Why is today memory, becomes such an important subject? Memory becomes a subject of study when a great change takes place in society and ruptures the flow of events. Like 9/11 USA, it ruptured the society and because it ruptured the society, suddenly focus our attention towards memory. So, the importance of finding about who you are, why we are, it comes because there is a rupture in society and I believe that there is a rupture in our society right now, a big rupture that is taking place. Why? I don’t know but that is the reason why we are going back so much into our memory right now. All of these countries, if we study, they have a collective memory. Germany has a collective memory which is very strong. I mean I can only explain it through examples.
I was taking a workshop in Germany once but it was a workshop means where you are dealing with psychological issues and there was a young German girl who was in the audience and who was very withdrawn and I had given her some exercise. She was not doing. I went up to her I was with my German colleague, who was also a German, I told her, “I’m sure maybe you are finding this exercise difficult. I come from a country far away. I do not understand your culture that well. So, if I’m saying something and you do not understand, can we talk?” And I noticed she withdrew even further! She almost became like this. So, I said, “Have I said something wrong?” So, my German colleague Dr. Petri stopped me. She told her something in German and took me away. She said and I remember every word of her. She said, “Rajat, when you talked you became very hypnotizing for her. Your language was very hypnotizing. Do you notice that yours, Indians’ language is full of modulation? You go up and down.” I said, “Yeah, we do that.” She said, “Have you noticed how we Germans talk?” I said, “Well, now that you say it, you Germans talk straightforward. One tone, one level like you are going in one of your highways on a Mercedes at 200 km/h. No modulation, nothing.” She says, “Yes, in Germany if you talk in a hypnotic language or you with modulation we withdraw. We don’t trust that person anymore.” So, I said, “Okay, that’s a revelation for me but why?” She says, “you know what Hitler did to us? Hitler’s voice was deeply hypnotic and modulating. Since then we don’t trust anyone who talks in a modulating manner or in a hypnotizing way. So don’t talk like that again.”
So then afterwards I’ve taken numerous workshops in Germany. I always talk at one tone, at one level and don’t go above that and I’m very successful. Believe me, the German says, “Very good workshop! We enjoyed it very much. Thank you very much.” I say, “Yes, that’s right”. So, you see one person, even after 70 years, even before that, they say that ‘in our culture we do not allow anyone to take (advantage). We have made a decision, we won’t allow anyone to take advantage of us and that is why we prefer that we be this way.’