October 29, 2015

The moon and you

Often it is much easier said than done
To accept the changes around you
Accept them graciously as a part of fun
For life which hates being a dead heartbeat

Meet new crossroads and fresh intersections
Pause for a while, think, re-evaluate, decide
Choose between the paths new and old ones
With the fear of guilt that cloud the dark gray sky above

The flickering quivering lights on the street
Make you wonder if this is a signal or a sign
To add the ups and downs to a live heartbeat
And then you question since when you adopted superstitions

You are running out this invaluable time
Dawn is so close, make up your mind quick
Wasting this moment, nothing is a bigger crime
A position where no regret can be afforded

You see far, try to envision what it will be like
A small source of illumination is all you see
But the same on the counterpart, you lose your psyche
It seems *exactly* the same, what will you do now?

Nothing seems the same, nothing at all, none
Even the stars have lost their shine
And one by one, the journey its companions
But this delta is the only motivation long lost

Just to keep your heart reassured, you want that one thing
Which tells you things haven’t changed, it’s just an illusion
And that’s when you looked up in the sky, to gaze
At the moon which was, has been and will be the only constant

Picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vlumi/21763773181/in/photostream/

October 17, 2015

A home in Osaka

I got an email stating that my flight from Osaka to Fukuoka got cancelled 15 minutes before I was about to check out from the hotel. I rescheduled it to the next day, but this also meant I had to now extend my stay in Osaka. I booked a hotel on agoda.com and set out to check-in there.

Since it was a "cheap" hotel, I almost had reached the outskirts of the city. After asking for the location atleast five times, I managed to see the building (rather, a bungalow). An old lady opened the door, and let me in. She asked me to remove my shoes outside and gave me a clean set of slippers to use inside the house. Yes, it was a house, belonging to the old lady, where she rented out rooms to guests to make money. She started looking for my booking in her spreadsheet. It wasn't there!

I had made the booking only an hour ago, and her spreadsheet had not been updated. The real trouble began now - she did not speak English, none at all. Her only words were "No English. Chinese? Nihongo?". I nod. She opened up her messaging service and called her daughter, she didn't answer. She called her son, he didn't answer. Apparently they knew English. I tried translate on Google to tell her that I made the payment an hour ago, ask your son to update the sheet. She couldn't understand the translate. After calling a lot of people, who did their best by using Google Translate, nobody reached a conclusion. Her son had to update the spreadsheet, which he didn't and now he wasn't available.

Finally after a struggle of lots of translations and nobody understanding anything, her son called, and updated the spreadsheet about an hour and half post my arrival. She got really apologetic, folded her hands, and apologized a lot in Chinese/Japanese or whatever it was. She gave me keys to my room and showed me around to make me comfortable.

I was bored in the evening. I thought I'd sit with her for a while in the living room. She was watching some Japanese TV channel who were broadcasting how shrines are made. She noticed my anklet and asked me about it. I translated silver in Japanese and she understood. Then we started talking cultures. I showed her pictures from India, how women dress up. It was crazy dumb charades. We both used sign language as the only means of communication. I showed her our festivals in pictures and some vegetarian food! She couldn't believe the variety we can have for vegetarians!

It was her turn next. She was from Taiwan, she told me. She googled for pictures and showed me some shrines and how things are done. Then she showed me pictures of her family and asked me about mine. I showed her my sketches and she recognized Dalai Lama, Micheal Jackson and a few others. She kissed my hands as a sign of appreciation. We added each other on Facebook, and she wrote "Thank You in Chinese" on my wall. Further she gave me this beautiful keyring. Further when she learnt my family is back in India, she asked me to call her mama! :)

She kissed my eyes and said "Beautiful". I was touched. I went back to my room. I was shaken with the amount of love she showered on me. I opened my bag, found my notebook and my pencil and started sketching her!

When I gave her the completed sketch, she went to her attic, got a glass frame, and hanged the picture framed on her wall. It was just so amazing to see it up there! She wouldn't stop chanting a lot of words in Chinese! She kept thanking me and hugging me, and then I went back to sleep in a while.

Next morning when I was about to leave, she hugged me many times again. I had some plastic covers in my hand, she ran inside to get me a bag to keep them in. I politely refused, knowing I can't give it back to her again. She hugged me again. She said the three magical words: "I love you". And hugged me even more. As dramatic as this seems, the moment got emotional. When I bent to tie my shoe laces, she held my hand, sat down and started tying them herself. When I pulled myself back, she pointed at herself and said, "mama". And tied them into a neat bow. She hugged me an I love you again and we bid goodbye.

She came till the train station to see me off, and showed me the figure "3500" on my hand. That was the amount I paid for the room. She crossed it and wrote "2500". We hugged again, and I left. I guess I have a home in Osaka!

Here is what she wrote as a comment by sharing my profile picture to her friends:

TLDR? Check out the Instagram Story here.

October 15, 2015

It comes at a cost

They wake up cursing their mother's voice
He snoozes his alarm till he no longer has the time to bathe

They get served hot piping breakfast and milk
He gulps the piece of stale bread down his throat

They meet with their friends to travel together
He waits for the timezone to allow him to call his

They gossip about their office politics
Here he is, trying to appear less foreign

As they open their lunchbox, the aroma lingers
He counts his money to decide if he wants to eat

They surprise their girlfriends with river boat cruises
He stands by the coast wishing for his girl to hold his hand

They have dinner together, staring into each other's eyes
He sends her a picture of the food he cooked himself

They give goodnight kisses pressing their lips against each other
He tells her he misses her over the messenger

And then they said to him
You live a life many dream of

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