A few months later I enrolled myself for a hobby course in Japanese language at the embassy school - that is after my dad suggested that I take up the language. He somehow felt it was a better choice and also he wanted me to take up something which was different from what others were choosing. (It was not a popular choice back then in 1996 as almost everybody who took up
language as a hobby or profession, pursued either French or German and I had almost made up my mind to learn either of the two)
I never realized back then that - that decision on that day would end up shaping my career and in a way my life..........
I am not at all being modest when I say that I was not a high scorer in school or college but I excelled at Japanese. I still don't know if I have a flair for languages but yes, I did fall in love with the language. Learning Kanjis to me was fun. I loved practicing and memorizing Kanjis. My friend used to call me a "walking dictionary of Kanjis" .....and after learning the language for 3 years i got a scholarship to work and study in Japan for an year.
I landed in Japan on 13th of January, 1999 - on Lohri, considered to be an auspicious day in India. It was an early winter morning. and guess what - i saw Mt Fuji the very first day...and I saw it from the cockpit of the plane (The pilot/air-hostess offered me to come over to the cockpit and see around if I wanted to.....:) good for them that I was not a hijacker;) ........and when we flew over Mt. Fuji, the captain told me - there...you see...that is Mt. Fuji.....and i still cannot forget the site of it...it stood tall and beautiful wearing the famous "ice cap" and every bit as beautiful as I had always imagined it to be....and much much more..
(A legend has it that if you see Mt. Fuji once, you definitely get a chance to see it again at least once. Mt. Fuji never forgets you and almost always calls you back once for sure)
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