March 15, 2017

Learning to burn and shine like the Japanese

In schools, what had singled out our Indian friends from us was their tireless pursuit of being studious. Obvious it was, that they topped every exams and spared not even a tiny test. So from early on, noticing in my Indian friends the industrious trait, I grew up with a belief that they were the most hardworking people.  

Even as I went to a college in India, the trend never failed to amaze me. I rather stumbled upon many Indian friends who would commit diligently in study matters.

Not until I came as a student in Japan did the very belief I have held firmly for last many years begin to falter gradually. Simply put, I almost went mad at the first sight. Then it had me ponder heavily on my resilience as a post graduate student and mused if my “its ok” mentality could fare strong in the survival of fittest. Not before long the confidence slowly dwindled away in the face of overly workaholic milieu.

It has been quite some time now in the lab. Ever since the start, I have been in attendance for not less than nearly eight hours every weekdays. However, mine deserves no mention (comes nowhere near comparison) as some of our Japanese lab members work as late as 2 or 3 in the morning.

Their indefatigable stamina and patience to work for any stretch of time defines how robust they could be in chasing their dreams.

In a country where people work day in and day out, I have seen, felt and heard, they endeavor to achieve perfection in everything they do. And the best of all- people take work, whether white or blue collar, personal or public, as their own and grumble less. Thus, hardly is there any compromise in the quality of the work.

Needless to say, this is why even at the mention of the name Japan, many relate to it as ‘near perfect’. They have stood the test of time, created annals of history and achieved immensely in diverse area within a short span. It is thus only natural that many developing countries look up to Japan as the big brother.

And to myself it as an infallible proof that anything that calls for sacrifice is worth the reward.

On the contrary, I come from a 9am to 5pm working culture. Because my circadian rhythm was fine-tuned with working fixed amount of time back home, it took quite a long to cope up with the engaging schedule and move a little harder beyond. Now that I am able to get rid of the complacent attitude, it feels wonderful to have an aura of willingness to work at any point of time. Conceivably, without even my realizing of it, the Japanese formula has really helped the social circle around expand with a stronger network.

Moreover, now I have come to deeply empathize the connotation- the land of rising sun. And I will fain accept that the making of this great nation was like the sun itself- burn and shine.

Every day, every morning witnessing the rush hour of cars in the streets and people in the subways, and as the busy nation teems to life.... I wonder if the sun could ever set in the hearts of Japanese people.