Thursday, April 07, 2005

Watashi no hajimete O Hanami ( My first Cherry blossom viewing)

O-Hanami (literally "flowers' watching"...) is basically the celebration of the arrival of spring. On this occasion, the japanese ritual marking the passage from the winter to spring, consists of gathering under flowering cherry trees to have a party among friends.

And that’s precisely what we did. Partied under a cherry tree. Gardens in Japan are in the middle of the bustling city , but a world away from that maddening rush. Upon entering the garden I noticed a lot of people sitting down with their sketch pads, busy capturing the sights. The fruits of their labour were on display a few hours later.

On to the main picnic spot. A circular lawn with cherry trees . It was almost as if each party had claimed its own tree. So we followed suit. Spread our blue tarp. under a tree and we were set. Out came the camera, the ball, the beer and the food. And some feast it was. Almost every one had brought something or the other and then some. My lab mates even cooked. They cooked octopus, which was fun to watch. Sounded simple . Pour batter & add the octopus. let it cook. flip and let it cook some more. We burnt a few in the process but what’s a few when you are imbibing. Plenty of that was done too. Yep! no hanami is complete without the drinking. but its definitely fun to watch.

Watching is what I did most. A few beautiful memories were made in this picnic. A few beautiful moments captured. I do wish I could take a picture of the way the park looked. I guess no camera can do justice to that view. Another picture I wish I could take was of my boss’ toddler following the bubbles his mom blew for him. Or of him trying to follow a pigeon. As we sat under the cherry tree, the sun’s rays came down to us filtered through the flowers. And a few petals floated down. It was tranquil , beautiful and out of this world. For a few hours, I was in paradise.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

We are all Shylocks

We are all Shylocks
hoping , looking.
waiting and scheming,
for our pound of flesh.

Do we care,
whose blood we spill,
or, whose tears flow?
No, No, No.

We gave,
and now, we want it back.
On our terms,
according to our whims.
Eyes shining with greed,
rubbing hands with glee.
smile on our lips,
Dagger in our hand.
We wait............
for an ungaurded moment.
for a bared vulnerability.
hoping, looking.
Waiting and scheming,
For our pound of flesh

We, after all,
are all Shylocks.