Umeswaran arunagirinathan, known to all as umes, has made three promises. Dr. Umes, given to his mother when he said goodbye to her in sri lanka in 1991 in the middle of the burger war: he never wanted to drink alcohol, he never wanted to smoke and he wanted to become a doctor. Until today he has not touched a drop, he has not inhaled a cigarette and he has become a doctor, soon he will even be a heart surgeon. "I have kept my promises, he says. But the road from tamil refugee to german doctor was long. He has written about his experiences in two books "allein auf der flucht" ("alone on the run") and "the foreign german: living between cultures written down. He now read from the second book at the BBZ in munnerstadt.
Laura schmidt experienced umeswaran arunagirinathan at the intercultural week in bad kissingen, germany. The teacher at the vocational academy for social pedagogy and the vocational school for curative education at the BBZ was enthusiastic. She saw his speech on the memorial day for the victims of flight and expulsion in front of angela merkel and horst seehofer among others. "It is important that people with a migration background come to the fore and say: "we are here, we are helping to shape things", she says. This made people think, and prejudices were broken down. Laura schmidt knows exactly what she is talking about. She was born in rumania (siebenburgen) and has a migration background herself. She wanted to bring umeswaran arunagirinathan to the BBZ for a reading, and chance helped her out. Because one of her students worked as a nurse with umeswaran arunagirinathan in the operating room. She made the contact, and school principal harry koch was also there right away. So that as many pupils and students as possible from the six schools at the BBZ could attend, there were two readings in a row.
Umes is punctual, drinks a coffee against his habit. "I was in zeil am main last night in the witches’ tower", he says. A reading at the folk high school. Then he was on night duty at the heart clinic in bad neustadt, germany. Nothing out of the ordinary "but the intensive care unit was full". Quickly freshened up and ate something, then went to the BBZ. And what about sleep? "This afternoon", he says.
17 readings have been completed by umes in the last few days,. "Every reading is different, he says. Soon he will write a third book, which will probably be called "the lost patient heiben will. "If the economy determines medicine, then the patient and the doctor lose out", he says. But for now his second book is in the foreground. The auditorium of the BBZ is filled to capacity.
Then he tells umeswaran arunagirinathan. The civil war and the children who died on the way to school. And of his rough sister who got sick, who couldn’t be helped. One reason why he should become a doctor. Today he knows it was his kidneys. His mother goes with him to the south, a tug is organized. 15,000 DM she has to pay. Many months later he arrives in germany. The first thing he gets to eat in a children’s home is pizza. "Such a shit…" He thought and ate only the edge. He thought the red on the floor was blood. Umes goes to hamburg to live with an uncle. "Hamburg is my home, he says today. But it was a long way. Some episodes he reads out.
He talks about signing up at the fitness center. He has to pay the annual fee right away, the man from the fitness center says to him. There’s no telling how long he’ll be here. The fact that umeswaran arunagirinathan presented a german identity card escaped him. Umes tells the story of mr. Clausen. The 80-year-old patient in a hamburg hospital complained that he was being treated by a "black" man is treated. Dr. Umes does not let it stop him. "He is my patient." Days later mr. Clausen knocks dr. Umes on the shoulder: "you are a good boy". Through the encounter mr clausen got the chance not to die as a racist.
And then there is the cardiac surgery residency. The doctor in charge in hamburg chose two native germans who had worked in the hospital for a much shorter time than he and a colleague with turkish roots. Protesting didn’t help. So he went to bad neustadt, where he will finish his training. You have to bend, but you mustn’t let yourself be broken. "And that’s how i got to know franken."
Umeswaran arunagirinathan talks a lot about his family, about his father, whose body name he himself had disfigured according to tamil tradition. He was back in sri lanka for the first time in 24 years. He tells of a boy at school in hamburg, with whom he was in love, whose portrait he stole, while two girlfriends stood schmiere. Umeswaran arunagirinathan talks about the deportation notice and the help he received. Again and again he says that he is german. But his roots are in sri lanka. That will always be the case. When he is sad, he is able to turn this mood into positive energy. If a friend breaks up with him or cheats on him, he goes shopping.
Umeswaran arunagirinathan has done it. He becomes a heart surgeon. Just as he once promised the mother. Not because he is particularly talented, but because he is hard-working and determined, he says of himself. He has a lot to pay back. In perfect german, even though languages are supposedly not his strong points. He has become german, with roots in sri lanka. He lives with both cultures.