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SAYONARA!

"Yuji San! Are you happy?" asks Frank. (San is the Japanese equivalent of Mr.). Yuji looks at the space in front in a meditative mood (as if he is trying to work out whether he is happy or not). Then he draws a typical big Japanese smile on his face that reflects extreme happiness and shake head heavily, "Yes, Yes"(the second yes to confirm the first yes). This would set all five of us into a roaring laughter.

This was the second time I met with Frank. He is 67 and a manager of a European auto giant. He works till 2 O'clock in the night (!) and gets up at 6 in the morning. In spite of that I have never seen him dozing off on a ride as long as four hours. I also have never heard him raising his voice to express dissatisfaction. His silence was enough to set all of us into motion to correct what ever mistake made or occurred. However his voice shakes everything around when he is happy, when he laughs.

Yuji is an engineer. As it happens with almost all Japanese, Yuji's English is not so appreciable. But he is simple and it is not difficult reading his face for his remarks or feelings. Almost every time you ask Yuji a question, he would first work out the answer in his mind, construct the equivalent English sentences and shoot. The whole process takes him a long time. But that was not at all a problem for the team members. They can have a look at the changing curves on his face and read what was going inside. No one had to wait for him to speak out. Even I started reading him from the second half of the day.

After spending a week with this British-Japanese combo, I am convinced having a common language is not a necessary and sufficient condition for communication. What is important is willingness to share, willingness to express and willingness to see things from the perspective of the other one.

Friday was the last day of our journey. "Yuji san, so you are happy that you are going back to home?" As usual, Yuji took his time to think whether he is happy or not and shaking hands with me, he projected an unusually longer sentence. "Yes, yes...I am happy going back to home...but I liked India and...and that you accompanied us in the trip...thank you very much...I hope we will meet again."

Yes Yuji san, I also enjoyed your company and the simplicity with which you have accepted the world around. Sayonara!

Comments

starry nights said…
sometimes no language is necessary .Just a warm smile, a handshake speaks for itself. Nice post.
Mindinside said…
He enjoyed your company.

This is realy a fantastic pic ... the awsome nature

By the way, what's the meaning of Aklanta in ur language?
adi said…
when heart speaks, the words fall silent

aklant n not aklanta if i'm correct means 'one who doesn't gets disturbed easily' is it right? one without troubles...

kavdun
dwaipayan said…
a simple yet beautiful post. i read about the same feeling in alchemist by paulo cohelo
totaramkiaaatma said…
Aklanta San u have bn having a gud time!!
jac said…
A lovely post.
fritz said…
c-o-o-l blog post...l-o-v-e-l-y pic! ;;)
Ghetufool said…
your blog is very attractive. good taste. good writing too.
Ghetufool said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Hmm...common language, did you say? Well, it should not be a problem if someone visits you for a day or two. But on a regular basis...I beg to differ. Ask me about my travails of living in Chennai! :(

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