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.


tocsin said...

Must have been a delight. :)) I love the japanese aesthetic (at least the version of the japanese aesthetic in my head).

Japan is the one place that I love, that I will probably will never go, even if I have a chance. Because it can't be all the things I think it is.

India Whining said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
India Whining said...

>> They cooked octopus, which was fun to watch.

Awww so mean of U guyz to have fun at the expense of the poor Octopus's..

That aside, loved the post.. espcially the bits abt the bubble chasing kid... somehow imagined that to be happening in "Slow Motion" , it made the sight even more enjoyable :)

Good Job, Bilbo-San..

buckwaasur said...

well said IW...the words almost unfolded the tranquil one of those flowers in bloom...great pics bilbo...beautiful flowers...yummy food...good the blog again after seeing the pics...:-)


yet another1 said...

wow! sounds absolutely delightful! lovely pics.

SeaSwallowMe said...

nice one, bilb .. and nice pics too.

.. and why does this remind me of Seurat's pointillism. esp. that La Grand Jatte piece.

bilbo said...

hey ssm ,
dunno the why, but am flattered as all heck , if u got reminded of Seurat's pointillism. I had to google it. One glance and I remembered seeing it at the Met.


Nithya Swaminathan said...

Lovely blog and great pics..:) The flowers jus took my breath away...:)

dogmatix said...

one of my fav. picnic foods is 'octopus'... haha of course i am kidding. i saw the pics first and they looked appetising , like some kinda potato cakes !!

Nice blog bilbo. i live in a place famous for its cherry blossoms plus we have a 'parade' in their honor too. ive seen it so many times that i am quite jaded about it now. Maybe a fresh perspective this time around!

cheti said...

lovely blog and lovely photos Bilbo .. the best that i liked is the group photo on the floor ! Simple is sophistication .. is supposedly Japanese Aesthetic principle ! som how that comes out very well in that photos .. the simple centre table, the simple posturee, the food .. lovely

topkapi said...

bilbo - haven't even gotten around to seeing the photos but I just loved the picture you sketched with those few, spare sentences. Will see the photos now.....:)