It was a rainy evening and I was returning back after a short trip to Nara (Japan) with my family.My husband works here since seven years and my family had come to visit us.My house is just a few steps away from our metro station.It had started drizzling.As we came out of the metro station's elevator,we saw an old lady was trying to convey us something,here most of the people do not understand English and knowing Japanese is the the primary requirement for communication; which we didn't know, what we understood was that she wanted to offer her umbrella, she was repeatedly pointing at my little daughter.I understood that she was concerned about my baby.I replied, "Its okay... our house is just a few steps away " but she was continuously forcing us to take the umbrella.We conveyed (through actions ofcourse) how would you go and how can we return your umbrella? She then opened her bag and showed us a spare umbrella.She meant that we dont have to return it.We all were touched feeling that concern from a total stanger.Its so true that, we dont need any language to show that we care.
I moved to Japan with my husband 7 years back.I come from a country which is culturally rich,this gives me immense pride but hailing from a country of 125 crores imbibes me with so much of insecurity and apprehensions .We can be good by nature but to show that we are human is a rare trait.I am proud to say that I have started learning this trait finally after being associated with Japan over the years.
I have plethora of experiences which affected me or made a mark in my heart or may be changed my way of looking at people from simply nodding head on looking at a starnger in a lift or to hold the door for a stranger in a restaurant or not missing a single chance of thanking someone by saying,"Arigato Gozaimashita".It looks simple and usual but are quite uncommon acts in our homeland where we dont actually give away smiles that easily.We are rather dubious when a complete stranger passes a smile.
I particularly remember one incident, Me and my 2 year old baby girl were returning from hours long shopping in a nearest super market in Bentencho, Osaka ; our home was two stations away; my baby was sleeping in the pram and the pram basket was full of my shopping goodies .The side from where I take the train for My station ( Osakako) didn't have elevator It had an escalator which was going downwards.I understood that I have to carry my little one, but what would I do with the excess baggage and the pram. I was worried and quite lost in my thoughts ; the very moment a station incharge came, he asked me to waite,he too waited for those few commuters who were going down through the escalator then he immediately came near the escalator, put in the keys, changed some settings and made the elevator go upwards.I was simply astonished. He didn't have to do that but he did this.He showed his sensitivity ; he showed that he is human.And that is not all, I used to visit the super markets often that way , so the same heavy pram and shopping bags were usual problems but every time I found some station incharge offering help, if he cant help me with escalator due to rush then he'll surely carry my pram all through the stairs.
I personally feel that when you live around people who who don't expect anything from you but are always there to help you without even asking for it....You actually start acquiring their behaviour. The clouds of your apprehensions,dubiousness start diminishing and you start loving the new sunshine.
There is not even a single day when I dont hear "Kawai " when I go for a walk with my baby.I remember back in India, even when a mother praise her child, elderly people usually stop us in between saying "Nazar Lag Jayegi".In the same way women are prohibited to wear fitted clothes during pregnancy so that no one sees her baby bump where as here girls purposefully wear such clothes that the cute baby bump is visible. People in Japan immediately leave their seats in Metros and buses for Pregnant women and Senior Citizens.A special ramp is dragged by the bus driver every time any wheel chaired commuter wants to board the public bus.
All these incidents have inspired me to be more human.I too carry a spare umbrella during rainy season, I too offer a hand to hold someone's heavy bag,I never miss a word to appreciate something.I have slowly started believing and appreciating my own race.
I truly believe that if you be with good you turn better.