin to cross our mind," says the author of 'Gestern Vielleicht' ('Maybe Yesterday') that was released in Vienna recently.
The English translation of the book is expected to hit bookstores in India as well. "The main theme in all my books is foreign cultures, which I love to explore, as I travel extensively. I have visited India on several occasions and have been around Rajasthan, Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Agra, Madurai and Kancheepuram. It has been a good experience. I find many more people to talk to in India about life," she confesses.
'Maybe Yesterday' revolves around the story of Julian Kaiser, a Viennese aircraft captain, and his ex-wife Tara, an Indologist. The book transports its readers back and forth between Europe and different parts of India. It is about love in the time of globalisation and flirts with thoughts on the effect of new forms of dating introduced by modern technology like the Internet. The main theme, however, remains the quest of the European soul on Indian soil for the meaning of life.
In 2007, Nuernberg published 'Reflections, The Bollywood Connection', an anthology of three stories inspired by an European's perception of the illusion and reality created by Bollywood films.
For 'Reflections...', she received a glowing review from well-known cinema journalist and curator of numerous international Bollywood festivals, Uma d'Cunha, who stated that "...Nuernberg loves Bollywood films for the spirituality they convey, their intrinsic sense of family values and bonding, (aspects that seem to be lost in the west), for their colour, vitality and openness to life."
Nuernberg regrets that in Austria people are less demonstrative of their feelings and she enjoys the sharing of laughter and tears as depicted in Indian cinema. WFS