Romancing the Japanese Language

The first memory I have associated with Japan, was when I was a small school girl trying to pronounce Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku & Kyushuu 🙂 my Geography teacher tried her best to get us to say the names of Japan’s 4 main islands. From that moment it was hook, liner, sink for me!
I was enthralled by the stories my father told me about this great country. That it was one of the best countries in the world, that it was the land of the rising sun, that the people had very strong ethics and principles.

Few stories and incidents about the kindness displayed by the Japanese to total strangers left me speechless. I would often wonder – could this be just a tale,
could a person be this kind and offer unconditional service to another?

The first real connection I had with the Japanese was during my backpacking trip to Mainland China. I met 3 Japanese tourists who displayed disproportional levels of
courtesy, manners and offered assistance. These 3 individuals sold the concept of their entire country to me, and they dint even know the impact it had on me.
They were their country’s ambassadors and they did a fine job without even knowing that they were unconsciously advertising their country’s morals, ethics , principles and culture.
They all thought they were just touring as tourists – Wrong! They were samurais in their own way, and the living epitome of the most ideal prototype of how humanity really should be like.

Several other instances finally led me to enroll for the beginners course & I have been studying the Japanese language since August 2016.
Its been a wonderful experience, learning Hiragana, Katakana & Kanji. Everyday I learn something beautiful about the culture and eve the
conversations between characters in textbooks revels how respectful they are of each other.

I have just struck upon an endless reserve of knowledge that can keep me occupied for the rest of my life. Beautiful Japanese Language – Kireina Nihongo!

Christmas in Colombo

The reviews about a place are going to stay just as data points, until you visit it. Now when you land there, it’s a totally different equation, you might warm up to it, like it, love it or just be madly obsessed by the place.

When i first heard of Sri Lanka – i had no expectations whatsoever. I dint know if id like it, i dint even imagine what it would be like. I guess I was more apprehensive of the first day of arrival – the usual jitters about the logistics and how to reach Downtown from the airport.

When I reached Colombo on Christmas Eve – the ride from the airport to the center of Downtown itself was like a small debut to what was awaiting for me at Colombo. On the way there were immaculately arranged cribs all along the path and at the junctions of small walk ways. It was really dreamy, and it was a different approach to what i see in my country. Here I saw cribs decorated so well and only then did i learn that Sri Lanka is actually very famous for its cribs. I felt awesome to be a part of this luxurious festive mode. It was indeed beautiful.

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Every roundabout was lit up & all the streets were alight with festive decorations. It was like being given a VIP pass to Santa’s private party! The weather was at a comfortable temperature, pleasant with cool gentle breeze blowing from the Ocean. We were on the beach side restaurant for the evening fiesta and everybody around us was in a happy festive mood. A young bunch of people dressed impeccably, were taking turns to take pictures with the exuberant lights in the background. It was splendid.

It was indeed a Christmas to remember, I really do hope to visit Colombo again during the Christmas week.

Oriental Peace of Mind

While travelling through the Orient, you cant help but notice the affinity the people have towards inner peace. Nobody needs to tell you about it, for actions do speak louder than words. From the moment you set foot off the subway, all along your journey you will notice the love the people have for nature.

I honestly felt that people in the Orient are far happier than in India. It probably has a lot to do with the climate too I guess. Nobody would prefer to be out at noon in the blistering heat! Whereas the climate in northern China is extremely pleasant during autumn and its literally a paradise.

I saw many people performing Tai Chi, in the gardens with soulful music playing in the background. People were happy to be all by themselves in the lush green lawn. The atmosphere was peaceful and I saw many people smiling and at peace.

I was delighted to be able to experience such a beautiful feeling. I see that the Oriental people do take massive efforts in keeping their traditions and customs alive. I absolutely love that about them. The astounding wisdom they posses about healing themselves from within is admirable. For they practice tai chi with dedication and love, its a transcended lifestyle.

The young, the not so young, almost everyone absolutely enjoys tai chi. It’s a great form of relaxation and I guess that the elixir of peace. For no matter how many hours you spend at the gym, it’s the soul we need to fix in the first place.

Inner tranquility is of prime importance, to be in harmony with our outer self.

Gardens at the Lama Temple – é›Ťĺ’Śĺ®®

Beijing witnesses immense colorful foliage during autumn. I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of colors, being splashed by the canopy of tress. It’s like an artist decided he would paint each boulevard with a different shade of green or with various shades ranging from yellow to red.

The lush green foliage of early Autumn is refreshing and looks exuberant. Not only does the canopy of the trees provide solace from the sunlight, but it also is a splendid delight to any onlooker. The vivid colors fill you with a sense of calm & imbibes a sense of appreciation towards the wonders of nature.

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Lush green canopy adorns the boulevard at the Lama Temple.

When I walked along the Boulevard at the Lama Temple – i could not resist but notice the lush green foliage at the immaculately manicured garden. The strategically placed tress along the path, with brown trunks had centuries of stories embedded in them. It looked as though several years ago a gardener with an immense foresight was meticulous in designing the landscape, and visualized how the imperial gardens would eventually span out over the decades.

CanopyAutumn Colors at the Tibetan Lama Temple.

Apart from the enticing 16th century architecture – these colored luscious trees effortlessly draw the attention of the photographers and nature lovers.The birds camoflaged within the foliage, make a surprise appearance. The chirping of the  birds is music to the ears, the version of the songs they sing take prominence over the faint but persistent chants resonating all around.